Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Being Olympia Snowe II

Olympia Snowe is one of my congressional heroes for her moderate and intelligent voice. I have written of her here before. This morning I was particularly struck by her op-ed article in the New York Times with regards to Arlene Spector's defection to the Democratic Party.

Snowe writes:

It is true that being a Republican moderate sometimes feels like being a cast member of “Survivor” — you are presented with multiple challenges, and you often get the distinct feeling that you’re no longer welcome in the tribe. But it is truly a dangerous signal that a Republican senator of nearly three decades no longer felt able to remain in the party.

"Senator Specter indicated that his decision was based on the political situation in Pennsylvania, where he faced a tough primary battle. In my view, the political environment that has made it inhospitable for a moderate Republican in Pennsylvania is a microcosm of a deeper, more pervasive problem that places our party in jeopardy nationwide.
Do read the entire article above. It's well worth it.


Bob Foster said...


Thanks for calling our attention to Olympia Snowe's op-ed piece--as usual, she is on target. I too, like Sen. Snowe, as she is a true advocate for small business.

I have thought a lot about the "old guard," and our political process, and you are right--we definitely need new young blood in politics. The only problem is how to make politics enticing to young brilliant minds.

Before Wall Street blew up, I had read that 56 percent of post-grads went into some area of the financial industry. Well, since that didn't turn out too well, maybe some of our bright young people will reconsider their role in the world, and give some consideration to politics. Goodness knows, we can certainly use some intelligent young minds in Washington--on both sides of the aisle.

Judith--keep the good stuff coming. I read your blog every day.

judith ellis said...

Hi Bob - It's good to see you. I have not been visiting as many blogs over these past few months, but I'll pop into yours soon. I appreciate your ideas.

Young people entered politics over the years as a means to serve. We have gotten away from the importance of service. Hopefully, this will change with our renewed emphasis on service.

It's good to know that you are reading, Bob.

dave wheeler said...


I normally would steer clear of anything "political" but to me this is about change and making lives better and our country stronger. Moderate Republicans and conservative Democrats both face the same challenges and possible sanctions from their parties. Perhaps it is this type of a coalition that could be foundation of a sorely needed and viable third party.

Thanks so much for sharing this. Maybe it can be a catalyst for REAL CHANGE and political reform!

judith ellis said...

Yes, Dave, I have noticed that you steer clear of politics. But I'm cool with that. There are plenty of other topics here too. :-)

You make a good point about moderate Republicans and conservative democrats. Just typing these words I am reminded of how silly labels can be, even thought they often point to a significant means of speaking about issues or identifications.

Would a third party really matter? It seems we need to really come to terms with basic reform of the parties we have now. Campaign financing laws and some form of term limit seem necessary.