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Sen. Olympia Snowe
In an announcement that sent Democrats scrambling to build campaigns and sent Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell scrambling for a bottle of Maalox, moderate Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe suddenly announced last week that she would not seek re-election as a senator from Maine. According to Public Policy Polling, progressive Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) currently leads polling in the race to replace Sen. Snowe. Given the uphill map Senate Democrats face in 2012 with regard to holding the massive gains they made in the wave year of 2006, Snowe's retirement could very well make the difference between Majority Leader McConnell and Majority Leader Reid.

By all accounts, Snowe's retirement was a shock to her colleagues on both sides of the aisle, but she made her alleged reasons perfectly clear in the statement announcing her intentions:

As I have long said, what motivates me is producing results for those who have entrusted me to be their voice and their champion, and I am filled with that same sense of responsibility today as I was on my first day in the Maine House of Representatives. I do find it frustrating, however, that an atmosphere of polarization and 'my way or the highway' ideologies has become pervasive in campaigns and in our governing institutions.
Sen. Snowe may very well be tired of Republican extremism and would apparently rather leave the Senate than risk the possibility of having to vote for McConnell as majority leader. The problem with her statement, however, is that the very issuance of it exacerbates the problem she is purporting to decry. By blaming polarization alone for her impending departure, she implies that both Democrats and Republicans are equally responsible for creating the climate that is forcing her departure. But as Jonathan Weiler points out, the partisanship and extremism problem really only goes one way:
A few weeks back, in his widely discussed New Yorker piece on President Obama's political evolution, Ryan Lizza noted that, since 1975, Republicans in the Senate have moved twice as far to the right as Democrats have to the left, based upon the most comprehensive database in political science for evaluating officeholders' ideological positions. And in the House, Republicans have moved six times farther to the right than Democrats have moved to the left since 1975. That same database, the brainchild of Keith Poole and Howard Rosenthal, scores Obama as the least liberal Democratic President since World War II. Funny that, given the endless histrionics from across the right-wing universe about the Kenyan socialist revolutionary who is said to occupy the Oval Office.
One doesn't need to resort to historical statistics over the past 40 years to see this idea borne out. Sheriff Joe Arpaio is holding public press conferences and considering spending taxpayer money to investigate the duly elected president's birth certificate. Republican debates now center around whether contraceptives are a moral evil. And the mouthpiece of the Republican Party, Rush Limbaugh, went on a hate spree lasting several days to destroy the character and reputation of a young woman who committed the offense of speaking up on a public policy issue. And not just political attacks—Limbaugh has resorted to vile character assassination. Calling her a slut. Asking for her to post sex videos online. Saying that she must have boyfriends lined around the block, all for daring to side with President Obama on contraceptive coverage, and with nary a word of condemnation from senior Republican leadership at the time of this writing. Despite Ryan Lizza's nonsensical assertion that both parties have retreated to their own 10-yard lines, there is absolutely nothing comparable to these feats of extremism on the Democratic side of the aisle.

Even more distressing are some of the statements of support that Olympia Snowe has received. The release from the Women's Campaign Fund, though not unique, is illustrative:

Women like Snowe are a rarity in politics today, which only goes to show how critical it is to get more women running for office. It’s proven that women politicians are more likely to collaborate than their male counterparts, and collaboration is precisely what this country needs today. Come January, Snowe’s voice will be sorely missed on Capitol Hill.

“We need more Olympias and Susans, more Kirstens and Claires. We need more women who are willing to, heaven forbid, work with members of the opposite party to get the people’s work done,” continued Bennett. “We need more women who are willing to stand up to extremists hell-bent on systematically dismantling women’s access to reproductive choices and options.”

This is exactly the wrong mentality. When women's reproductive freedoms are under such assault, calling for the election of more representatives who will reach across the aisle is completely counterproductive. Mr. Weiler made the point clearly: Republicans are all out of compromise, a fact which the past few years of tea party fervor have made perfectly clear. As a consequence, the only compromises that occur are ones that move even further to the right, and consequently against women. It was compromise, after all, that resulted in the Stupak amendment. It is compromise and "reaching across the aisle" that could erode the contraceptive mandate that the Obama administration has fought so hard for. What needs to happen, by contrast, is not a praise of bipartisanship. What needs to happen right now, especially on this issue, is exactly a "my way or the highway" approach. After all, when women's rights are under such continuous assault, there is no room to give any ground to extremists who will never be sated. (As a point of curiosity, does the WCF's reference to "Susan" mean Sen. Susan Collins, who recently voted for the Blunt amendment and against women's reproductive health?)

