As all conservatives are aware, a problem has developed within the Republican Senate delegation. Well three problems actually: Senators Arlen Specter (PA), Olympia Snowe (ME), and Susan Collins (ME). Senator Specter has the distinction of being first up on the election ballot in 2010 of these three.
When the conservative movement was in its darkest hour, needing direction from its shrinking leadership in Washington the most, the 79-year old Specter failed to answer the call. Specter’s brand of mushy “go along to get along” Republicanism is precisely the type which ensures a minority position in government. Specter is the kid on the school yard who had his lunch taken away, and decided to buddy up with the bully rather than punch the bully squarely in the mouth. In other words, lacking in spine and leadership.
As in the movie “A Knight’s Tale,” Senator Specter has been weighed, measured, and found wanting. To be sure, this is not meant to be a judgment of his personal character, rather his political character. For that reason, Senator Specter MUST and likely will be forced into retirement by the RNC during his primary campaign.
Who’s the man to accept the challenge? Pat Toomey.
Toomey was a U.S. House Representative for the 15th district of Pennsylvania from 1999 until 2005. He ousted the incumbent Democrat, Paul McHale, Jr., by ten percentage points to gain this position. In 2004, he challenged Specter in the Republican primary and narrowly lost with 49.18% of the vote. This after then-President George W. Bush and then-Senator Rick Santorum closed ranks and endorsed Specter.
Since January 2005, Toomey has served as President of the Club for Growth, a 501(c)(4) political organization and PAC which funds the campaigns of various conservatives across the nation.
When examining Toomey’s voting record, several things of note jump out.
He is a strong supporter of:
1. expanding economic development and free trade;
2. prayer in public schools;
3. privatizing social security;
4. school vouchers;
5. tough criminal sentences;
6. second amendment gun ownership;
7. lower taxes; and
8. military spending.
He is a strong opponent of:
2. expanding healthcare entitlement programs;
3. relaxed enforcement of immigration laws; and
4. UN approval for military action.
He is scored by several special interests as follows:
– 72% by CATO Institute for pro-free trade record;
– 100% by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) for protecting legal immigration;
– 80% by the National Taxpayers Union (NTU) for protecting taxpayers;
– “A” by the NRA for second amendment gun ownership protection;
– 17% by the National Education Association for voting against the interests of teachers unions;
– 100% by the Christian Coalition for pro-family voting record;
– 0% by NARAL for voting against pro-abortion interests.
This is a record that conservatives can get behind. If he does decide to enter the fray and run for Specter’s Senate seat, he can expect support from all over the nation. Including this author.