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May 4, 2009
I Told You So: An Open
Letter to the Republican Establishment
Dear Republican establishment,
I told you so. I told you there is nothing inherently good
about blindly supporting politicians simply because they call themselves
You supported Jim Jeffords. Then he left the Republican
Party, giving the Democrats a Senate majority. You sacrificed the likes
of George Allen to champion Lincoln Chafee. He called himself a
Republican long enough to milk you for your money and support, then he
left the Republican Party when he didn’t need you anymore.
In 2004, you, from President Bush, to Rick Santorum, to many
members of Congress, lifted Arlen Specter to a razor-thin victory over
Pat Toomey in a heated Pennsylvania primary. In the last five years,
Specter has continued to be a Democrat in everything but his label, yet
you were about to support him once again because you oddly find it your
job not to save Republican values, but to save Republican politicians
regardless of their values.
But this time around Specter was smarter than that. Although
he desperately tried to eliminate his Republican competition with false
attacks, and although, as of a few weeks ago, he assertively maintained
that he would not leave the GOP, he finally realized that even though he
had the support of the Republican establishment, he did not have the
support of Republican voters.
So, Arlen Specter, the same man who in 2001 fervently
condemned Jim Jeffords for defecting and passionately advocated a rule
preventing such party-switching, has now switched to the Democratic
No, his ideology has not changed in the past few weeks. And
it is most certain that the Republican Party has not moved to the right
– if anything it has increasingly embraced the big government attitude
espoused by Specter and the Democrats.
The only thing that has changed is that Specter now is
unlikely to survive the Republican primary to return to his seat in
2010. Not even making Specter himself the organizational leader and
ideological model of the GOP would have superseded his primary concern
of electability. And electability, as I have always known, and now you
hopefully know as well, is all the likes of Specter care about, and is
the only reason Specter has stuck with the GOP thus far. Somewhere,
Lincoln Chafee is kicking himself for not being as politically savvy and
running to the Democratic Party when it still could have saved him.
Now, I am not upset by Specter’s switch. He’s come home to
where he belongs. And besides, he has always voted as a Democrat. How
you allowed his mere label to blind you from this fact is beyond me, but
it has been enough for me to divert my money from you to organizations
that support conservative principles and candidates. You see, if your
shallow electoral strategy was left unchecked, every congressional
Democrat would call himself a Republican and ensure that he would never
again be challenged from the right, nor ever beaten from the left.
But perhaps this could be the beginning of a great new
friendship between the Republican establishment and Republican values –
how distant they have been. I truly hope you take the opportunity to
learn something. But I can’t say I’m optimistic.
© 2009 North Star
Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.
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