If Sen. Snowe really wanted to help end bipartisanship, she should have left the Republican Party while still in office, instead of taking the safer route and blaming both sides for a problem that only exists in one. And given the fact that promoting women's rights now falls exclusively within the domain of one party, it behooves organizations who want to see more people in office who support reproductive freedoms not to give cover to elected officials who will not call out Republican extremism for what it is.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Snowe voted w her fellow Republicans (26+ / 0-)

    90% of the time. Maybe she bucked them twice when it mattered. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." -Benjamin Franklin

    by hotdamn on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 05:34:38 PM PST

  •  If she really wanted to help bipartisanship, she (17+ / 0-)

    should have bucked the bosses more often, instead of toeing the party line so predictably.

  •  Can we talk about the shoulder pads? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    itzik shpitzik, HappyinNM
  •  Olympia Snowe got out of Dodge just in time (24+ / 0-)
    Nationally, most of the coverage of Snowe's decision to drop her reelection bid has focused on the centrist Republican's frustration with the polarized politics on Capitol Hill. But in Maine, a few newspapers have speculated that her husband's legal entanglements had a role in Snowe's sudden and surprising decision, which left her with more than $3 million in her campaign coffers and her party without a Senate candidate less than three weeks before the filing deadline for Maine's June 12 primary.

    According to the senator's most recent financial disclosure form, she and her husband, former Maine Gov. John McKernan Jr., have investments worth between $2 million and $10 million in Education Management Corp., a Pittsburgh-based company that operates for-profit higher education institutions. McKernan is chairman of the board of directors of the company, now embroiled in a lawsuit in which the federal goverment, 11 states and the District of Columbia are seeking to recover a portion of the $11 billion in federal student aid that the education firm has received since July 2003.

    Originally filed in April 2007 by a pair of whistleblowers, the lawsuit alleges that the company violated a federal law that prohibits schools from paying admissions officers based on the number of students they recruit and enroll. Those numbers can affect a school's revenues because more students mean a school is potentially eligible for more federal aid dollars. The whistleblowers alleged, and provided documents indicating, that they were paid bounties for the number of students they enrolled.

    http://reporting.sunlightfoundation.com/...

    Here we are now Entertain us I feel stupid and contagious

    by Scarce on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 05:40:07 PM PST

    •  Well, the bipartisan thing sounded feasible. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Woody, My Spin

      Your left is my right---Mort Sahl

      by HappyinNM on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 05:57:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  How Would a Lawsuit Affect Her Senate Seat? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      onofftopic

      Add to complications making it unlikely to be renominated?

      Or does absconding with the 3 million help with legal fees.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 06:15:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yep. This is the real reason n/t (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Palafox, onofftopic
    •  Great info Scarce NOW we know the real reason not (5+ / 0-)

      the BS.

      The way she did it was more to save her reputation and take attention off the real issue.

      She and her hubby are being investigated for cheating the GOV!!! I wonder if the national media will pick up on that or ignore it. I'm sure the Republican big wigs will try to supress this info. All they need is another scandal.

      Maybe if Rush hears about it he will, Umm lets see maybe... Oh yeah... Send her flowers from ProFlower. No that won't work they will not accept his promo code any more.

      Since she is Republican he won't call her a slut or say anything negative soo......

      Ahh.... I know what he'll do.....

      He'll say she's a great educator for showing how a private school can game the system!!!

      Just A Real Nice Guy, thinking out loud.

      by arealniceguy on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 08:27:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  that's an old photo...they all do that (9+ / 0-)

    everyone wants to look younger. I wonder what year it's from.

    Anyway, as has been pointed out, did she not understand that her vote is one of only 100? She's acted like she has had to vote "crackpot" because she's a Republican. I'm not impressed with any statement decrying a lack of bipartisanship when she's as guilty as the wing-iest winger Senator. If she doesn't agree with the wackos then she shouldn't have voted with them.

  •  I don't think (5+ / 0-)

    any of them are in charge of anything up there on the Hill anymore. Our government is no longer free, nor is it our own--it belongs to Teh Corporate.

