Clueless to the Bitter End

One of the twin Presidents from Maine, Susan Collins, in the WaPo:

I don’t know who first described politics as the “art of compromise,” but that maxim, to which I have always subscribed, seems woefully unfashionable today.

It’s a tough time to be a moderate in the U.S. Senate. Sitting down with those on the opposite side of a debate, negotiating in good faith, attempting to reach a solution — such actions are now vilified by the hard-liners on both sides of the aisle. Too few want to achieve real solutions; too many would rather draw sharp distinctions and score political points, even if that means neglecting the problems our country faces.

Putting aside the fact that she has sided with the fringe lunatics running the GOP in almost every single vote the last two years, she’s going to be preaching this moderation stuff until the tea partiers primary her stupid ass in the next election. Good riddance.






41 replies
  1. 1
    demkat620 says:

    She is all talk. This is all about tring to fool Maine voters that she is a moderate.

    She’s not. Never has been. Agreed. Good riddance. It’s going to be funn watching her whine when the GOP leaders don’t lift a finger to help her.

  2. 2
    JPL says:

    I thought it was clever of her to mention her support for gays in the military. It wasn’t her fault that she voted against the bill. WahWahWah!

  3. 3
    Glenn Beck's Chalkboard says:

    such actions are now vilified by the hard-liners on both sides of the aisle.

    Remind me again which major pieces of legislation in the last two years the Dems refused to negotiate on?

    Yeah, I couldn’t think of any, either.

    Both parties have their idealogues, their hard-liners, their nutcases. But the Democratic Party, for all its faults, at least hasn’t given them the keys and put them in the driver’s seat.

  4. 4
    shortstop says:

    And don’t forget Olympia Snowe, the other lockstep member of the GOP caucus from Maine, gave her own “We need more moderates!” speech last week. Clearly these two have got their new talking points coordinated, but it really, really pisses me off to hear this stuff from them when they have been totally reliable votes for the crazy.

  5. 5
    Warren Terra says:

    I realize you included the caveat “almost”, but she did vote for the Stimulus (after teaming up with Ben Nelson to take an ax to it). That was a pretty important vote.

    So far as I know offhand, that vote was her last bipartisan or compromise action, and it was 20 months ago, almost to the day.

  6. 6
    aimai says:

    Surely a true moderate, unwilling to give in to either side in their mad rush for partisanship, would have to state her position and abstain from every vote, at this point? That would make the two, Collins and Snowe, the party of the absolute middle, no different from the party of the absent middle. If you are going to define all Democratic initiatives of the majority as somehow fringe, or extreme, you are going to end up with that as your position.

    aimai

  7. 7
    beltane says:

    The only, and I mean only, good thing to come out of the teabaggification of this country is that dishonest cowards like Snowe and Collins can no longer hide behind the label of “sensible moderate”. The Republican party is the Tea Party and you are either one of them or you are not one of them. Jim Jeffords was the last Republican who took a stand on something when it mattered and purely on principle.

  8. 8
    windshouter says:

    Maybe it’s true that the hard-liners on the left vilify compromise (I don’t see it but I might be too close), but the hard-liners on the left don’t matter. Punching them is what gets a democratic politician out of bed in the morning. The hard-liners on the right vilify compromise and completely stop it. The senator from Maine could ask herself about that.

  9. 9
    Napoleon says:

    @Warren Terra:

    I realize you included the caveat “almost”, but she did vote for the Stimulus (after teaming up with Ben Nelson to take an ax to it).

    Which made it vastly less effective which is going to lead to sweeping Dem losses in a few weeks.

  10. 10
    Redshirt says:

    It’s really sad for me to see the two Ladies acting like this. I’m from Maine, and know of each well – and I worked with Sen. Collins office in the past and found them great. But that was before Bush, before the madness was truly loosed on our nation.

    11 years later, and the world has changed. Insanity rules, and now Collins and Snowe are left desperately mouthing platitudes that no one believes and will make no difference. Maybe that’s progress in the long run – the lies and deceptions are wearing thin. It’s time to choose sides, for real.

  11. 11
    Jim C says:

    What a tiresome whine that was from Sen. Collins.

    At least she’ll have a nice, stately manor to retire to when she’s bounced from office.

  12. 12
    Lolis says:

    Snowe is going down first. I can’t wait for that.

  13. 13
    mai naem says:

    I believe Susan Collins also has the same condition with her vocal cords that Robert Kennedy and Diane Rehm, a condition that make me want to turn off the radio/teevee whatever.

  14. 14
    amorphous says:

    Can we abolish the Senate yet?

  15. 15
    Jamie says:

    If moderates agree with the extremists 99% of the time exactlyhow moderate are they?

  16. 16
    Jamie says:

    If moderates agree with the extremists 99% of the time exactly how moderate are they?

