I also have a blog post from about 12:30 PM today on this.
Switching parties after taking the votes from members of another party is plain and simple theft and fraud.
I addition to what I posted in the blog, I would like to add that I do not understand how it can be legal or Constitutional for an elected official to keep a seat in Congress gained through fraudulent means, regardless of the time sequence of the election and the change of parties.
That said, if Specter does get away with this, I sure hope Joe Lieberman changes to a Republican, though reading Lieberman's website today, that looks impossible... Lieberman Statement on Arlen Specter
I am not suggesting a recall. I am suggesting that this party change be a landmark challenge to have the courts unseat the elected official, not the "People". Because of its implications to the balance of power in Congress, this is higher profile example than others in the past. I am not a lawyer or Constitutional scholar, but I would be very interested to see if this action would pass scrutiny if we could get a high enough court to hear arguments about disenfranchisement of voter rights that occurs when people vote straight party ticket, and then an elected official switches parties during an active term.
The Constitution does not recognize parties, rather, we vote for individuals. Of course, senators were originally appointed by the state legislatures, but that's been changed by the 17th Amendment.
So, constitutionally speaking, there are no grounds for the legal challenge of fraud, based on party affiliation, since we are supposed to vote for the man, not a party.
Now, there might be some sort of avenue for the Republican Party to recoup its financial backing, since his membership in that party has legal standing...perhaps he can be sued into bankruptcy, but not removed from office.
Joe Lieberman is not conservative by any definition. Supporting a war does not make one conservative, and there are no other issues where his agenda isn't perfectly in line with the democrats.
Yet we still have significant power used/abused by the "majority" party in Congress. The Constitution is supposed to lay out the rules for how the federal government works. So, what does that mean? We can have some sort of parliamentary procedure or whatever you would call it that recognizes and gives considerable power to an entity the Constitution does not? Which set of rules wins? It would be fine with me if the courts held that the Constitution does not recognize Parties. Wouldn't that imply that no one group in either house of Congress has any majority? No more "controlling" power to either group, just individuals voting.
You can be mad that he switched parties, and you'll be in good company. I'm simply saying that there is no grounds for a constitutional lawsuit to remove him from office, no matter what popular opinion may be.
The general election is for individuals, not parties, and when the electors of the electoral college cast their votes, it's not for the party. The party is the means to place an individual candidate on the ballot, and all other considerations are secondary.
Again, the constitution states nothing about parties, and it must be the basis for any lawsuit to remove a senator. Now, can he be impeached for some other conviction? Sure, but I can't see a fraud case succeeding. There simply is no basis for it, and the courts probably wouldn't hear it outside of a civil case.
For the record, I was nipping in the bud the mythos that Joe Lieberman should be a Republican because of his support for the GWOT. I thought I'd just state for the record that he is in no way a conservative, just in case some folks heard that rumor.
In my opinion, Specter does have some conservative ideals. He believes in gun ownership, for example. In that respect, he is more conservative than Lieberman, who is not conservative at all.
Oh, he will get elected again. That's the reason he switched, and that's the problem. With powerful people at the head of a very powerful democrat machine, he'll get whatever votes he needs, regardless of who votes for whom on election day. Specter isn't a dummy, and he got his quid pro quo for this, I guarantee it. I worked on the Steve Friend campaign against Specter in 1992—he doesn't fight fair.
Yet another reason why you shouldn't vote straight party. Everyone knows that Arlen Specter was a moderate, just look at his voting record. Now, instead of a moderate Republican, you have a moderate Democrat. He's not going to vote any differently because of this.
He didn't steal votes from anyone. Republicans voted him in as their candidate for Senate; they could have voted for someone more conservative, but those people didn't win. Arlen won.
He's not going to represent Pennsylvania any differently than when he was a Republican.
Not at all. If you voted for him in the primary, he didn't steal your vote. You voted for him. You could have voted for someone else, but didn't.
What you should be angry about is if Arlen intentionally took Republican funds for running in the election, with the intent of switching to Democrat. I don't know if that happened, and I don't know what the law says, but that sounds like fraud to me.
First, when I say "you", I don't mean you directly, I meant the people who voted him in.
And I think you're also right that this won't change his voting record. In fact, during his press release he said that it would be exceedingly difficult for him to win in 2010 as a Republican, and that's why he was switching to the Democratic party.
Again, it's a bad idea to vote for anyone because they have an (R) or a (D) by their name. You have to vote based on their policies and their voting record. (And personally, I vote for people partly how humble they are. Humility is way underrated in this country.)