Partisanship forces Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe out of Congress



Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe



Sen. Olympia Snowe is a Republican moderate who is gravely needed in a Senate that, although barely controlled by Democrats, still has problems with extreme conservatives like Tea Partyers and the religious right.  Susan Collins, another Republican moderate, is her fellow Senator in the state.  She has been serving since 1996, Snowe since 1994.  I am a progressive and wish Snowe would stay and hope Collins will.
What has happened in this country that extremists can literally run out of town the very kind of lawmaker the Congress needs?  Is the U.S. doomed to the kind of mediocrity and incompetence we have experienced from a GOP that has no ideas of its own on how to correct the nation’s problem, but would prefer anyway to just block anything President Obama or the Democrats propose.  It has been ‘say no to anything Obama presents’ from day one of his presidency.



Today’s partisanship



Wikipedia says, “Partisanship can be affected by many factors including current events, figureheads (presidents), decisions, and even location.”  Further, “In the United States, the meaning of the term has changed dramatically over the last 50 years.”  In the past an “…individual’s partisan tendencies were typically determined from their voting behavior. Since then, “partisan” has come to refer to an individual with a psychological identification with one or the other of the major parties.
Sen. Snowe said in a CNN article, “motivation and sense of responsibility remain.”  Continuing, “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.”  Speaking no doubt about not only Republicans but also some Democrats.  Another key word, “polarization,” that, defined, is sharp division.
Susan Collins said she was devastated over Snowe’s decision.  Maine’s GOP Chairman Charlie Webster said he knew she was frustrated with “…the lack of civility in Washington,” and went on to describe her as a bridge builder.  Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer of New York said, “She’s a good, good lady and an example of … sometimes how the roughness of the political world can affect things. She’s great, and she’ll be missed by people on both sides of the aisle.”
Obviously this puts her seat up for grabs by the Dems. and hopefully they can find someone who can fill Snowe’s shoes.  Snowe said, “I have no doubt I would have won re-election.”  I agree, even against a Democrat.  And Texas Sen. John Cornyn, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said “…his party remains ‘well-positioned to win back a Senate majority in November.’” 
Yeah, sure.  With the GOP record, they’ll be lucky to avoid Armageddon in November.
And Sen. Snowe is not the only recent example of partisanship clogging the system.  At the Nat’l Governors Assn. meeting in Washington on March 4, President Obama offered, ‘We’re not going to agree on every single issue,” but, “I’m confident that we’re going to be able to find more and more common ground going forward.” 
As the Philadelphia Inquirer put it, “An hour after leaving the White House, Republican governors told Obama what he could do with his common ground.”
GOP answer to partisanship
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said, “President Obama is clearly the most liberal president we’ve had.”  Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell said, “The president said three years ago that if he couldn’t turn this around in three years, then this would be a one-term proposition. Well, Republican governors are deciding it’s time to collect. It’s time for a new president.” 
The Inquirer commented, “…the annual winter meeting of the governors association was a time of bipartisan camaraderie, a respite from politics to discuss ‘best practices’ in the various laboratories of democracy.  But now even this island of cooperation has been flooded by the partisan tsunami.”
Some governors didn’t even show up like Democrat Andrew Cuomo from New York, and Republican Jan Brewer from Arizona.  Other governors just complained or dismissed Obama’s accomplishments like the recent drop in unemployment which McDonnell explained, “it’s a couple of months – that doesn’t make a trend.” And Jindal, “He has failed when it comes to his tax policy, his spending policy, his borrowing policy, his energy policy, his health policy.”

Not once did the GOP bozos mention the fact that the deadlock in Congress for the past three-plus years has been 99 percent the fault of the Republicans.

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