Image by Dom Dada via Flickr
By Grant Lawrence
"I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans."
Republican, er I mean, Democratic Senator Arlen Specter regarding his reason for leaving the GOP.
Senator Specter is a man of principle or rather principally a political opportunist. Like every politician, Specter is concerned about keeping his political position. So not being a particularly stupid person, Specter obviously looked around, saw the collapse of the Republican Party in the Northeast , and thought that it might be a good idea for him to get on a life boat before the GOP Titanic sinks further into the deep waters of public outrage and animosity.
Specter also would have faced a difficult Republican primary in 2010 because he is seen as too moderate by the glassy eyed religious fanatics and the Teabaggers that still make up of what is left of a dying Republican Party in the United States.
So what does Specter's move to the Democratic Party mean for America?
Although the Democrats will soon have enough votes to break a Republican filibuster with 60 seats in the Senate (after Senator Al Franken comes aboard), the difference between both parties are little more than cosmetic. Especially in the Senate, there is not much difference between the agendas of the Republicrat parties. Sure the Democrats will make legislative moves that will give the appearance of populism and change (like the Bill of Rights for Credit Card Holders legislation which merely gives consumers a little more information and notice before they get screwed), but it will be business as usual for the bankers and corporate power interests that actually run America.
Senator Arlen Specter becoming a Democrat, a Green, or resigning will not change the power dynamics in Washington.
In fact, Specter's move from Democrat (in his early career) to Republican and now back to Democrat is representative of power politics in Washington. The Military Industrial Complex power structure merely uses both parties for power and position. They pretend to endorse whichever party has some popularity and momentum, but the power structure always make sure both parties endorse their agenda. Arlen Specter is representative of this process.