"This is the only way I can win. I can't win any other way."

Sen. Arlen Specter (Pa.) told former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum (R) that is why he is switching parties, according to Santorum, as told to Fox News's Greta Van Susteren last night.

So, unless Democrats want to go so far as calling Santorum a liar, this is pretty much an open-and-shut case. And Specter's problems may just be beginning. No matter how much praise Obama and others on the left heap on Specter for this grand move toward political self-preservation, the truth is clear.

Republican Pat Toomey was way ahead of Specter in the polls. Republican primary voters in Pennsylvania clearly have serious doubts about Sen. Specter. Now Pennsylvania Democratic primary voters will be the ones forced to make that judgment.

Will they judge on ideology? Some will, perhaps. But many more will be facing a decision that the Republican primary voters did not. Can Arlen Specter be trusted on his character and values? With this indisputable revelation that his party switch was nothing more than a desperate attempt to save his own political hide, many Democrats in Pennsylvania will likely have cause for concern. Specter may not even make it out of a Democratic primary. And if/when he faces a Democrat primary opponent, what will Obama do? Will he raise money for and endorse Specter — even if he is behind in the polls?

In the short term, losing anyone with an R after his name is hard for the Republican Party. But over time, this will make the party better defined as the party of smaller, more responsible government and fiscal restraint. Democrats can call that "far-right" all they want, but in reality, it is a combination of conservatism and libertarianism that unites independents, as well.

Specter may very well rue the day when he aligned himself with the Democratic Party at a time when it reached further left than it has in generations, to the point of Obama being congratulated by foreign socialist leaders for joining them in embracing socialism, as Venezuela's Hugo Chavez recently has.

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