Wednesday, February 29, 2012

In rebuke of partisanship Sen. Olympia Snowe will not seek re-election

Sen. Olympia J. Snowe, the iconic Republican moderate from Maine, announced her retirement from the Senate on Tuesday, saying she would not seek a fourth term because political partisanship has made the Senate unproductive.

“Unfortunately, I do not realistically expect the partisanship of recent years in the Senate to change over the short term,” Snowe said. “So at this stage of my tenure in public service, I have concluded that I am not prepared to commit myself to an additional six years in the Senate.”

Snowe has made a reputation, over 33 years in Congress, as someone eager to build political bridges between moderates from both parties. But in recent years, she has become an increasingly isolated voice in a Congress hobbled by partisan gridlock.
Read the rest here.

This will certainly complicate efforts by the GOP to retake the majority in the Senate.  There are not many Republicans left in New England thanks in part to the Tea Party types and she was one of perhaps two who held safe Senate seats.


Phil said...

John - forgive me for being disputatious during Lent, but it is possible that there are few national Republican officeholders left in New England because of New Englanders themselves? That is, people who continue to be described as "flinty" and "independent" but, in fact, have long since turned their backs on those virtues of their forebears, now being content to vote for politicians who enthusiastically spend us into oblivion and dictate how we can live nearly every aspect of our lives?

I take it you have libertarian leanings if you support Dr. Paul. Who, then, is your best ally in the real world: Tom Coburn or Olympia Snowe? Jeff Sessions or John Kerry? Ron Johnson (WI) or Patrick Leahy?

Republican senators were mostly gone from New England long before the Tea Party existed.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

You missed my point. Could Tom Coburn or Jeff Sessions get elected anywhere in New England? I think not. Olympia Snowe is not my ideal Senator. But she was pragmatic and understood something lost on most of the GOP today. You need to be able to cut a deal with the other side in order to get anything done in a chamber where 60 votes is required to authorize a bathroom break. Was she a bit to the left of me on some important issues? Yes. But she had an (R) at the end of her name and it is exceedingly unlikely that her successor will.

The late Bill Buckley once observed that you don't run the most conservative candidate in an election. You run the most conservative candidate who can win. Or to put it another way, would you rather have someone in the Senate who will reliably vote with you about 60% of the time or one who will vote with you less than 10% of the time?

We had the former and are now likely to get the latter.

Phil said...


I get your point and agree with you. Where I'm coming from, though, is that the state of affairs which says a Tom Coburn couldn't win in New England isn't the fault of the Tea Party or anybody else we might label as being on the right. It's the fault of the voters who have changed in such a way as to practically no longer countenance any kind of common-sense approach to politics.

Many New Englanders are as far left, if not farther, than the Tea Party is right, and shouldn't be left off the hook of criticism simply for the lack of organizing and attaching a name to themselves.