Arlen Specter Switching Parties – ‘Loyal Democrat’

Arlen Specter is switching party labels to go along with having long switched sides ideologically.  There have been rumors on Twitter all morning and WaPo’s Chris Cillizza has confirmed.

Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter will switch his party affiliation from Republican to Democrat and announced today that he will run in 2010 as a Democrat, according to a statement he released this morning.

Specter’s decision would give Democrats a 60 seat filibuster proof majority in the Senate assuming Democrat Al Franken is eventually sworn in as the next Senator from Minnesota. (Former Sen. Norm Coleman is appealing Franken’s victory in the state Supreme Court.)

“I have decided to run for re-election in 2010 in the Democratic primary,” said Specter in a statement. “I am ready, willing and anxious to take on all comers and have my candidacy for re-election determined in a general election.”

He added: “Since my election in 1980, as part of the Reagan Big Tent, the Republican Party has moved far to the right. Last year, more than 200,000 Republicans in Pennsylvania changed their registration to become Democrats. I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans.”

That happened quite some time ago.  Facing a tough primary, yet again, from Pat Toomey (who was crushing him in the polls), the time was likely right.

My only objection to the move is the timing.  Specter is either an idiot or a liar to claim that the Republican Party’s ideological movement is something sudden.  Certainly, he was well to the left of the national base in 2004.  Why didn’t he run as a Democrat, then?

I’ve been arguing for years that it is unethical for elected officials to change parties without resigning and running for re-election.  That’s doubly true when doing so would alter the balance of power in the Senate.  Most of the Pennsylvanians who voted for Specter in 2004 did so, in many cases reluctantly, on the good faith belief that he would vote with the Republican Party on leadership and at least nominally be part of the Republican coalition, even if departing from it on a number of key issue votes.

More coverage: Politico, TPM, Hotline

UPDATE: My wife’s firm, which did Specter’s polling in 1992, 1998, and 2004 has issued a statement that “because of his surprising decision to switch parties today, we will no longer be involved.”

President Barack Obama, on the other hand, is “thrilled.”

Marc Ambinder tweets: “Will Santorum get in the GOP primary now?”  A good question.

UPDATE: Matt Yglesias makes a fair point about Specter’s RINOness.

DW-NOMINATE scores shows that in the 110th Senate Specter was exactly what he claimed to be—a Republican who was less conservative than many other Republicans. Maine’s Olympia Snowe was to the right of all the Democrats, but to the left of all the other Republicans. Then Susan Collins was one click to her right. Then there was Gordon Smith and Norm Coleman and then Specter. In the 109 you didn’t have Smith and Coleman trying as desperately to position themselves as moderate for re-election purposes, so it went Chafee, Snowe, Collins, Specter. In the 108 it was Chafee, Snowe, Collins, Specter.

Thus, even if Specter were to reposition himself as the most conservative member of the Democratic Party he’d still have to become more left-wing than he’s been. What’s more, in the past there’s been a tendency for party switchers to suffer from ideological drift. Jim Jeffords went from being more conservative than most Democrats to being solidly liberal, and Ben Nighthorse Campbell went from being more liberal than most Republicans to being virulently right-wing.

I’d note that these things are contradictory.  Party outliers still vote with their leadership on issues where they don’t have strong personal conviction or constituent interest; once they switch parties, that same flexibility works in the interests of the other party.

But, no, Specter isn’t a “liberal” by Democratic Party standards; just by Republican Party standards.  The same was true the other way for Joe Lieberman.

So, why the animosity?  Because party outliers are always used by the other side and the media to embarrass the party. A John McCain’s or Joe Lieberman’s or Arlen Specter’s disagreements with their own party are more interesting.   Quite often, too, they seem to like the media courting that comes with this position and thus they come across as preening schmoes, further irritating their ostensible “team.”

UPDATE: George Stephanopoulos reports Specter told Obama,  “I’m a loyal Democrat. I support your agenda.”  Now, he might be a Democrat.   But loyal?

And, again, while conceding that the social conservatives have greatly increased their influence over the GOP since 1980, when Specter was first elected to the Senate, if he now supports Barack Obama’s decidedly un-Reaganesque agenda, the party isn’t the only party in this deal that’s moved.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Rick Almeida says:

    It would be rather fun if, due to vagaries in PA election laws, Sen. Specter were able to lose in both parties’ primaries simultaneously.

