“I am staying a Republican because I think I have an important role, a more important role, to play there. The United States very desperately needs a two-party system. That’s the basis of politics in America. I’m afraid we are becoming a one-party system, with Republicans becoming just a regional party with so little representation of the northeast or in the middle atlantic. I think as a governmental matter, it is very important to have a check and balance. That’s a very important principle in the operation of our government. In the constitution on Separation of powers.”
Update: Related thoughts from Rick Moran on the “Specter Switcheroo and a 23 Skiddoo.”
Update: An ever-stalwart conservative icon remains loyal to Specter, despite his move (further) to the left: Andrew Sullivan dubs the Democrat “my kind of Republican in many ways.”
Flashback: Ramesh Ponnuru flashes back to Specter feigning a surprising amount of anger when Jumpin’ Jim Jeffords jumped ship in 2001. But as Ed Morrissey writes, “Specter made it clear with his vote on Porkulus that he didn’t intend to stand for much of anything — except Arlen Specter. ” Not to mention his classic “Scottish Haggis” moment during the impeachment hearings in 1999.