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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 30, 2009 / 6 Iyar 5769

Specter's party switch is about anything but principle

By Michael Barone


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Only his most sycophantic admirers might compare Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter with Winston Churchill, but the two do have something in common. Both had long and turbulent political careers, and both switched parties twice.


Churchill crossed aisles from the Conservatives to the Liberals in 1904 and from the Liberals to the Conservatives in 1924. Specter switched to the Republican Party in 1966 after he was elected district attorney of Philadelphia County, and on Tuesday he returned to the Democratic Party in hopes of winning reelection to his sixth term in the Senate next year.


Specter's crossover tells us interesting things about Specter and about the state of the Republican Party. In his statement announcing the change, he was unusually candid for a politician. He didn't break with the Republicans on issues but instead focused on his electoral prospects.


Since 2004, when he edged Rep. Pat Toomey in the Republican primary by 51 percent to 49 percent and then won the general election 53 percent to 42 percent, he has obviously been weaker among registered Republicans than among Pennsylvania voters generally. His recent vote for the Democrats' stimulus package prompted Toomey to announce he was running again, and the latest public polls showed Toomey leading Specter 51 percent to 30 percent and 41 percent to 27 percent.


But the polls also showed Specter winning the general election as a Republican or as a Democrat. This stirred Specter's legendary defiance: "I am unwilling to have my 29-year Senate record judged by the Pennsylvania primary electorate."


That primary electorate has grown smaller of late. Some 200,000 Pennsylvania voters switched their party registration from Republican to Democrat between 2004 and 2008. John McCain, despite campaigning heavily in Pennsylvania, won 137,000 fewer votes than George W. Bush did in 2004. Barack Obama won 338,000 more than John Kerry. In the 2004 Pennsylvania exit poll, Republicans trailed Democrats by just 41 percent to 39 percent; in 2008, the margin was 44 percent to 37 percent.


Specter's argument — that if a majority of Pennsylvania voters wanted him re-elected, he should be — is obviously self-serving. But it's not self-evidently wrong.


On conservative Websites, the reaction seems to be "good riddance." I think this is wrongheaded, for reasons specific to Specter and more generally. Specter has not been a reliable Republican partisan, but when he has been he has been mightily effective — on the nominations of Justice Thomas, Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito, on the Iraq war and the surge, on the unions' card check bill that would effectively abolish the secret ballot in unionization elections (which he noted that he will continue to oppose).


Specter's switch now gives the Democrats a 59th vote in the Senate, and if and when Al Franken is seated they will have a 60th. Those will not be automatic votes for cloture on every issue. But Specter's switch clearly strengthens the Democrats' hand.


The Club for Growth, which Toomey used to head and which supported him in 2004 and again this year, has made a practice of targeting moderate Republicans in primaries even at the risk of losing the seat in the general election. This arguably made good sense when Republicans had majorities in Congress and needed reliable votes to pass major legislation. It makes much less sense now that Republicans have beleaguered minorities in Congress and are trying to stop things. It makes even less sense when a conservative primary challenger such as Toomey faces such long odds in November.


Specter decided to defect after Sen. James DeMint of South Carolina told him on Monday that he planned to support Toomey. "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," DeMint said.


DeMint may get his wish. When Churchill left the Liberals, they had led governments for 16 of the preceding 18 years. They never did so again. A party in decline should adapt its basic philosophy to new policies and positions in order to win over voters, rather than stand on principle and expel heretics.


Arlen Specter will never rise to Churchillian heights and will probably be, as Churchill was after 1924, as uncomfortable in his new party as in the old. But he also seems likely to have, as Churchill did, the last laugh.

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JWR contributor Michael Barone is senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner.




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