  2. DavidL says:

    Bye-bye Senator Scottish Law. How trying to placate Spector becomes Dirty Harry Reid’s problem.

    My question is what kind of primary opposition will Senator Scottish Law face?

  3. Drew says:

    I’m thinkin’ its liar.

  4. Mithras says:

    Probably no serious Democratic primary opponent will run against Specter. I think this has been engineered by Rendell and the state party a long time ago. It’s a good way to explain why Rendell himself is not running for the seat. The big mystery to me is why then Specter voted against card check.

  5. fester says:

    DavidL — on the Dem side, minimal if any is my guess. This has Gov. Rendell’s fingerprints all over and he has enough muscle to clear the field. I think Specter will win by 15 points or so in the general election with reasonable union support and pro-choice organizations doing some of the leg-work but most of the liberal activist groups sitting this one out.

    The DSCC will have a quiet chat with a few of the potential big name Dem Reps who were thinking about getting in and note that the DSCC really, really, don’t want to spend money on a safe seat defense, and anyways there is a shiny governor’s seat up and the DGA is down the street and take a left at the good coffee shop…

    The more interesting race is now the PA Governors race for the Dems.

  6. PD Shaw says:

    Wasn’t Specter key in getting pandemic flu funding cut from the stimulus package?

  7. just me says:

    I think this pretty much shows what a liar Specter is-it isn’t that the decision shocks me, but there were republicans that voted for him 2004 thinking he would keep his promises. I wonder just how much Santorim regrets his support at the time.

    I am not a fan of party switching between elections. I think party switching should occur with the member resigning and running for special election or having the seat filled according to state law (which in this case may very well be an appointment that would change nothing).

    I just think it is skeevy to take one party’s money and support to run, and then change parties.

    Losing Specter doesn’t surprise me though-he just didn’t have the balls to do it when the democrats were out of power.

  8. Steve Plunk says:

    Typical of a man like Specter. The party hasn’t changed the way he claims but he has changed. In order to stay in power he is now working the system and allying himself with former opponents. It’s all about him and keeping his power.

    If he truly was independent then why switch to the other party? We know why, they offered him something.

  9. PD Shaw says:

    Certainly, he was well to the left of the national base in 2004. Why didn’t he run as a Democrat, then?

    Because he had Bush’s support to get him re-elected. He is a Bush Republican.

  10. James Joyner says:

    Because he had Bush’s support to get him re-elected. He is a Bush Republican.

    I’m not sure I follow your logic. Bush supported keeping Republicans in power and thus Specter. Are you saying they’re ideologically similar?

  11. just me says:

    If he truly was independent then why switch to the other party? We know why, they offered him something.

    I am sure it is all about Toomey polling ahead in the PA primary. What was probably offered is a democratic primary free of a challenger and then with the support of the state’s left wing a much easier ride back into the senate by defeating Toomey in the general.

    It is all about the power.

  12. A man of principal. And yes, that’s not a typo.

  13. DavidL says:

    I read that Spector is still opposed to Card Check. Will the unions bleed to support a canidate who doesn’t support their pet bill?

  14. Davebo says:

    “Will Santorum get in the GOP primary now?“

    I’m praying he’ll not only get in, but win it.

  15. sam says:

    Me too, Davebo. Senator Man-on-Dog will make a formidable candidate in the general….By the way, how many of the bunched panties brigade upthread were similary outraged when Ben Nighthorse Campbell jumped parties from Dem to Repub? Oh, and he won reelection as a Republican…

  16. Specter is either an idiot or a liar to claim that the Republican Party’s ideological movement is something sudden.

    Not fair at all. There is literally a ton of data showing that as the GOP moved into the minority, it has become more “conservative.” Basically, Dems gains eliminated most of the moderate/liberal Republicans. What remains of the GOP is more to the right than it ever was. Even if it wasn’t for the threat of a primary opponent, I can imagine that someone like Spectre would be feeling increasingly uncomfortable in the party. Who know what precisely broke the camel’s back, but I don’t think your interpretation is at all fair.

    This will make it very, very interesting for Collins and Snowe.

