On Tuesday, Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania thrust America forward into a brave new world. Citing his growing rift with the Republican Party base, Specter switched parties, granting Democrats a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate to go along with their overwhelming majority in the House for the first time since the Carter administration. By cravenly choosing political survival over political backbone, Specter has given radical leftists their greatest opportunity in a generation to destroy every principle America has historically embraced.
Specter says that he'll still stand against cloture on particular issues. But Specter is a creature of practicality, and he recognizes that his bread is now buttered on the Democratic side. That means if he is threatened with the loss of his new chairmanships or committee roles, he will bend like a bad penny.
Recognizing that Democrats now run the show entirely, here's what we can expect in the coming months:
Nationalized health care. Despite his incompetence in handling the current swine flu situation, President Barack Obama will use the fear generated by the pandemic to suggest the health of all Americans is inextricably intertwined -- and that therefore, every American must have government-sponsored health care. Don't be surprised if Obama and his allies in Congress push even further, promoting government-sponsored health care for every resident of the United States, including illegal aliens. A tremendous shortage of doctors will be the predictable result.
Unprecedented tax increases. Using the Republican rhetoric of balanced budgets against them, Democrats will call for dramatic tax increases, ostensibly to balance the budget. And without the filibuster, Republicans will have no way of stopping them. Forty-eight percent of Americans are already free of income taxes -- and those forty-eight percent have no stake in the survival of the 52 percent who do pay taxes. More and more wealthy Americans will shut down their businesses or leave the country for fiscally safer havens abroad.