Olympia Snowe: We Didn’t Have to Lose Arlen Specter

Olympia Snow speaks on the seismic shift in the Senate in a NY Times Editorial today and how it's the far rights fault:

It is disheartening and disconcerting, at the very least, that here we are today — almost exactly eight years after Senator Jim Jeffords left the Republican Party — witnessing the departure of my good friend and fellow moderate Republican, Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, for the Democratic Party. And the announcement of his switch was all the more painful because I believe it didn’t have to be this way.


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.


There is no plausible scenario under which Republicans can grow into a majority while shrinking our ideological confines and continuing to retract into a regional party. Ideological purity is not the ticket back to the promised landof governing majorities — indeed, it was when we began to emphasize social issues to the detriment of some of our basic tenets as a party that we encounteredan electoral backlash.

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