Pro-choice Republicans: We'll leave, too!

Sen. Arlen Specter's defection spurs the Republican Majority for Choice.

Published April 28, 2009 11:30PM (EDT)

Shortly after Sen. Arlen Specter's announcement that he was switching from the GOP to the Democratic Party, a colleague e-mailed around a press release from the Republican Majority for Choice. She asked, "Am I crazy, or are they threatening to defect along with Specter?" The consensus here was that the group's statement does read as an ultimatum to scrap the conservative social agenda, or else. For me, it brought on a daydream about the GOP resorting to using reproductive choice as a party-saving bargaining chip. But, as always, you can judge for yourselves:

Specter is joining the more than 240,000 former Pennsylvania Republican voters who are a microcosm of voters nationally who switched last year to the Democratic Party. The vast majority of these voters were pro-choice, fiscal conservatives who believed that the Party had become too monolithic and extreme in their agenda.

If anyone in the GOP is celebrating this day, they are completely misguided. If the Party continues to be so inhospitable to anyone who does not adhere completely to their strict dogma, then they better get used to being in the minority. Without mainstream candidates the GOP will have no ability to compete in huge pockets of the country.

This is a sad day for the GOP and we cannot waste one more minute debating 'what's next'. It's clear that we will either create an agenda that attracts voters or we will sink even further into the political abyss. The GOP can -- and we believe will -- regain its political power once it begins to listen to the Real Republican majority that is concerned about smaller government, fiscal responsibility, our national defense and not the social agenda that has hindered our strength as a Party.

By Tracy Clark-Flory

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