US Politics

A Pivotal Moment for the Democratic Party

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Today, Senator Olympia Snowe announced that she will not be seeking re-election.  No doubt, many of us have disagreed with some of the votes and positions elected officials like Sen. Snowe have taken.  Read the comments on this blog (and others) and the same could be said about almost any Democrat serving in congress.

Senator Snowe is retiring because of the extreme partisanship that has dug its nails into our society. “I do find it frustrating…that an atmosphere of polarization and ‘my way or the highway’ ideologies has become pervasive in campaigns and in our governing institutions,” she said Tuesday.

Snowe’s retirement is great news for Democrats looking to keep control of the U.S. Senate, but it should also serve as a moment of reflection for our Party.

From Sen. Specter to Sen. Snowe, Republicans are leaving the GOP, are being pushed out of GOP, or feel that the GOP has left them.  Where will these “moderate Republicans” go?

Democrats can either choose to embrace moderate Republicans or Democrats can shun them just like the TEA Partiers and extremists that banished them.

I encourage we Democrats embrace them.   This is a pivotal moment.

We both extend our hand and build a party based on reasonableness and responsibility or we shut moderates out and become just as insolated, incestuous, and out-of-touch as the GOP of today.

Of course, extending our hand means compromise, but it also means we have a better chance of defending and expanding our most cherished institutions and ideals.

Simply put, we should avoid litmus tests and embrace those who are abandoning extremism.

About the author

M. Storin

9 Comments

  • Interesting, according to a local blog Pine Tree Politics there's something afoot.

    "There is very obviously something going on here behind the scenes, since Senator Snowe was so aggressively campaigning for re-election, and in full campaign mode for the last year. Decisions like this – being so very much running (and winning) to very much not – do not happen this abruptly in politics. Ever."

    Maybe a new villa in the south of France?

  • Maine's having the same TEA party hangover Montana had with the takeover of the state legislature there, except they forgot the part about keeping a Democrat in the governor's office to veto all the loon legislation.
    My money for Snowe's replacement is a long shot, Angus King, the former Independent governor.

  • "Simply put, we should avoid litmus tests and embrace those who are abandoning extremism."

    This may be a lot to ask, but perhaps we should take other factors into account. Olympia Snowe would be a really disappointing candidate for San Fransisco or Boston, whereas if she were running in Montana or Wyoming, on the other hand, I would support her. For that matter, Tester would be a poor candidate for a liberal leaning state, but in Montana he is as progressive a candidate as we can get while still representing the opinions and values of Montanans.

    • Listen to yourself making excuses for him. Why don't you Democrats demand that he fight for you? Why do you so willingly settle for so little?

  • Let me ask you this: Beyond getting Tester elected and keeping the awful Denny out of office, or fear-based voting, what do you hope to accomplish by putting him in office? What will you be pressuring him to do? What are your goals once the election is over? How do you plan to keep pressure on him? What's your agenda?

      • I'm getting a sense of what is going on here. You guys are like a card player who gets dealt one losing hand after another, and finally gets a pair of eights and goes all in.

        Sucks being a Democrat, doesn't it.

    • Hmmm, just off the top of my head:

      Better care and opportunity for veterans.
      Someone who is fighting against the Republicant theocratic war on women.
      Someone who has and will continue to support the ever growing rights of GBLT people.
      A man who supports the confirmation of federal justices nominated by the POTUS, Barack Obama. That includes the Supreme Court.
      Someone with a proven record of voting against the continued erosion of civil rights due to the war on terror.

      Hey, you asked …

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