- The Washington Times - Monday, May 4, 2009



Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, now camping with the Democrats in the Senate, is a narcissist, as are the Republicans wielding the high dudgeon against him. Yes, he abandoned the party that sustained him through five Senate terms just to garner a sixth. And yes, his self-aggrandizing move to the left does raise the specter (no pun intended) of a man more entranced by personal political power than by service to the nation.

Mr. Specter’s move, as disconcerting to Republicans as it is bracing to Democrats, raises an important question: Why can’t the Republican Party accommodate a broad array of political views? The answer is to be found in the party’s ideology, a rock-ribbed conservatism that is as humorless as it is uncongenial to anyone who wishes to challenge its tenets. The Republican Party has lost the optimism it once had, and it is not a party with a broad tent, which any political organization must have if it is to be successful.

Troubled times lie ahead for the shrinking Republican ranks and for independents who value the old-fashioned verity of equal opportunity. The Democratic juggernaut is likely to transform the political landscape so radically that Republicans will be a minority party for decades to come.

Blame Mr. Specter if you want, but at least he will succeed to fight another day.



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