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September 13, 2010

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DBL

Fascinating. You advocate that Snowe and Collins should switch parties simply to win elections, but do so now so it wont seem like theyre doing it to win an election. You contradict yourself with these two statements. If they switch parties, everyone will know why.It wont make a strong statement about the extremism of the modern Republican Party, just about them. Do you have any idea if they even believe the Republican party is extreme?Then you advocate that they start voting with the Democrats more. You assume that neither woman has any convictions or beliefs and that their vote is for sale to anyone who can get them elected. Even if they have no convictions, the Democratic establishment has shown it cant protect anyone. Arlen Specter lost. Blanche Lincoln and Michael Bennet nearly went down. No one on the left cared who the White House told them to vote for. Arlen Specter not only got punished instead of rewarded at the voting booth, but also in committee assignments. He thought the Democrats would retain his seniority and they gave him none. Switching parties for survival is a sign of low character. I hope these women have some.

NRH

This absolutely should be a wake-up call to Snowe and Collins. The Maine Republican Party has abandoned the last vestiges of Yankee Republicanism, and thats what Snowe and Collins ran on. The only way they can win another term is to switch parties now - when they can win major gratitude from Maine and national Democrats for breaking the 60-vote threshold, making it all but mathematically impossible for Republicans to take the Senate (even if the unelectable ODonnell doesnt take out Castle in Delaware), and making a strong statement about the extremism of the modern Republican Party.If they switch now, in a year when theyre not immediately up for re-election, they can make the case that theyre switching based on principles rather than self-interest, where Arlen Specter made it too obvious he was only switching at the last minute as a political ploy. This would give them time to build up a solid Democratic voting record in the intervening years, and Snowe has been much more moderate than Specter was anyhow. Republicans have no argument to make to keep Snowe aligned with them; time after time this cycle its been demonstrated that party leadership cant protect its incumbents and favored picks from the frothing Republican base, and if the Senate gets close enough that Snowe or Collins would make the difference, Democrats would offer them the same incentives of chairmanships and seniority that Republicans can offer, with the added inducement of a legitimate chance at re-election in the coming years.The only reason I can think of that either one of them would decide to stay in place would be stubborn loyalty to a party that no longer exists, its name co-opted by a lunatic fringe.

Anonymous

Romney won 52% of the vote in Maine in 2008. So I wouldnt call leading Palin by a 27-21 margin a good result for him.

DBL

Like Castle, Snowe has won a gazillion elections in her home state. If she cant figure out how to win a GOP primary in 2012 she doesnt deserve the nomination.

NRH

Snowe and Collins are career politicians who make their living being Republicans in a Democratic state. They dont have any pretense left of being principled conservatives *or* being principled moderates, given their schizophrenic voting records. Their motivation is self-interest, and their self-interest can be best served by a party switch. They have no viable route to re-election as Republicans, but could potentially keep their jobs as Democrats. Its as simple as that.By switching now, they can disguise their self-interested motivations by using the lunatic teabagger takeover of the Maine GOP as a rationale. As for not being able to protect anyone, Lincoln was cratering and establishment support pulled her through, as it did Bennet - they both faced stiff challenges, but ultimately did survive, thanks to that support. Specter was the only one to go down despite it, and he made his own mess - I changed parties to get re-elected was a truly damning line.As for Tea Party candidates, only someone out of touch with reality could miss the way teabaggers poll, on average, twenty points worse in the general than their establishment primary opponents. Murkowski to Miller, drop of ~25 points. Grayson to Paul, drop of ~13 points. Castle to ODonnell, drop of ~25 points. Crist to Rubio, drop of ~20 points. Argue if you like that in a year with a Republican tailwind those drops might be survivable, but try to find claims with some factual basis.

Christian Liberty

No surprise NRH would suggest switching parties for political gain. It just shows how unprincipled Demoncrats really are. Such unprincipled political hacks are precisely why the Tea Party movement will be even stronger in 2012 than it is now. Such unprincipled gamesmanship is precisely why Tea Party candidates are so popular, despite the handwringing of the pundits. Only those who are completely out of touch with America could fail to see the appeal of Tea Party candidates. Only those beholden to the establishment system could support RINOs rather than the principled Tea Party candidates.

Anonymous

As much as I dis-like Arlen Specter, he never did say, I changed parties to get re-elected. He was simply quoting someone who was accusing him of doing so. Again, a cleverly edited video.

FGH

Compromise is a tool you use to get the best legislation possible, but you have to persuade the big center that your way is the better way. We’re in an age where politicians assert, insist and leave. It’s all quick, blunt and dumb. But to win and hold the center you have to make your case, you have to show you’re philosophically serious, you have to show your logic, and connect it to a philosophy. You don’t sit around saying, “I like centrists so I compromise,” you say, “Here’s what we believe, here’s how we think and why.”Thats Peggy Noonan—on why the emerging GOP is looking more to conviction politicians than opportunists such as Maines Snowe and Collins. It would seem that the country—and also Maine, given the election of a tea partier as governor—is increasingly interested more in the former than the latter.

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