    When powerful pols are afraid of gasbags like Rush Limbaugh, when even halfway-decent pols are afraid to speak out or buck the system--I continue to wonder if it's out of a sense of self-preservation, and I don't mean the kind that's associated with greed or avarice.

     

    It is time to #Occupy Media.

    by lunachickie on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 05:40:58 PM PST

  •  Whatev's. That seat is ours now. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, Andrew C White, Palafox, onofftopic

    Bye bye Snowe, we hardly knew ye. Has Pingree announced yet?

    We need to focus on getting AZ blue, make Elizabeth Warren get her act together, get Pingree in Snowe's seat, make sure that Tammy Baldwin wins, and most of all, make sure that Obama spanks Romney with both hands behind his back in the GE.

    Let my name stand among those who are willing to bear ridicule and reproach for the truth's sake, and so earn some right to rejoice when the victory is won.-Louisa May Alcott

    by YoungArizonaLiberal on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 05:41:19 PM PST

    •  Why does Elizabeth Warren need to (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      samddobermann, Ghost of NY

      "get her act together?"  What is she doing that needs to be changed?

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 09:03:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Scott Brown is beating her in every single poll. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ghost of NY, onofftopic

        She isn't reaching out and answering calls to people who want to be volunteers. Most of her donations come from out of state. Massachusetts voters see Brown as a "moderate" that is worth keeping. Things like that can easily be taken for granted by us, but the regular low-information voters think in that realm.

        Let my name stand among those who are willing to bear ridicule and reproach for the truth's sake, and so earn some right to rejoice when the victory is won.-Louisa May Alcott

        by YoungArizonaLiberal on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 09:08:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  A timid loser in the end. Jim Jeffords had... (10+ / 0-)

    "So, am I right or what?"

    by itzik shpitzik on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 05:41:55 PM PST

  •  in other words, Mars needs (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    socalmonk

    sluts

    “We need more Olympias and Susans, more Kirstens and Claires. We need more women who are willing to, heaven forbid, work with members of the opposite party to get the people’s work done,” continued Bennett. “We need more women who are willing to stand up to extremists hell-bent on systematically dismantling women’s access to reproductive choices and options.”

    slutty voter for a "dangerous president"; Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Sciant terra viam monstrare."

    by annieli on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 05:42:40 PM PST

  •  What compromise? Shall we call her a skank? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Marie

    Instead of a slut?

    ---

    I'm all out of compromise, too. You can't compromise with that.

    The invasion of Iraq was a war crime, a crime against humanity, and a crime against civilization. Prosecute the crime.

    by Positronicus on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 05:44:20 PM PST

  •  Collaboration seems more akin to (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    itzik shpitzik, Woody, onofftopic

    extortion based on the description of Snowe''s behavior during the healthcare debate.

    Response: If you "got it" you wouldn't be a republican

    by JML9999 on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 05:44:25 PM PST

  •  WCF is bipartisan (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Woody, Marie, onofftopic

    precisely because we need a critical mass of pro-repro rights women in the GOP to reach the point where they can tell men like McConnell to fuck off.  

    I agree with you that when they vote party line instead of their conscience that they can't really be considered pro-repro rights, but to the extent that pro-choice GOP women exist in deep red states like Kansas (and they do), WCF will support them over anti-choice opponents.  

    It's going to be a very, very long haul, and we have to be realistic about it, but neither can we cede the GOP to women like Bachmann and Palin.

    •  It's fine to support people who support your issue (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      v2aggie2

      but it's not fine to paint the problem as being a bi-partisan problem when it's not.  Their statement points to supporting more women in congress (which I totally agree with) but mentions Susan, who can only be Collins, who voted against their objective.    That's just stupid.  It makes people who support their purported objectives (like me) doubt their sincerity and therefore, put their money in places that they know are fighting for their issues.

      And it's really important for these organizations to understand that their issue is not one for compromise.  You do not compromise rights, you fight for them or in this case, fight just to keep them.  That's really where we are right now, fighting to keep hard fought rights.  Talk about regressive.

      Would we be so happy to have a military that dwarfs all others combined if it was a line item deduction on our paychecks next to FICA."

      by Back In Blue on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 06:09:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  She's not a woman but plays one on TV, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Marie, Palafox, Ghost of NY

    Bipartisanship is when the Dem say ya sum Mizz Scahlit.

