Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Spector, most recently famous for his reactions to the New England Patriots Spygate scandal has announced his switch from the Republican party to the Democratic party.
He gave a very well written statement which included the following paragraph:
“While each member of the Senate caucuses with his Party, what each of us hopes to accomplish is distinct from his party affiliation. The American people do not care which Party solves the problems confronting our nation. And no Senator, no matter how loyal he is to his Party, should or would put party loyalty above his duty to the state and nation.”
I agree with his sentiments, but…
This switch gives the Democratic party absolute control over the government. Of course, having this power does not guarantee that the Democrats will abuse this power, but it does make this possible.
With the switch and the future seating of Al Franken as Minnesota’s Senator (they should seat him already, as he has clearly won the election), the Democrats will control 60 Senate seats. Thus, the party will have control of the Presidency, the House of Representatives, and a filibuster proof majority in the Senate.
The Democrats will be able to pass–without debate–any bill that they want. If you are a Democrat, this might seem like a good idea. It isnt. Giving one party carte blanche to do as they please without restrictions, debate, or input from the opposition is always dangerous. Even in a Republic like ours.
The founding fathers created a system of separation of powers. They created both a separation of the legislature and executive branches, as well as a separation of the two different legislative houses. They did this so that no faction could gain enough power to control all of the organs of government.
Lord Acton said “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” I hope for our sake that he was wrong.
In his statement, Senator Spector also said:
“My change in party affiliation does not mean that I will be a party-line voter any more for the Democrats that I have been for the Republicans. Unlike Senator Jeffords’ switch, which changed party control, I will not be an automatic 60th vote for cloture.”
I hope for the sake of the Nation that he sticks to those words.
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