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A Dying Breed

Updated on October 16, 2012

Endangered Moderates?

The death of Sunday, October 14, of Arlen Specter marked the loss of what is becoming a rare political animal--the moderate Republican.

On such issues as abortion, affirmative action, and immigration, he broke ranks with his own party and in 2004 nearly paid the price when he had to fend off a challenge from his party's growing extreme right wing.

In 2009, Specter realized that his party no longer fit him. "As the Republican Party has moved farther and farther to the right," he said in April, 2009, " I have found myself increasingly at odds with the Republican philosophy and more in line with the philosophy of the Democratic Party," he said in April, 2009. Obama had just taken office in January of 2009, and folks like Beck and Limbaugh, were helping to stir the pot of the likes of the Kochs and ALEC. A moderate like Specter would not be able to resonate with a party base that had made obstruction it's only real agenda. He decided to switch parties and run as a Democrat in 2010.

Of course, he found himself against Democratic party that had its activist base energized, and would lose the party primary to Joe Sestak.

Specter's decision to switch parties should have sent a message to the GOP that letting the Koch Brothers and ALEC, and voices like Beck and Limbaugh be the party's true leaders is not a prescription for success. You need a middle ground, a ground that Specter spent decades staking out, until he may have been too much of an island.


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    • TeaPartyCrasher profile image

      TeaPartyCrasher 4 years ago from Camp Hill, PA


      And he's not paying attention:

      "A moderate like Specter would not be able to resonate with a party base that had made obstruction it's only real agenda. He decided to switch parties and run as a Democrat in 2010."

    • d.william profile image

      d.william 4 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      SL: Ur comments R typical 4 right wing logic. What R ur thoughts on the politician in Maine that ran as a Dem & when elected he immediately changed his affilliation to Rep? Charlatan or Rep hero?

    • S Leretseh profile image

      S Leretseh 4 years ago

      Final thought... Had Specter died a republican...does ANYONE in their right mind think this author here would have wrote anything praising him? Not a chance.

      I don't like the disingenuousness of this hub. But very typical DEM his thing.

    • S Leretseh profile image

      S Leretseh 4 years ago

      This "factually and to the point" Hub is desperately lacking in actual pertinent facts. Specter ws never considered any political hero, by ANYONE. He was charlatan.

      Here are a couple facts this author here deliberately(?) overlooked: Specter only ran as a republican because he knew that he could not win as a DEM. Proof is the that the popular U.S. Congressman Joe Sestak was defeated by a republican (Toomey). Specter switched parties because he wanted to give Obama a super majority - to pass his socialist agenda. Specter had always been a DEM. Always. Yes, it ws a despicably unethical thing to do to pretend to be a conservative (his entire tenure as a senator) while always being in cahoots with the DEMS.

    • TeaPartyCrasher profile image

      TeaPartyCrasher 5 years ago from Camp Hill, PA

      What's worse is that I never thought that highly of him. But for him to see that his party had become and realize that he was out of place shows common sense and courage.

    • junko profile image

      junko 5 years ago

      Crasher, I totally agree with this short and to the point tribute.

    • d.william profile image

      d.william 5 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      Yes, i agree - a great tribute to a great man. There is none equal in the GOP today, and not likely to be in the near future. They have turned from the center, walked right, and straight into a solid wall, and none of them have learned to, or have courage enough to, turn around, or how to walk backwards, or even look over their shoulders to see what they left behind; that being especially their common sense, decency, and their dignity.

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

      I agree completely. They don't make legislators like this anymore. This is a great tribute to the man.