  17. Dan McIntosh says:

    Another perspective, from Pennsylvania:

    A lot of elections around here are about the individual, not the party. While I have had problems with Specter, he’s been clear for quite some time that a vote for him is not a vote for someone who will follow the line of any party, and for a lot of people that’s one of the good things about him. Even when the Republicans were in the majority they knew they couldn’t count on him.

    Of course, there’s an element of going where the power is. But could there also be something like what we saw from Reagan and Churchill? After all, this move is not without cost.

  18. Michael says:

    I’ve been arguing for years that it is unethical for elected officials to change parties without resigning and running for re-election.

    Why, this could ruin the whole concept of voting for political factions rather than individuals. Our founding fathers would be outraged!

  19. Dave Schuler says:

    I’ve been arguing for years that it is unethical for elected officials to change parties without resigning and running for re-election.

    IMO politicians, generally, and senators in particular have so completely conflated the public good and their own best interests that they can no longer make the distinction. Re-election is the greatest good.

  20. just me says:

    Sam-I am not now and never have been in favor of somebody switching parties and keeping their seats and just caucusing with the other party.

    I have long been a supporter of the Phil Gram method. I can completely understand the feeling that the party you are a member of is no longer the party that holds and advocates your values. What I can’t support is taking your party’s money, taking money from your party’s supporters, lying to your party to get elected then switching sides.

    I like the integrity that comes with resigning the actual seat and running again under the banner of your new party.

    So, my opinion is that party switches done right should be done by the Gram model, all others, even if based on real belief lack integrity.

  21. James Joyner says:

    There is literally a ton of data showing that as the GOP moved into the minority, it has become more “conservative.” Basically, Dems gains eliminated most of the moderate/liberal Republicans.

    That tends to happen with rump parties. But, seriously, it’s not like the social conservatives weren’t dominating the party by, say, 1994. Specter last ran as a Republican in 2004. Any changes since then have been marginal.

  22. James Joyner says:

    Why, this could ruin the whole concept of voting for political factions rather than individuals. Our founding fathers would be outraged!

    Pretending that it’s 1789 is rather silly. Senators are now elected directly by the people of the several states, almost always in elections run on party lines.

  23. PD Shaw says:

    re Specter as Bush Republican:

    I’m not sure I follow your logic. Bush supported keeping Republicans in power and thus Specter. Are you saying they’re ideologically similar?

    No. What I’m suggesting is that if Bush were running for re-election in 2010 with comparable job approval ratings to 2004 (~45%), that Specter would be running as a Republican again too.

  24. Michael says:

    Pretending that it’s 1789 is rather silly.

    Pretending that party politics is worthy of protection is equally silly. If this stops people from voting for those they don’t agree with simply due to party affiliation, I can’t bring myself to be upset about it.

    If you think switching parties is unethical, do you consider switching position on issues equally unethical? Is consistency in party affiliation more important than consistency in voting on issues?

  25. G.A.Phillips says:

    Good riddance.

  26. PD Shaw says:

    It seems to me that there is a significant difference between switching parties as Specter has done here, and disaffiliating with a party as Lieberman and Jeffords did.

    It’s the difference between using organizational support given to you to aid the opposing organization and simply stating that party organization no longer adequately reflects my beliefs, but I will be glad to work with the party on those values we continue to share.

  27. James Joyner says:

    No. What I’m suggesting is that if Bush were running for re-election in 2010 with comparable job approval ratings to 2004 (~45%), that Specter would be running as a Republican again too.

    Ah. Yes, I think that’s right.

    If this stops people from voting for those they don’t agree with simply due to party affiliation, I can’t bring myself to be upset about it.

    Generally speaking, most of us are faced with candidates with whom we disagree on many issues. Party affiliation is often a deciding factor because it leads to cohesive voting on core issues, including the organization of Congress itself.

    If you think switching parties is unethical, do you consider switching position on issues equally unethical? Is consistency in party affiliation more important than consistency in voting on issues?

    Running on the promise to vote on way and then voting another way is unethical absent some extraordinary change in circumstances.

  28. James Joyner says:

    It seems to me that there is a significant difference between switching parties as Specter has done here, and disaffiliating with a party as Lieberman and Jeffords did.

    Lieberman is in a third camp: He lost his party primary and was elected as an independent while promising to caucus with his former party. He he then switched to the GOP, breaking that promise, he’d been in the Jeffords-Specter camp.

