I been reading through a lot of reactions to Arlen Specter’s party switch yesterday, and one quote stuck out at me:
The Republican Party was founded as a party of individual rights and individual initiative. It led the fight to end slavery, give women the right to vote, expand national parks and break up corporate monopolies. Today the party is more movement-oriented: pro-life, pro-gun, pro-tax cut and anti-U.N., with recent pandering in Texas and Alaska to irrational secessionist anger. Arlen Specter didn't fit.
That’s from former congressman Jim Leach (R-IA). Leach made headlines last year when he endorsed Barack Obama for President – a rather strong endorsement considering Leach’s foreign policy expertise. This statement goes beyond that cross over we saw last year.
The right is already trying to spin comments like this as hogwash, but Leach is a moderate Republican and echoing what many moderate Republicans are saying. The party has been taken over by the extreme right wing, and that isn’t going to end up good for the Republicans.