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Specter Ushers In a Brave New World

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

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.

Greater unionization combined with inflated monetary supply. General Motors Corp. has become a government-owned entity -- and, illustrating the power of the perverse alliance between Democratic governance and union honchos, 55 percent of Chrysler is now owned by the United Auto Workers. Without either raising tariffs on imported vehicles or dramatically subsidizing GM at the expense of American taxpayers, GM will be out of business by the end of the first Obama term. The more likely measure is yet another bailout for GM. Meanwhile, higher prices for goods, created by either subsidization or tariffs, will force the Federal Reserve to print more cash, devaluing everyone's savings.

Radical federal judges. This is perhaps the most obvious effect of the Specter move. Specter has always been a judicial liberal -- his glaringly stupid examination of Robert Bork demonstrated his total ignorance of Constitutional theory and text. With his move to the Democratic Party, Specter can now indulge his whimsical love for judges who enforce social libertinism from the bench. And Republicans will have no way to pressure him, as they did when he was beholden to them.

The return of abortion-first policies. Specter is on the left side of the aisle on abortion. Now he'll get to speak his mind on the issue. Obama promised to make the so-called Freedom of Choice Act one of his first priorities as president. With Republicans able to filibuster, Obama had no choice but to shelve the measure. Now it will return, horrors intact. The Freedom of Choice Act effectively invalidates all state laws restricting abortion in any way.

The criminalization of religious perspectives. The first step may be H.R. 1913, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009, which seeks to convert certain crimes punishable by law into “hate crimes.” Such “hate crimes” constitute crimes that target people based on perception of sexual orientation or gender identity -- in other words, any crime that has as its victim a non-openly straight male. An overzealous police department could easily get the idea that pastors preaching Leviticus 18:22 violate federal law. Watch also for a move to tie federal funding for medical facilities to doctor certifications stipulating that the doctors will perform abortions and other controversial medical procedures.

This is only the beginning. Certain conservatives celebrated Obama's election, thinking that his incompetence would spell conservative resurgence in 2012. The only problem is that Obama, with his new filibuster-proof Congress, will do incredible harm to the traditional social values and liberty-based economic values that make this nation great. And there's no one left to stop him.

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