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Everything Immoderation

The Republicans have sadly lost another moderate, Olympia Snowe of Maine.

The loss is particularly stinging for the GOP, as Republicans are trying hard to take over the Senate in the upcoming election. Snowe is very popular and was considered pretty much a shoo-in for a fourth term. But what must really hurt is why she is quitting — she doesn’t like the increasing polarization in Washington:

Unfortunately, I do not realistically expect the partisanship of recent years in the Senate to change over the short term.

With the most moderate Democrat in the Senate (Ben Nelson of Nebraska) also retiring, one has to wonder if there is any place for moderates in national politics. I find it sad.



  1. Oregonbird wrote:

    She strung Obama along for months on health care, forcing concession after concession for her vote — and at the last moment, the bitch took her vote and headed for the Republican hills.

    Of course, Im more pissed that Reid and Obama left every concession theyd made in the bill… but that was already the way they were playing, so I wasnt surprised.

    Nobody was surprised. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

    Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 10:08 am | Permalink
  2. ThatGuy wrote:

    Hopefully the GOP loses the seat.

    With regard to there being no room for moderates in congress, I have to say I don’t necessarily agree. Certainly moderates are being run out of the Republican party, but to even get elected as a democrat one has to be pretty moderate, or live in a really liberal district/state if they’re going to lean to the left in a serious way.

    Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 11:34 am | Permalink
  3. Don wrote:

    The people of the great State of Maine, Paul LePage, in office just a year, was the fellow that told the NAACP to kiss his ass just two weeks after being sworn into office. He’s a pretty right wing fellow and if his election is any indication as to the temper of Mainers, then I’d expect to see a fly-weight right winged Publican get the Senate seat (much as I’d like to see it turn out differently).

    Oregonbird, you’re right about health care, but wrong, overall, about Olympia Snow.

    Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Permalink
  4. IL-08 wrote:

    I must agree with Oregonbird, poor Ms Snow bitterly complains about the polarization of Washington, yet I cannot come up with a single example in the last 4 years where she did anything but vote in line with her 39 or 40 republican counterparts in the senate. Correct me if I’m wrong, I’m no wonk, but to me she just talked a good game and fell in line with the hardest line ‘vote against anything Obama’. Seee ya!

    Thursday, March 1, 2012 at 8:32 am | Permalink
  5. Iron Knee wrote:

    IL-08, you are wrong. In fact, Snowe voted with progressives quite a bit. She was one of the deciding votes on passing the stimulus plan, for Dodd-Frank financial reform, and repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”. She was one of the few Republicans who refused to vote to impeach Bill Clinton. And she had a long record of pro-choice votes, including today voting against the Blunt amendment that would have overruled Obama’s contraception coverage rule. She was the only Republican in the Senate to vote against it.

    Look, I’m not saying that I agree with all of her votes, but she certainly voted her beliefs and not in lock-step with other Republicans. I have more respect for her than I did for many of the “Blue Dog” Democrats, who were “moderates” mainly because they voted in step with corporate interests.

    Her behavior on health insurance reform did piss me off. A lot. But there are Democrats (including Obama) who have also pissed me off on a few things.

    Thursday, March 1, 2012 at 11:49 am | Permalink
  6. Iron Knee wrote:

    I posted that comment before I found this good article in the Daily Beast that theorizes that it was pressure to vote for the upcoming Blunt amendment that finally got to Snowe and caused her to announce her retirement.

    The Blunt amendment would have severely crippled health care reform, so maybe she was feeling bad that she bowed to political pressure and voted against the original bill.

    You also need to take into account that strategic voting is very common. A politician may vote against a bill for political reasons once they are sure it has enough other votes to pass. I suspect that’s what happened with Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, who probably would have voted against the Blunt amendment if their votes had been needed.

    Thursday, March 1, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Permalink
  7. IL-08 wrote:

    I stand corrected, and Ms Snow voted against the Blunt amendment today, the only republican to do so.

    Thursday, March 1, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Permalink