    The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

    by a2nite on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 05:51:14 PM PST

  •  Don't know what measures Lizza and (9+ / 0-)

    the "datebase" used, but this statement is flawed:

    since 1975, Republicans in the Senate have moved twice as far to the right as Democrats have to the left, based upon the most comprehensive database in political science for evaluating officeholders' ideological positions.
    There is plenty of evidence that collectively Democrats have moved RIGHT since 1975 with deregulation, privatization, welfare "reform," national security state, and wars, but precious little tilts to the left and those only on the margins.  Whether that means the GOP has shifted twice as far to the right as Democrats have or not is less important than a recognition that there is a gaping void to the left of where Richard Nixon once stood on the political right-left spectrum.  
    •  Rachel had a graph showing the movement over (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      onofftopic

      I don't remember how many years. It showed that the Repukes have moved right, but the Dems stayed pretty much the same. The graph may be on her blog.

      Your left is my right---Mort Sahl

      by HappyinNM on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 06:08:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yep That's Patently a Lie. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Marie

      Only on a smattering of no-dollar individual rights and other issues has there been anything other than a move to the right.

      The party has been a conservative party since 75.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 06:08:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Southerners (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Marie, 207wickedgood

      Waaaaay back in 1975 there were still Democrats from Dixie of the old school. They had been elected as Democrats and most of them did not change over even while the Repubs Southern Strategy was turning the ex-Confederacy into the Repub base states. And many of them were to the right of center. Over the years as they retired or died, they were replaced with Republicans even more to their right. The few Democrats who were elected to the Senate in the Reagan years and later were at best moderate, at worst blue dog sellouts.

      That said, I take your point that the national Democratic Party, in Congress or at any level, has NOT moved left.

      Looking back to the 1950's, when I started following politics, the Repubs controlled the White House with Eisenhower. The Democrats were led in the Senate by Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson and in the House by Speaker Sam Rayburn. Even those Texans were more to the left than the Democrats today.

      •  Birch Bayh -- Evan Bayh. An example (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Palafox, Remediator, roadbear, Woody

        of a 1975 Democrat and 2010 Democrat.  

        We shouldn't forget that while those old southern Democrats were pro-war and racist, they did mostly go along with the New Deal legislation, much of which was socialism.

        •  Marie, at your post there, I felt (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Marie, Woody

          a strong pang and yearning for Birch Bayh.

          I miss that guy a whole lot.  What a Democrat, what a citizen.

          •  How did that fruit ... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Remediator

            ... fall so far from the tree?

            Evan was nothing compared to his father. He's even less now, I guess. And I'm glad to see that he has fallen into some post-Warholian hole for those who 15 minutes of fame are gone and will never be seen again.

        •  good point re the New Deal and the South (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Marie, Woody

          South Carolina, for example, went 98, 99, 96 and 87% for FDR.

          I like lemurs -6.50, -4.82

          by roadbear on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 11:23:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not many blacks voting back then (0+ / 0-)

            Due to the Jim Crow laws and their enforcement by the Ku Klux Klan, not many blacks were voting in Southern states back then. All the more remarkable then, that 90% and more of those white voters supported FDR.

            Of course, what happened then, as I was told once by a 90-something distant cousin in Texas, explaining to us why he had changed parties, was that "they" sent a bunch of big ni@@ers from Harlem, picked by Eleanor Roosevelt, like 6-foot, 7-foot tall ni@@ers, down to the South ... and that led to all the trouble.

            I can't recall exactly what he said the 6- and 7-foot ni@@ers were gonna do down South. Impregnate all the white women was implied but not stated. Perhaps they were going to attempt to vote. Whatever. My mind had wandered off to view the spectacle of Eleanor Roosevelt standing on a platform on the corner of 125th and Lenox Avenue, probably flanked by Cong. Adam Clayton Powell, hand-picking the biggest baddest bucks in all of New York City.

            Damn, Where did they get them 7-foot tall and all? Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem, excuse, Lew Alcindor he would have been, hadn't been born. Hey, the N.B.A. hadn't been born back then. But there they were, those strapping muscular ni@@ers from Harlem, forcing their way into the nightmares and delusions of Southern white folks. I'm not sure those ni@@ers have have left out of Dixie yet.