  17. 17
    Some Guy says:

    From Maine. Those two have such general cache in this state, it will be very hard to take them down unless it is from the right. The danger is that teabaggers might then win. Happening at this moment in the governor’s race which will be an unmitigated disaster in Maine if it does. Things are really rough right now, like many states, and the weak-teabag running, LePage is a complete moron. The consequences of him as governor make me weep. He is less intersting than Angle, or O’Donnell, and lacks the “mark of Palin,” but he is in their league of stupid. BTW, all the ladders in that league have only one rung and it is broken.

  18. 18
    El Cid says:

    If Democrats are serious about running the country and ending all their partisanship, then they would have Obama step down and let the Supreme Court install a new Republican President so that Republicans would now be able to vote for legislation, providing that the Democrats finally stop their partisanship and let the Republicans write all the legislation.

  19. 19
    Suck It Up! says:

    @windshouter:

    Maybe it’s true that the hard-liners on the left vilify compromise (I don’t see it but I might be too close),

    you must be way way way too close, because its true and has been since day one.

  20. 20

    @Lolis: Yup, and Kos has already predicted that her only hope is switching parties or getting tossed in the primary. Considering her history with the Pukes in Maine, she ain’t switching parties. So the Democrats in Maine better be planning ahead.

  21. 21
    Mike in NC says:

    Have Snowe and Collins invited David Broder over for a nice bipartisan lobster dinner and a cup of tea?

  22. 22
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Lolis:

    Snowe is going down first. I can’t wait for that.

    Snowe has the safest seat in the Senate. She’s a Republican who can pull, and has pulled a plurality of Democratic voters. Worse case scenario, she runs as an independent in a state two of whose last five governors were independent, and where an independent finished above a major-party candidate in a presidential election. (Perot in ’92)

    That is her seat for life.

  23. 23
    wilfred says:

    Putting aside the fact that she has sided with the fringe lunatics running the GOP in almost every single vote the last two years

    Has she? I really don’t give a shit about her or any of them but that doesn’t seem quite right, at least according to bill sponsorship:

    http://www.govtrack.us/congres.....sor=300025

  24. 24
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Collins ran and won big, against a wave, in ’08 and she’s not up till ’14. The teabaggers will be a memory by then, and only her ambition keeps her sailing as close to the wind as she does now.

    In fact, the burning-out of the teabagger fever is part of a long-range scenario for Collins I occasionally run into up here in political circles — the party turns to her in remorse and puts her on the ticket in ’12 or more likely ’16. “We tried Southern. You’re not. We tried God-bothering. You don’t. We tried extreme. You aren’t. We tried politicians — you don’t sound like one. We tried the boys’ club — you don’t belong. Save us, Princess Susie, you’re our only hope.’

    American politics is only understandable if you posit as a working hypothesis that every member of the Senate, every member, looks into the mirror every morning and says “Good morning, Mr. (or Ms.) President.”

  25. 25
    JPL says:

    Steve at Washington Monthly has a few thoughts posted on Collins.

    Actually, another Republican, Pennsylvania’s Pat Toomey, went even further, suggesting Collins might be a communist. A year later, Collins nevertheless announced her support for Toomey, traveled to Pennsylvania to endorse him, and even helped him raise money………………………………………….
    And there’s the point that Collins just doesn’t seem to understand. Her opinion piece says she’d like to see “those who put partisanship over progress and conflict over compromise” lose elections, but there’s no evidence she means it. If she did, she wouldn’t support a right-wing bomb-thrower like Toomey, who named Collins the “Comrade of the Month” for her role in helping rescue the economy from a depression last year.

  26. 26
    Benjamin Cisco says:

    American politics is only understandable if you posit as a working hypothesis that every member of the Senate, every member, looks into the mirror every morning and says “Good morning, Mr. (or Ms.) President.”

    This should be tattooed on the eyeballs of every talking head in this country.
    __
    And every columnist.
    __
    And every political consultant.

  27. 27
    Lolis says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    Not when she gets primaried. I think Snowe is winning about 30% of the vote against a nameless Republican candidate. She is very unpopular with activitists in her party. In 2012, teabaggers will still be challenging safe Republicans.

  28. 28
    Admiral_Komack says:

    “Putting aside the fact that she has sided with the fringe lunatics running the GOP in almost every single vote the last two years, she’s going to be preaching this moderation stuff until the tea partiers primary defeat her stupid ass in the next election. Good riddance.”

    Fixed.

  29. 29
    Maude says:

    Pants on fire.

  30. 30
    jayjaybear says:

    @Suck It Up!: Yes, but the hardliners on the left are not in the Senate, with the possible exception of Feingold and Sanders. That doesn’t even make up a plurality of the Democratic side of the aisle. When Collins is talking about compromise here, she’s talking about compromise in the Senate, not compromise in politics in general.

  31. 31
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Lolis: Snowe doesn’t need Republicans to win a general election. She gets 35% of the Democrats, and 70% of the independents/unenrolleds, and Maine has more unenrolled voters than either party.

    The Republicans put some nut on the ballot, it makes her job easier, not harder. She gets to win with a plurality in a three-way race. All she has to do is get on the ballot, and this is an independent-friendly state. There are three of them running for governor, for example. It’s Joe Lieberman’s wet dream come to life.

