Specter Defection and Marginalization
By Phil Perkins
May 4, 2009
The recent defection of Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania from the Republicans to the Democrats, obviously a cynical and politically calculating move, is also part of a much more disturbing pattern on the American political and cultural landscape.
Specter admitted that he didn't want to face a presumably galvanized, largely Republican electorate in the 2010 primary and a true conservative candidate such as Pat Toomey, whom with George W. Bush's help he managed to defeat back in 2004. But of course the drive-by media downplayed this aspect of his defection and trumpeted how Specter's leaving simply goes to show that the Republicans are an increasingly regional and irrelevant party being led around by the nose by its "far-right" wing. Therefore Specter was shown to be a man of principle since, as a so-called "moderate," he could understandably no longer stomach the so-called increasingly conservative tone of the Republicans. In fact, quite the opposite is true.
Specter is arguably more of a "maverick" than his Arizona sidekick John McCain, which means he's really far more liberal than conservative on most issues. The "moderate" label is merely a fig leaf behind which Specter, McCain, Olympia Snowe and other so-called Republicans can hide as they continue to sabotage what used to be true Republican values.
Some leading conservatives such as Rush Limbaugh are saying "good riddance;" that Specter's defection will leave the Republicans stronger somehow. I'm afraid that I have a hard time buying that as long as McCain, Snowe, Susan Collins, and the always frustrating Lindsey Graham remain Republicans. I fail to see how Specter's defection will change the behavior of the above-named RINOs. This means that with the impending filibuster proof Senate given the inevitable ascension of Al "Stuart Smalley" Franken to his ill-gained Minnesota seat, whatever true Republicans are left may be overwhelmed by the force of Obama and his minions in Congress. But there's more to it than that.
Specter's defection, cynical and self-serving as it may be, is also a recognition on his part of the increasingly forceful tide against which any Republican, whether RINO or not, is swimming. In a state like Pennsylvania, which threw true conservative Senator Rick Santorum to the curb recently and roundly defeated former football hero and all-around good guy Lynn Swann for governor, Specter simply read the tea leaves and concluded that staying in the party was a no-win situation. Not only would he face a stiff challenge, probably from Toomey in the primary, even if he survived that he'd have a less than even chance in the general election.
Wherever you want to look in today's American society, the Left is gaining ground and we conservatives are losing it. The other side has largely succeeded in convincing a majority of the public to believe that conservatives are sinister, narrow-minded ideologues who sit in judgment of anyone who is "different" from them, when in fact it is the Left who sit in judgment of us. And what we are now seeing is the impact of the Bush years on setting back the conservative movement. All of the Bush pandering, including his ill-fated support of Specter in 2004, not only didn't work-it was disastrous in its result of empowering the Left far more than when he assumed office. Bush never grasped just how much he was reviled by the Left and therefore how critical it was for him to fight back, at least on the most outrageous of the charges against him. We are now paying the price with this president and this Congress and the increasingly radicalized culture that they promote. Don't believe it? Let me provide just one frightening example.
A recent World magazine article profiles a "Reverend" Katherine Ragsdale, who was recently selected to become president of Episcopal Divinity School, a major seminary near Harvard. Ragsdale not only is adamantly "pro-choice" on abortion, she boldly proclaims that abortion is a "blessing." She explains this warped thinking thusly: "When a woman becomes pregnant whether or not in a loving and supportive relationship, but decides not to bear the child, and has access to a safe, affordable abortion-there is not a tragedy in sight-only blessing." Ragsdale goes on to affirm health care providers who are involved in the abortion industry and tells them they are engaged in "holy work." This coming from a so-called minister of the Gospel! Of course, the World article also noted that Ragsdale has previously stated that the Resurrection may never have happened. She just happens to be gay as well. What a surprise. But why should the promotion of a false minister shock us when her views are not much different than Obama's nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services? Kathleen Sebelius is just a bit more judicious in her choice of words.
This is only one example of the Big Lies that we the public are being forced to swallow. That is, despite these outrageous remarks that would be thought of as lunacy 20 years ago even if a lay person let alone clergy uttered them, we are expected to accept the fallacious media template that "pro-choice" people universally detest abortion and see it as a necessary evil for women in a desperate situation. If the silent majority continues to remain silent in the face of all of this destructive chaos, then I truly fear for the future of our republic.