  •  good post. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HappyinNM

    I'm from the Elizabeth Warren and Darcy Burner Wing of the Democratic Party!

    by TomP on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 05:53:01 PM PST

  •  She dicked the Administration around on HCR... (13+ / 0-)

    Pretended to be a potential vote and had Pres Obama constantly jumping through hoops to get her vote, but it was always just not enough.   She was basically doing McConnells bidding to drag out the debate as long as possible in hopes something would come in and blow it up.  And it almost worked.  

    I have no respect for the woman.  She bemoans the hyper-partisanship but she played a huge part in it.  

  •  Press Release Moderate (9+ / 0-)

    Snowe was nothing more than a "press release moderate." She made a big fuss about "history calling" when she was the only GOPer to vote for HCR in the Senate  Finance Committee. However, in the long run, when her party called on the big votes, she was with them. In the end,  they got her final anti-HCR vote. Her National Journal ratings put her squarely in the conservative camp. She bewailed McConnell's "my way or the highway" attitude yet voted on many occasions with him to deny nominees or bills a majority up or down vote. She  claimed  that  the Democrats ran "roughshod" over the GOP by not giving them proper notice (LOL!). She voted for the 2009 stimulus only when needed money was cut from it, and was part of the "Gang of 14" compromise/surrender that allowed virtually all of W's extremist judicial nominees, Alito included, to skate through. Maine Democrats don't need a future "indie" or  "press release moderate" who will contort herself into a pretzel on every vote. Go Pingree! For more on Snowe's "avalanche," read  this  

  •  In fact (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Marie, dinazina, Radiowalla, Duccio, Palafox

    The politics of the Olympias and Susans and Kirstens and Claires have helped to facilitate the right-wing authoritarian extremism that frustrates Congress so.

    The same can be said for all of our traditionally liberal institutions, the church, academia, labor unions, the Democratic Party, journalism. They all share some blame for turning a blind eye to the radicalization of the Republican Party instead of fighting back.

  •  I heard McConnell speak in Louisville... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Marie, Woody, Palafox

    ... on Friday. Someone asked if Snowe's resignation would hurt the GOP's chance of taking back the Senate. He seemed to be genuinely disappointed in her departure and said the Senate "needed Moderate Republicans."

    Another thing that struck me was that he kept talking about wanting to have a divided government. He talked historically what divided government has been able to accomplish. It seemed to me that he was throwing in the towel on having Republicans in control of all areas of government.

    Finally, he said he was shocked that the Supreme Court was going to have three days of oral argument for "Obamacare." He even pointed out a lawyer at our table and asked him if he could ever remember three days of oral argument on anything.

    Hyperbole will be the death of us all!

    by MrHinkyDink on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 05:59:20 PM PST

    •  I guess he's given up on his "#1 priority." (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MrHinkyDink, Palafox

      He must accept Obama's likely to win reelection, because he can't be giving up on his hopes of being Majority Leader. He's been lusting after that forever. Plus, he has to be worried that if they fail, someone like DeMint will launch a coup attempt against him.

    •  He's Making the Case (4+ / 0-)

      Sen McConnell is trying to give voters a reason to keep the Repubs in charge of Congress, in a year when people seem to think "It's Time for a Change." Yeah, well, good luck with that.

      In November we will see huge turnover in the House, probably a nice Democratic majority with Speaker Pelosi in charge again next year, and Harry Reid's team continuing to run the Senate.

      McConnell may very well lose his leadership position as punishment for the Repub's failure to take the Senate. Then he will have ample opportunity to ponder what he should have done differently after Obama was elected.

      •  If Dems can regain the Senate (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Duccio

        I hope Reid bows out, and lets Schumer take over.  Then something will get done.

      •  Senate is up for grabs, according... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Woody

        ... to McConnell. I think he's pretty optimistic with so many democratic seats up and so few Republican seats up.

        Hyperbole will be the death of us all!

        by MrHinkyDink on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 07:38:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  But how many seats are vulnerable? (0+ / 0-)

          That was the conventional wisdom -- the generality that we have so many seats to defend. But specifically, our list of likely losers includes the open seat in North Dakota (though we do have a real candidate), Nebraska (where we just got a real candidate), the open seat in Virginia (our ex-Governor vs their ex-Gov.), Claire McCaskill in Missouri, Jon Tester in Montana, and who else?

          Say we lose all five of those seats. We seem to be likely to win the newly open seat in Maine, the almost-open seat in Nevada (held by an appointed, not elected, Repub incumbent), and some say Ted Kennedy's seat in Massachusetts now occupied by one lucky Repub.
          Net we lose two, leaving us with 51 seats. It's enough.

