I think it’s time we brought back Bud Collyer, host of the 1950’s TV game show “To Tell The Truth,” to ask one simple question: “Will the real Republican please stand up?”

Despite the fact that liberal Arlen Specter eked out a 51-49 percent victory in the Pennsylvania senatorial primary against conservative challenger Pat Toomey, the real Republican in the race lost by a narrow margin.

You see, Toomey, the 42-year-old congressman from Allentown, did something rather novel: He actually embraced and championed the Republican Party platform.

On the topic of abortion, the official Republican Party position says, “the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed.”

That’s why Pat Toomey, during his tenure as a congressman, voted:

  • to ban the transportation of a minor girl across state lines to get an abortion.

  • to allow prosecutors to bring charges on behalf of an unborn child when she is a victim of a violent crime.

  • to continue the ban on abortions at U.S. military medical facilities.

By contrast, Arlen Specter voted:

  • to affirm the Harkin amendment which stated that Roe v. Wade was an appropriate decision and secures an important constitutional right.

  • for the Feinstein hostile proposal that would have written into federal law that there is only one victim in crimes against a pregnant woman – just the mother, not the baby.

  • to lift the ban on abortions at U.S. military medical facilities.

Thus, it came as no surprise when Specter campaigned to deep-six the pro-life plank when he ran for the presidency back in 1996.

If “To Tell the Truth’s” regular panelists Kitty Carlisle, Peggy Cass and Bill Cullen were here, I imagine they would rightly grill Sen. Specter about his 1987 Judas-style kiss of betrayal of Ronald Reagan. Specter led the opposition against The Gipper’s nomination of Judge Robert Bork to the Supreme Court, a man who might have overturned Roe v. Wade by now.

Unlike Joe Six-Pack, real Republicans have an impeccable memory. We’ve got too much elephant blood flowing through our veins.

Toomey rightly asked CBN viewers: “What do we stand for as a party? Do we stand for a set of ideas and principles and values, and will we govern based on those ideas, or are we just about being in power?”

But it’s not just Arlen Specter’s rejection of the pro-life plank in the Republican Party platform that disturbs real Republicans.

It’s also his opposition to school choice, his vote to reduce the Bush tax cuts, his discomfort with a constitutional ban on homosexual marriage, and his support of human cloning.

Which makes President Bush’s support for Specter all the more bizarre. Sure, the Karl Rove’s apparent policy is to support all incumbent Republican members of Congress. But at what price?

After all, Specter is set to inherit the powerful chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee from Orrin Hatch, where he is sure to do more damage than good for real Republican ideals.

Just look at the math. He’s already 74. If he wins the general election in November, he’ll be a ripe old 80 by the year 2010 when his next term expires. Unless he follows in the footsteps of Strom Thurmond, Specter will not seek re-election, meaning one thing and one thing only: He’ll be a liberal lame duck Republican who’ll be accountable to no one. Now that’s a bad combo!

Despite that prospect, Bush made 27 visits to the Keystone State. I can see why W. is nervous. He lost Pennsylvania by 5 percentage points in 2000 and wants to bank on its 21 electoral votes this year. But, it should be clear even to a kindergartener that he’s abandoning his stated conservative ideals in the process.

Meanwhile, in a more obscure race in Alabama for State Board of Education, the state Republican Party decided to disqualify Christian radio talk-show host Kelly McGinley from the ballot, indicating she was too disloyal.

McGinley had written on her website that “maybe, if we practice tough love, the Republican Party will repent and come back to its platform.”

Thankfully, Montgomery County Circuit Judge William Shashy said in a recent ruling that while McGinley had made “strong criticisms” of the GOP, the party had not set any rules that would disqualify a candidate for such criticisms.

It’s time that the Grand Old Party’s elite stood up and told the truth: Candidates like Pat Toomey and Kelly McGinley are the real Republicans!

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