    One can’t argue that Jeffords, who dropped his Republican affiliation mere weeks after getting reelected and then caucusing with the Dems, was anything but a traitor.

  29. Bithead says:

    Wait… your title, James, suggests he’s switching parties… and then you tell us he’s still a loyal Democrat? Hasn’t he been that for at least a deacde?

  30. Michael says:

    Running on the promise to vote on way and then voting another way is unethical absent some extraordinary change in circumstances.

    So you want elected officials to represent issues, not people? I’m not saying that is what Specter is doing, but that it sounds like what you’re advocating.

    I voted for a Republican in my House district, not because I agreed with her politics, I generally agreed with her Dem opponent on the issues, but because I didn’t feel that her opponent was as qualified to make important decisions on my behalf. I have no sympathy for people who voted for a Republican caucus vote.

  31. Oldcrow says:

    He jumped to save his job pure and simple, he proves that beltway politicians have no morals it is all about the power what a POS oh and Senator 200,000 Republican voters crossed over because of operation chaos you imbecile, I hope he loses the Dem primary and hits the road, we need operation chaos part two to ensure anyone but Arlen gets the nomination. And with the excesses of the Obama and the Dems in Congress 2010 will be ugly for him.

  32. Brett says:

    Color me not shocked. He was basically stuck between getting killed in a Republican Primary dominated by the Pennsylbama crowd (considering how many Pennsylvanians jumped off the Republican ship in 2008) at the hands of Pat Toomey, who would then go on to get crucified in the general election – or simply jumping ship himself, and hopefully keeping his seat.

    Not surprisingly, he chose the latter – as much as we like virtue in our politicians, we know they generally want to keep their offices.

  33. Michael says:

    Not surprisingly, he chose the latter – as much as we like virtue in our politicians, we know they generally want to keep their offices.

    And why should they not want to keep their offices? I would hope that they sincerely believe that they are the best suited to hold that office and represent their constituents, so why wouldn’t they want to stay?

    Specter decided that the Republican party wasn’t going to re-nominate him. He most likely believed that the minority party shouldn’t get to oust a Senator who remains in favor with the majority of constituents.

  34. just me says:

    And why should they not want to keep their offices? I would hope that they sincerely believe that they are the best suited to hold that office and represent their constituents, so why wouldn’t they want to stay?

    Personally I think one of the problems with our system is that so many politicians make a career out of being a politician and forget what it is like to work for a living, if they ever actually even worked for a living.

    Specter has been in the senate almost as long as i have been alive. I don’t think Ted Kennedy has ever had a job. I would much rather see people serving a few terms and going off to other pastures and letting others step in to do the job.

  35. An Interested Party says:

    I don’t think Ted Kennedy has ever had a job.

    Serving as the elected representative of millions of people isn’t a job?

  36. just me says:

    Serving as the elected representative of millions of people isn’t a job?

    Not a real job. And the one in congress has a hell of a lot more perks than the one I have.

  37. Tlaloc says:

    Not a real job. And the one in congress has a hell of a lot more perks than the one I have.

    True, but then you don’t have to convince a few million people every 2 or 6 years that you should keep your job (being directly opposed in this by at least one other candidate), or face being stripped of position.

    As for Spector-
    I don’t think that there’s any question but that he’s doing this for reasons of personal calculus. That said I can’t say I find his actions terribly unethical. Inconsistent certainly. I might even go so far as “weasely.” But I don’t see anything unethical. Ultimately I’ll be content to leave it to the people of PA to decide if they want Spector the dem back in the Senate. I’m guessing Toomey doesn’t have a prayer (the CfG is great at winning primaries… primaries).

    It would rule if Santorum got involved on the GOP side. Seeing that smug dip%$#@ get trounced again would be sweet. Plus the ads write themselves:
    Teabagging and Santorum, they go together!

  38. Bithead says:

    In the end, my freinds, what we have here is the second in a line of what will be many ‘victims’ of what are now being called the Tea Party protests. The first, I think, was John McCain.

    In truth, the movement of the Republican party for the time that Specter has been in office, has been to the left… The exception… Reagan.. being their wildest success. The move laft since has damaged the party, and the country.