          Now, it often happens, especially in wave elections, and the sea is certainly roiling this year, that all or most close Senatorial elections get "nationalized" and all go in the same direction. If a wave favors the Democrats in November, we could pick up a couple of unexpected victories, say, Arizona's open seat (where our likely candidate looks good on paper), or Indiana (after a bitter Repub primary, where we have a House member as our challenger).

          Any wave could go against the Democrats, of course, due to another phase of economic slump, perhaps set off by financial turmoil in Europe, or simply soaring gas prices choking off consumer spending and economic recovery here. In that case, we could lose big, all five of our close races and a few more. But in that case, it would have little to do with how many seats we are defending and almost everything to do with the national economy.

  •  "If Sen. Snowe really wanted to help end bipartisa (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Marie, Palafox

    "If Sen. Snowe really wanted to help end bipartisanship, she should have left the Republican Party while still in office, "

    exactly! this isn't her eulogy, we don't have to say nice things about the apex of the problem....either she didn't vote her conscience or more probably she doesn't have one. nope, she, mccain, lieberman all appear to consider all angles and reluctantly come to the decision that advantages them the most.

    this is a hustle folks, not helpful, not truthful, not useful!

  •  We don't need more Olympias or Susans (8+ / 0-)

    we need more Kirstens.

    Thankfully we have a line-up of quality Democratic women running for the Senate this year:

    Elizabeth Warren - MA
    Tammy Baldwin - WI
    Shelley Berkley - NV
    Heidi Heitkamp  - ND
    Mazie Hirono - HI
    Susan Bysiewicz - CT

    and hopefully

    Chellie Pingree - ME - will soon read Chellie for Senate rather than Congress

    Let's make this the Year of the Woman shall we?

    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 06:07:56 PM PST

  •  Where were Olympia Snowe (9+ / 0-)

    and Susan Collins and all the other women leaders of the republican party over the last few days while one young woman was being viciously attacked by a man many people see as the true leader of the republican party as well as men who have been elected and wish to be elected by the American people????

    Where were they????  I am dismayed and disappointed in their lack of leadership when it was so needed by the women of this country.  They acted like cowards, hiding behind their men, while their men were attacking a courageous young women who was speaking out for the rights of American women.  

    SHAME ON THEM.

  •  I disagree (0+ / 0-)

    Having a moderate in the Republican party was better than having yet another moderate in the Democratic party. Given that we have a two-party system and that however right the Republican party drifts, there will still be a base of support out there to elect Republicans, it's helpful to have reasonable voices in the party.

    We had Senator Jeffords defect to the Democratic party, and that did little to alter the course of the Republican party. They didn't stop and reevaluate their ideology or agenda, and it made little practical difference in the polarization of our politics. The same was true with Specter. Party defectors just earn suspicion and disrespect from both sides and lose their ability to work with the other side - no one likes a traitor.

    I wish we had more moderate Republicans like Snowe - not fewer. Our politics was better off when there was a liberal Rockefeller wing of the Republican party.

    •  Moderate Republicans are fine (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Palafox

      when the Republican leadership isn't a bunch of extremists kowtowing to the batshit crazies.

      Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

      by Nowhere Man on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 08:36:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •   It's over for moderate Republicans & conserv Dems (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Thousandwatts, Palafox

    Moderate Republicans and conservative Democrats no longer have a reason to exist, all the successful ones started going away in the last decade, like Harold Ford Junior for example. A guy who had a bright future ahead of him, unfortunately  he chose an ideological viewpoint and political group that was rapidly going extinct. Same for Olympia Snowe and all those like her, they're all done in America.

     Just like there are no more true liberals aside from Kucinich and Ralph Nader, we now live in the time of the moderately conservative Democrat, which are portrayed as liberal by those on what we once saw as the extreme right, which has now become the mainstream right, or at least they are the ones controlling the GOP now.  The majority of moderate Republicans have been cut out of their parties leadership entirely, certainly moderate Republican constituents have no voice any longer.

     This bizarro world which will doom this country at some point is courtesy of the corporate money (Citizens United) which sees its future control of this country only being achieved by promoting an extremist fundamentalist conservative ideology. Those are the only people willing to destroy democracy and the Republic  in the name of their ideology,  and turn the US over to those who would   continue the consolidation of the puppet corporatist plutocracy.

