Pennsylvania Republicans have an obligation to oust one of the Senate's leading RINOs
His current term isn't up until 2010, but "Snarlin' Arlen" Specter announced this week he plans to run for a sixth term in the U.S. Senate.
"There are a lot of important things to be done and finally after being here to acquire some seniority, I'm in a position to do that," the 77-year-old Specter told the Associated Press. "I'm full of energy and my wife doesn't want me home for breakfast, lunch and dinner."
If he wins in 2010, Specter will be 86 by the time his term ends. That's kind of young for the geriatric Senate, where Robert Byrd, the former KKK grand wizard and Democratic leader, continues to serve into his 90s. This is also the legislative body where Strom Thurmund served until he was 100.
I don't have a problem with Specter's age. I have a problem with Specter running as a Republican.
Specter is the poster child for the term RINO (Republican In Name Only).
He is a back-stabbing liberal Democrat who has worked against Republican legislation for decades. His is pro-abortion, pro-gun control, pro-taxes, pro-illegal immigration, pro-gay rights. And nobody knows where he stands on the war on terror.
If Specter wants to run for another term, he should have the decency to run as a Democrat and stop pretending he's a Republican.
The good news about his early announcement is that real Republicans in Pennsylvania have plenty of time to find a candidate to run against Specter in the GOP primary. That's where Specter must be defeated.
If he gets past the GOP primary in 2010, he'll win another term because he already has the Democratic vote wrapped up. That's what happened in 2004. Specter easily defeated liberal Democrat Joe Hoeffel because Specter was just as liberal as Hoeffel.
The tragedy of 2004 was that Republicans couldn't oust Specter in the primary despite a valiant effort by conservative Pat Toomey, a former Congressman.
Toomey, who now heads the Club for Growth, came very close to beating Specter, but he was betrayed by Rick Santorum and George Bush, who backed Specter.
Specter, in turn, stabbed Santorum in the back in 2006 by offering a tepid endorsement of Santorum and hardly campaigning for the junior senator from Pennsylvania. Santorum lost to a liberal lightweight named Bob Casey Jr.
Specter has been stabbing George W. Bush in the back on judicial nominees and the war in Iraq ever since 2004.
Republicans are wise to Arlen Specter. As I wrote in 2004, most GOP voters held their nose when they voted for Specter over Hoeffel. Voters shouldn't be placed in that position in 2010.
The Republican Party has an obligation to defeat Specter in the 2010 primary. He's a phony who gives Republicans a bad name.
Tony Phyrillas is a leading conservative political columnist and blogger based in Pennsylvania. He is a veteran journalist with 25 years experience as a reporter, editor and columnist for several newspapers. Phyrillas received recognition for column writing in 2010 from the Associated Press Managing Editors, in 2007 from Suburban Newspapers of America and in 2006 from the Society of Professional Journalists, Keystone Chapter. A graduate of Penn State University, Phyrillas is the city editor and political columnist for The Mercury, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning daily newspaper in Pottstown, Pa. In addition to The Mercury website (www.pottsmerc.com), his columns are featured on more than a dozen political websites and blogs. Phyrillas is a frequent guest (and occasional host) on talk radio and has been a panelist on the "Journalists Roundtable" public affairs TV program on the Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN). Phyrillas was named one of the '10 Leading Greek-American Bloggers in the World' in 2007 by Odyssey: The World of Greece magazine. BlogNetNews.com ranked Phyrillas the Most Influential Political Blogger in Pennsylvania for three consecutive years (2007-2010). You can follow Phyrillas on Twitter @TonyPhyrillas