I've been thinking about this for weeks.
The GOP, specifically Michael Steele, Chairman of the Republican National Committee, said in an email (4/28/09) newsletter, "Arlen Specter has put his loyalty to his own political career above his duty to his state and nation."
The newsletter also says, "As recently as April 9th, Senator Specter said he would run in the Pennsylvania primary next year as a Republican."
I don't care what Arlen Specter does. He's not my Senator. However, I do think that he is wrong for changing parties in the middle of a term.
I honestly think that is dirty. That is wrong. If he wanted to change--fine. But he needed to wait until the next election cycle. He needs to go through the primary with full disclosure.
I believe the people of that state have a class action lawsuit on their hands--either fraud or bait-and-switch.
Many times when I have voted, I have been able to vote strictly by party--in fact, in many places, you cannot vote in the primary of another party. Also, how many times have people voted without really knowing who was who and voting strictly along party lines? I admit to this, especially on some of those "lesser" elections, like judges or comptrollers, where there is a dearth of information even in local papers. I am willing to bet that some people in that state voted for Specter solely based on party.
So voting for one party clearly does not mean anything anymore if the person can switch in the middle.
Which brings up my own little conspiracy theory--what if one party decided to run "moles" in each primary? Especially in smaller venues? If they put personable people in both primaries or elections, win, and then change later?
Scary, ain't it?
I just think the whole thing lessens and cheapens the vote. If I vote for someone based on their stances, and they switch their agenda in the middle of a term, I believe that to be wrong. If the President got up today and said he was becoming Republican, I would welcome outrage. It just isn't right.
Even if the politician voted for issues differently than constituents expected based on party affiliations, that's fine. That's understandable to vote singly on separate issues. But you don't change your whole party affiliation in the middle of a term. It's not right and I believe that those constituents have a class action bait-and-switch lawsuit.