    The shut-out of Specter is merely one step on the path back to GOP principles… and an encouraging one.

    So, Specter, instead of fighting for the principles he claimed to believe in, jumps ship when he sees his political futrure coming to a sticky end, and now argues against those principles. What Specter forgets, however, is the large number of Democrats who are none too happy with where their party is headed, either. By a number of reports I’ve seen some 20-25% of the people in those tea party protests were Democrats. I suspect that there are many Dems who will see Specter as part of the problem.

    And lest anyone think that because the state is heavily Dem, I’ll point out that Toomey has repeatedly won in heavily Democrat Beaver County, and by a wider margin than Specter ever did.

  39. odograph says:

    It’s not too late for the rest of you to switch too!

    (LOL, I prefer being an independent, myself.)

  40. Michael says:

    The shut-out of Specter is merely one step on the path back to GOP principles… and an encouraging one.

    If you could shed another 10 or 20 Senator, that’d be awesome (in principle). Throw some House members onto the alter of strict Conservatism too while you’re at it.

    By a number of reports I’ve seen some 20-25% of the people in those tea party protests were Democrats.

    Do you have links to that polling data?

  41. Bithead says:

    Do you have links to that polling data?

    Not to hand. It’s at home.
    Still this should provide you what you’re looking for:

    While 83% of Republicans and a plurality (49%) of unaffiliated Americans have a favorable view of the tea party protests, only 28% of Democrats say the same.

    Seems fairly well online with what I’ve been seeing elsewhere.

  42. Michael says:

    Still this should provide you what you’re looking for

    Not exactly. 28% of Democrats holding a favorable view of the tea parties doesn’t equate to a similar percentage attending them.

    There’s very few topics, I think that would garner less than a 20% favorable rating among Democrats. Or Republicans for that matter. Actually becoming involved in supporting them is another matter.

    Weren’t you one of the people predicting a massive Dem defection pulling out a win for McCain? It turns out that hoping for something doesn’t make it true.

  43. Bithead says:

    Hardly a simple matter of hopng for it, as you should know. The prediction was based on the available polling data at the time. And yes, I tend to agree that supporting and attending are two different things; I never intended to argue otherwise. Yet, your disagreement with my conclusion would seem to have more bite were there a wider discrepancy between the two figures.

    And frankly, that you can get 20% of Democrats to agree on anything Republicans, particualrly conservative Republicans propose, seems to me nothing short of miraculous. Or, ala the 1980 election, the only answer possible.

    Let me warn you, Mike, that a rightward movement, particularly after two deacdes of movement left, does not mean isolation for the Republicans. Again, I point to Reagan as the wildest electoral success. And you recall how he was supposed to be the next Hitler, according to the leftie wails at the time.

  44. Michael says:

    Yet, your disagreement with my conclusion would seem to have more bite were there a wider discrepancy between the two figures.

    Not really, the similarity in figures doesn’t even imply correlation, let alone causation.

    And frankly, that you can get 20% of Democrats to agree on anything Republicans, particualrly conservative Republicans propose, seems to me nothing short of miraculous.

    Hardly. Neither party is as cohesive as you pretend.

    Let me warn you, Mike, that a rightward movement, particularly after two deacdes of movement left, does not mean isolation for the Republicans.

    The Republican party isn’t moving right, it’s just amputating it’s left side.

    Again, I point to Reagan as the wildest electoral success.

    Reagan won, not by moving the party, but by growing it. He didn’t pick up voters to the right of the party, he picked them up from the left.

  45. Bithead says:

    Reagan won, not by moving the party, but by growing it. He didn’t pick up voters to the right of the party, he picked them up from the left

    True, but finish the description… he swung them to the right. Instead of simply accepting leftists into the party and adopting their leanings to remain relevant, he explained in terms both gandiose and precise, why they should move right. Instead of arguing that Republicans should be, as they have been, focused on the idea that we need to change in order to be relevant, he argued instead that our principles are already relevant.

  46. Michael says:

    True, but finish the description… he swung them to the right. Instead of simply accepting leftists into the party and adopting their leanings to remain relevant, he explained in terms both gandiose and precise, why they should move right.