     It's a long-term strategy that is working all too well.

  •  Olympia Snowe's Moderate rep. was fantasy fiction (9+ / 0-)

    her being a reasonable maverick was largely Village puffery. She voted with her extremist colleagues the vast majority of the time out of expediency and she was as famous for up is downism as anyone in the Senate.

    She voted to create the consumer protection agency, then helped the GOP filibuster filling its head. THAT was Olympia Snowe. I do x to get my ring kissed, I do y to keep the crazies happy while complaining about them. And no amount of Erin Burnett or Jon Avalon wankery can change that.

    I am from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party

    by LeftHandedMan on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 06:17:33 PM PST

  •  Olympia has always been way over-rated. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Thousandwatts

    And the statement from Siobhan "Sam" about the Olympias, Susans, Claires, and Kirstens is shallow and lame.  When was the last time a powerful male political leader praised the work of the Orrins, Lindseys, and Lamars.  Just sickeneing.

  •  Nailed It (0+ / 0-)

    couldn't have said it any better

  •  She leaves a bitter failure (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Palafox

    Her and collins could have been a force for moderation in 2008 and 2010.. they could have been critical swing votes for both sides.

    Instead, they consistently went extreme and were relied upon and used by the right-wing.  WHY the fuck she did that is beyond me...  she was hated by the right even though she caved. Every. fucking. time.

    good riddance.  let's get a Dem in there.

    The Seminole Democrat
    Waking up Florida one person at a time

    by SemDem on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 06:58:11 PM PST

  •  They're not? (0+ / 0-)
    By blaming polarization alone for her impending departure, she implies that both Democrats and Republicans are equally responsible for creating the climate that is forcing her departure.

    Living proof that hard work can raise your apparent skill level.

    by SpamNunn on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 06:58:48 PM PST

  •   Snowe is finally doing the right thing. I have (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Duccio

    no political respect for Susan Collins. She is totally worthless. Her public statements are invariably gibberish.

    I'd rather have a buntle afrota-me than a frottle a bunta-me.

    by David54 on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 07:04:15 PM PST

  •  Snowe always did her real job. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Palafox

    Her real job was to be the patrician face that made the old style Republicans feel comfortable with the Party despite the extremes that were occurring under the Religious Right.

    She was a beard for all the racists and sexists  and homophobes in her party, enabling all of it.

    Plus, she loved being courted and wooed by the Democrats for her vote, in the same way that wealthy people who give to charities expect to be wined and dined and treated like aging princesses. And she loved, in the dramatic end, disappointing them once more. A well practiced economic royalist.

    She was Reagan in pearls.

  •  They've yet to be punished for swerving right (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Palafox

    The 11 dimensional theory of the HCR fiasco battle of 2009 is Obama wanted them to push their extremism to win the center in 2012. The Republicans have swerved right, but does the uninvolved "all politics is the same" voter notice this or care? In November are voters going to vote the "price at the pump", their "sense that the country is on the right track", an arbitrary unemployment number pounded into their heads by the media? The optimist in me says there's a demographic shift coming and the Republicans just had their last battle, the pessimist says no one ever lost an election underestimating the intelligence and involvement of the electorate.

    The more plausible, to me, 2009 theory is Obama is a timid centrist consensus builder and really believed the bipartisanship jive. How large would a progressive House caucus have to be before they (we) could get noticed above the centrist and right wing flood of corporate money? Best case we find out in 2014 starting in November.

    If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

    by jgnyc on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 07:05:07 PM PST

  •  How is this part of the WCF quote wrong? (0+ / 0-)
    “We need more women who are willing to stand up to extremists hell-bent on systematically dismantling women’s access to reproductive choices and options.”
    Dante follows that immediately with:
    This is exactly the wrong mentality. When women's reproductive freedoms are under such assault, calling for the election of more representatives who will reach across the aisle is completely counterproductive.
    Huh? Did you read what you were quoting, Dante?

    The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. -FDR

    by SoCalSal on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 07:51:18 PM PST

    •  yes, i did (0+ / 0-)
      “We need more Olympias and Susans, more Kirstens and Claires. We need more women who are willing to, heaven forbid, work with members of the opposite party to get the people’s work done,” continued Bennett. “We need more women who are willing to stand up to extremists hell-bent on systematically dismantling women’s access to reproductive choices and options.”
      The problem is precisely that the first sentence and second sentence of that quote are mutually contradictory. You can either have people who are willing to reach across the aisle, or you can have people willing to stand up to extremists. But you can't have both anywhere but fantasyland, given the current nature of the Republican Party.

      oops. I hope the gate wasn't too expensive.

