Sen. Arlen Specter’s narrow victory against U.S. Rep. Patrick Toomey in a heated primary race has proven that there is still hope for moderate politicians in an age dominated by ideological grandstanding.
Specter is that rare Republican: One who votes on issues rather than on agendas and who puts his constituents ahead of party loyalty. Which is exactly why we need him in Washington. A longstanding fixture in the senate, Specter has consistently landed this state jobs and federal projects when it needed the most.
Instead, Toomey offered an alternative that would have put Pennsylvania back in the stone age. Opposing gay marriage, supporting prayer in public schools and identifying himself as part of “the Republican Wing of the Republican Party,” Toomey’s stance was one of lower taxes and smaller government. In a state suffering from an endemic lack of funding for government services and heavy rural unemployment, Toomey’s politics would mean fiscal doom.
What this state needs is a loud voice on Capitol Hill and politicians who aren’t afraid to vote with their hearts instead of with their comrades. Arlen Specter has the track record and the results to show he is what Pennsylvania needs. As for Toomey… He was just a bunch of hot air.
But 49 percent of Republicans statewide voted for Toomey, thanks to a network of volunteers based mostly in central Pennsylvania. Specter’s victory was by no means assured, thanks to the complacency of many Pennsylvanians. Only a last minute media blitz on Specter’s part ensured his re-nomination, a dangerous trend. Most people tend to re-elect good politicians. But we almost didn’t.