To the left-biased media (in other words, almost all of it), a Republican who votes like a Democrat is an automatic hero, and can do no wrong. That is why, perhaps, Maine’s GOP Senator Olympia Snowe received nothing but accolades and sympathy when she suddenly decided not to run for re-election, citing the increased polarization in the Senate. Ignored and largely unmentioned in the national media is how this decision and her timing of it betrays her party, her staff, and Maine itself.
In announcing her decision, she said,
“As I have long said, what motivates me is producing results for those who have entrusted me to be their voice and their champion. I do find it frustrating, however, that an atmosphere of polarization and ‘my way or the highway’ ideologies has become pervasive in campaigns and in our governing institutions.”
Never mind, for the nonce, that for moderates to withdraw from polarized political bodies only makes them more polarized: Good plan, Olympia! Let’s concentrate on the first part of that selection. “What motivates me is producing results for those who have entrusted me to be their voice and their champion.” Really, Senator? Then why in the world did you go out of your way to violate that trust, by doing the maximum damage possible to your party, your staff and your constituency in your manner of leaving?
It is reported that Snowe’s own staff didn’t know about her decision until hours before her announcement. Nice. In the middle of a terrible job market, she didn’t respect or trust her loyal staff enough to give them notice that they would be out of a job by the end of the year. Have you ever had an employer sandbag you like that? I have. Do you know what I call such employers? Guess.
That’s just the tip of the Senator’s irresponsible and disloyal iceberg. Snowe had stockpiled nearly $3.4 million in her campaign war chest as of Dec. 31 and led by 40 points in internal GOP polls. She won in 2006 with 74 percent of the vote, and her safe seat was part of her party’s calculations as it planned to re-take the Senate in 2012. It doesn’t matter that you might not want the GOP to get a Senate majority—it is Snowe’s duty to assist in that objective. If she can’t bring herself to stay for another six years—and after over three decades in Washington, I can’t blame her for that—it is at least her obligation not to sabotage the party that has supported her through the years more than she has supported it. She could have met that obligation by making this decision months ago, so that Republicans could recruit an electable replacement. By waiting until the last moment, she has thrown Maine Republicans and Democrats into panic mode, as her party didn’t know it needed a candidate and the Democrats didn’t know they needed one who actually might win. The only declared candidate in the GOP primary is Scott D’Amboise, a health care technician and small-business owner who is affiliated with the tea party.He’s a weak candidate and Snowe knows it, yet she withdrew with a March 15 filing deadline for other, more qualifies candidates ridiculously close at hand.
So, in summary, Snowe’s irresponsible, last minute decision betrayed her staff, undermined her party. and increased the likelihood that the voters of her state would have less than the best available alternatives to represent them in the Senate. Her message?
“Thank you, citizens of Maine, for sending me to the Senate since 1978! Thank-you, Republican Party, for helping to re-elect me, and giving me your support! Thank-you, loyal staff members, for providing me with your hard work, dedication and loyalty!”
“And screw you all…I’m out of here!”
[ Thanks to Arthur in Maine for the inside dope on his home state’s politics. I sure wasn’t going to get this from CNN. ]