      Twitter: @DanteAtkins

      by Dante Atkins on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 01:56:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sunlight Foundation-Could Lawsuit be Reason Retire (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Palafox, AllanTBG, roadbear

    Could this be the reason for her sudden decision not to seek re-election?

    Did lawsuit factor in Olympia Snowe's departure?

    Her and her husband are heavily invested in a for-profit education company (Education Management Corp.) that received $11 billion in federal student aid since 2003. Her husband is chairman of the board. There's a lawsuit by 11 states, the District of Columbia and the federal government to recover some of that money.

    Nationally, most of the coverage of Snowe's decision to drop her reelection bid has focused on the centrist Republican's frustration with the polarized politics on Capitol Hill. But in Maine, a few newspapers have speculated that her husband's legal entanglements had a role in Snowe's sudden and surprising decision, which left her with more than $3 million in her campaign coffers and her party without a Senate candidate less than three weeks before the filing deadline for Maine's June 12 primary.
    Originally filed in April 2007 by a pair of whistleblowers, the lawsuit alleges that the company violated a federal law that prohibits schools from paying admissions officers based on the number of students they recruit and enroll. Those numbers can affect a school's revenues because more students mean a school is potentially eligible for more federal aid dollars. The whistleblowers alleged, and provided documents indicating, that they were paid bounties for the number of students they enrolled.
    The Justice Department decided to intervene in August and the lawsuit (previously under seal) became public:
    When news of the lawsuit was released, political opponents of Snowe's raised the issue, the Lewiston (Me.) Sun Journal reported. Scott D'Amboise, a Republican challenging her in the Senate primary, called on her to resign, while Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesperson Shripal Shah charged that Snowe and her husband may have personally profited while defrauding low income students.
    Maybe it's not all about the partisanship.
  •  she would have to attack limbaugh (0+ / 0-)

    couldn't happen

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 08:43:08 PM PST

  •  Snowe was a phony. Bought and paid for. (0+ / 0-)

    And she obviously enjoyed having her ass kissed, as during the final days of the health care debate. Susan Collins is cut from the same cloth.

    GOP = Greedy One Percent

    by Palafox on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 08:46:58 PM PST

  •  She never voted... (0+ / 0-)

    for cloture when her party demanded that she didn't.

    That's not bipartisan, that's the same old bullshit and I won't miss her.

    The bigger question: Who get's her broomstick?

  •  I wanted to like her more than her (0+ / 0-)

    actual voting record permits.  

    But finally, the way she voted affects all of us, and she voted way too often and way too cynically with the nutbags running her party in Washington.  

    I am certain she is a more evolved being than most of those lunkheads and thieves, but if her votes don't reflect that, there's not good reason to rise to her defense.  

    My hope is that Maine voters wave bye-bye to Senator Snowe and replace her with a solid blue Democrat.  

    And as far as I'm concerned, that solid blue Democrat can start bright and early tomorrow morning.  

  •  Gee, Grandma, What Long Teeth You Have... (0+ / 0-)

    "scores Obama as the least liberal Democratic President since World War II"...

    Nobody.  But Nobody.  On the left.  Beat the drums louder and longer for Grandma Obama than this site.

    The Daily Kos daily bowled us over with news of how white
    Grandma Obama's dressing gown was; how pretty the bed linens...

    Time and again we were treated to sheer pablum about this man.

    And now, having egged on the public and pushed Obama to the top of power...in spite of people like me telling them he was a classic wolf in sheep's clothing...now the Kos is complaining.

    Readers take note.

  •  Chellie Pingree is an ideal candidate. (0+ / 0-)

    Excellent Progressive rating (see Progressive Punch). Former Chair of Common Cause. Speaks well. Good campaigner.

    Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

    by TRPChicago on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 04:57:40 AM PST

  •  Here's hoping (0+ / 0-)

    that if we win the House back and keep the Senate that one or two Republicans jump off the sinking infested ship and move to the sane side of the aisle.

    Atheism is a religion like Abstinence is a sexual position. - Bill Maher, 2/3/2012

    by sleipner on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 10:17:16 AM PST

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