  32. 32
    Sly says:

    Susan Collins knows her audience.

    When she’s talking to the Villagers or that cadre of Maine moderates that puts her over the top every election, she waxes nostalgic for that bygone era where no one in public office ever fought bitterly about anything. Won’t somebody please think of the children?

    When she’s talking to the people who finance her campaign or to the Senate Republican Leadership (which can sometimes be the same thing, see: NRSC), she tows their line. Constituent services only gets you so far.

  33. 33
    eemom says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    aren’t there any electable Democrats in Maine?

  34. 34
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Collins I don’t really consider worth discussing, she’s just Snowe’s shadow vote from what I’ve seen.
    I think it was a commenter here, don’t remember who, that said that politics and policy aside, Olympia Snowe just hates Democrats. The commenter didn’t elaborate, but I assume it’s a variation on the David Broder “It’s always 1973!” worldview? She doesn’t like dirty hippies burning draft cards and brassieres, militant Negroes and corrupt big city machine/union types?

  35. 35
    mattH says:

    Snowe doesn’t need Republicans to win a general election. She gets 35% of the Democrats, and 70% of the independents/unenrolleds, and Maine has more unenrolled voters than either party.
    The Republicans put some nut on the ballot, it makes her job easier, not harder. She gets to win with a plurality in a three-way race. All she has to do is get on the ballot, and this is an independent-friendly state. There are three of them running for governor, for example. It’s Joe Lieberman’s wet dream come to life.

    Before you start pointing out that she can win as an independent, are you sure she can run as one? Lieberman had an opportunity because he could exploit both the public and the law. I’d say you’ve made a pretty persuasive set of statements that she can easily exploit the populace, but can she legally still get on the ballot in Maine? If so, then push to get the law changed, making that impossible. If not, then don’t worry so much about it.

    Unless of course you actually like her as a Senator.

  36. 36
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @eemom: Lots of them. Doesn’t help, though

    Exhibit One: Tom Allen, Portland-born and educated. Bowdoin grad. Rhodes scholar. Harvard Law. Came back to Maine, and served as a city councilor and mayor of Portland. Was re-elected five times to the House five times, receiving over 55 percent of the vote each time.

    Allen lost to Collins, 61.5% to 38.5% in a Democratic wave election.

  37. 37
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @mattH: Maine has a loser law, but very simple ballot access for an independent.

    While primaries are in early June, March 1 is the cut-off date for a previously enrolled candidate to withdraw their party enrollment and run as a independent. The signature threshold is 3000. She counts tea-party noses on 27 February, she’s on the ballot as an independent three days later. The actual cut-off for signatures is June 1.

    Don’t think we haven’t spent near 20 years trying to get her out….

  38. 38
    eemom says:

    Jeez. What is it with these two women that they’ve essentially been able to monopolize (or I guess it’s duopolize) the electorate? What have they done to deserve this much popularity? Do they bring home lots of porky goodness?

  39. 39
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @eemom: Not really. The Brunswick Naval Air Station got a few more years of life, and the Pentagon hasn’t closed the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard just yet. And BIW is still building warships — for now.

    They both have exemplary constituency service operations — on passport, SS, immigration stuff, they are aces. I’ve heard too many stories to discount that. They’re highly visible in-district, too. I’ve met them both and I don’t exactly go out of my way to meet them, either.

    They did buck their party a decade ago on the Family Leave Act — that always comes up, that plus ANWR plus impeachment, leaves just enough of a sheen. And this is not a terribly progressive state — don’t just look at the Presidential votes, look at referenda on gay rights, for example, or the initiative amendment to our Constitution that says the people’s right to keep and bear arms shall never be questioned

    They’re women, which counts for a lot — Snowe has on occasion received a majority of registered Democratic woman voters votes — but not star-bursty types.

    Mostly they benefit from the fact that Maine hates politicians with a passion and neither has a ‘pol’ affect.

  40. 40
    eemom says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    Thanks. Interesting.

    Once again, all politics is local.

  41. 41
    Mumphrey says:

    “Moderate” Republicans… A “moderate” Republican is a Republican Democrats can depend on to vote with them about a third of the time, as long as the Democrats don’t need their vote. That’s all they are. Oh, yes, and also they’re much more restrained in their speech than bombthrowers like DeMint or Inhofe. They’re worthless.

    I recall Snowe voted for the health care bill in the Finance Committee, where there isn’t any 60% threshold to get something passed, and they didn’t need her vote. When it was time to vote on the floor, and the Democrats needed 60 votes to bring it up for a vote, Snowe was on the other side, along with all 39 other Republicans. I know Snowe and Collins voted yes for the stimulus, but that’s about the last time they voted yes on something where the Democrats actually needed their help. That was almost 2 years ago. Hardly a Record of Independence and Thoughtfulness to be proud of, but I guess it’s enough to give David Broder shivers.

Comments are closed.