    I don’t think he changed anyone’s desires, he just explained how his implementation would satisfy those desires better than the implementations offered by Democrats. Gingrich did the same in 1994. And, for what it’s worth, that’s basically what Howard Dean did for the Democrats between 2004 and 2006.

    Right now there isn’t a consensus as to what the Republican party’s principles are, so nobody can make the case for them to the American people. By losing Specter, the Republican party is essentially conceding to anybody that voted for Specter (as opposed to a caucus vote) that the Republican party’s principles won’t satisfy their desires.

  47. Bithead says:

    Right now there isn’t a consensus as to what the Republican party’s principles are

    Well, let’s say there’s more of a consensus than the leadership is aware of. Let me save some time, here, by pointing you to my most recent Pajamas Media article.

  48. Michael says:

    Let me save some time, here, by pointing you to my most recent Pajamas Media article.

    Those are a fine set of Principles, but good luck getting people to agree on the implementations of them.

    Take things like wire tapping, Gitmo, global-warming, immigration and same-sex marriage. Republicans can’t agree on where the party should stand on these issues. You can’t even find consensus on cutting taxes, which has always been an area of easy agreement in the GOP.

  49. Bithead says:

    Take things like wire tapping, Gitmo, global-warming, immigration and same-sex marriage. Republicans can’t agree on where the party should stand on these issues. You can’t even find consensus on cutting taxes, which has always been an area of easy agreement in the GOP.

    I’m going to openly and good naturedly bait you a little here… Why is that, do you suppose?

  50. Michael says:

    Why is that, do you suppose?

    Because part of the party would accept higher taxes if they got a constitution amendment on marriage, another half would just as soon let gays marry in exchange for a reduction in capital gains. Part of the party wants less government intrusion in their lives, another part wants more government intrusion in the lives of everyone else.

    You’ve got multiple factions within your party, each willing to sell the other’s principles if it will benefit their own.

  51. An Interested Party says:

    Anyone who hopes for Democratic dominance and even more Republican irrelevance can only hope that the GOP brain trust will take Bithead’s advice and move further to the right…

  52. Bithead says:

    But you see, they already are, AIP.
    Did you notice Olympia Snowe’s peice? She seems to know what’s happening. She knows she’s on the list.

    Because part of the party would accept higher taxes if they got a constitution amendment on marriage, another half would just as soon let gays marry in exchange for a reduction in capital gains.

    Thank you. Exactly what I was after. And, exactly why a move toward principles… and more exactly, the application thereof, is required.

  53. An Interested Party says:

    That quote indicates that, perhaps, the two main parts of the GOP, the social conservatives and the fiscal conservatives, who have some conflicting interests, may finally be ready to cleave the party apart…what a shame…as for Snowe, Obama would be thrilled to welcome her into the Democratic fold…if conservatives in the GOP want ideological purity, I’m sure the Democratic party would be more than happy to help them with that…you sound like you support something like what Senator Demint said, “I would rather have 30 Republicans in the Senate who really believe in principles of limited government, free markets, free people, than to have 60 that don’t have a set of beliefs.” Go for it…Democrats will thank you…

  54. Michael says:

    Thank you. Exactly what I was after. And, exactly why a move toward principles… and more exactly, the application thereof, is required.

    That’s great, which principle are you planning on moving toward, lower taxes or the protection of marriage?

  55. anjin-san says:

    Not a real job. And the one in congress has a hell of a lot more perks than the one I have.

    I think you do Kennedy a disservice by suggesting he does what he does for “perks”. He could have easily spent his whole life sailing and kicking it in the south of France. He chose to work to try and make things a little better in the country.

    The fact that you have a different vision of what “better” is does not minimize the fact he devoted his life to public service simply because he thought it was worth doing.

  56. just me says:

    Well personally I would rather the man who left somebody to drown not spent his life in public service. I would have been content had he spent his life sailing, but even more content had he spent some time in jail-granted at that time drunk driving wasn’t as vigorously prosecuted especially when you were richer than dirt.

    But really, when it comes to Ted Kennedy I pretty much have zero respect for the man.

    And I still don’t think congress should be a person’s career.

  57. Bithead says:

    That’s great, which principle are you planning on moving toward, lower taxes or the protection of marriage?

    False choice. There’s no conflict between those two goals.

  58. Michael says:

    False choice. There’s no conflict between those two goals.

    There is within the Republican party.