Friday, March 2, 2012

February 29, 2012

Maine Republican Senator Olympia Snowe says she's retiring.  After 33 years on the job it sounds as if she's fed up with the partisanshhip which increasingly sets the tone in Congress. "Unfortunataely," her statement said, "I do not reaslistically expect partisanship of recent years in the Senate to change over the short term.  So…I have concluded that I'm not prepared to committ myself to an additional six years in the Senate."  She has built a reputation as a moderate who can build political bridges between Republicans and Democrats.  But bridges are out of fashion now. The Washington Post says that Snowe is the 6th moderate Senator – 2 Republicans and 4 Democrats - to announce that they are not running for re-election. Snowe, 65, represents a long tradition of moderate New England Republicans like Javits, Chase Smith, Rockefeller (whom some might call more liberal than just moderate).  The younger Republicans  - Tea Party stalwarts marching at their side – are more likely to adandon moderation. Personally, when I covered the Senate, I always admired the those who were willing to listen to both sides of an argument and compromise – make a deal.  Increasingly, they are gone.  Come to that, I don't cover the place anymore either.  I cannot help but wonder what will happen without such good, reasonable folk as Snowe.  My bet is we will all increasingly miss the voice of moderation.

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