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August 10, 2006

Snowefall This Winter?

By Neil the Ethical Werewolf

Larry Sabato has the Democrats looking at a five-seat gain in the Senate, one short of the six it takes to give us control. Under these circumstances, Senate Democrats will, I'm sure, be looking for some moderate Republican who's interested in joining the team and putting them over the top, perhaps in exchange for a committee chair's job or some other favors.

This is a question I don't know a lot about, but how big is the possibility of getting Olympia Snowe to switch parties? She's probably the most liberal Republican in the Senate not named "Chafee". Despite having voted for Roberts and Alito, she votes the pro-choice position on most abortion-related legislation, and she's getting uneasy about Iraq. You can see her voting record here.

August 10, 2006 | Permalink

Comments

How about we offer her Lieberman's chairmanships?

Posted by: Allen K. | Aug 10, 2006 1:55:26 PM

One wonders if Snowe and Collins will both jump ship. Both enjoy the exact same favorability rating in both parties. And they vote together very frequently. Since it's quite possible that the gay bashing and extremist anti-abortion rhetoric may get worse in the House (see also Joe Schwarz loss and the winner in the primary for Hefley's old seat), and several of the pro-choice House members may lose, plus Chafee (the only real pro-choice Senator), they may really be without a home.

I think the more likely scenario is that they have a sit-down with Jeffords and become Democratic-caucusing independents.

Posted by: Nicholas Beaudrot | Aug 10, 2006 1:59:19 PM

I don't think it's very great. If anything, in either case--if the Democrats not just do well but, in a more unlikely scenario, absolutely Demolish the Republicans, or if they come close but still remain the minority party--she could be in a greater position of power as a party moderate, someone whom would receive greater attention if the party decides it needs a more middle-of- the-road senator, at least as its face. But then again, I'd like to be proven wrong.

Posted by: Brian | Aug 10, 2006 1:59:37 PM

I know nothing about him or the various cosiderations going into such a decision, but what about Hagel. He's safe in his seat, and he just needs to convinced that the natural place for sane Republicans is inside the Democratic Party. We'd get huge press as the party of inclusion and the party of sanity, and Hagel would immediately be the leading moderate/conservative Democrat--which, gawd willing, will not be a small wing of the party.

Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Aug 10, 2006 2:09:57 PM

Hagel is running for President as an anti-Bush isolationist-social conservative Republican. I don't think he'd accept the nomination.

Posted by: Nicholas Beaudrot | Aug 10, 2006 2:28:07 PM

You said it. She friggin voted for Alito and Roberts. Nuff said. She needs to go. Go the way of Lieberman, who also voted for both those asshats.

You don't get to claim prochoice cred AND vote against choice...strongly against choice...in the next breath. Sorry, unless she takes a binding oath to FILIBUSTER any future Bush nominee to the SCOTUS, period, should she be allowed or even encouraged to jump ship. It doesn't help jack if you gain a few more DINOs who will nonetheless vote the ReichWing way when it comes to judges.

Posted by: Praedor Atrebates | Aug 10, 2006 2:34:54 PM

Hagel is running for President as an anti-Bush isolationist-social conservative Republican. I don't think he'd accept the nomination.

He should know (as McCain purportedly half-realized last time around) that he has a much better shot at the Democratic nomination. If not this time, then next time around.

Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Aug 10, 2006 2:41:50 PM

Sorry, Praedor. I'm pretty sure the last few years have shown otherwise.

Having committees swing your way in the house and senate is pretty essential. You think that Alito and Robert would have made it out of committee if the dems had been running judiciary? No way.

Also, imagine if Pat Roberts had been unable to block up the second part of the investigation on intelligence for the last two and a half years.

Senate control is incredibly important. I just hope that Lieberman doesn't win, swing the other way if the republicans support him financially, and allow Dick Cheney to break the tie. That would be a disaster.

Posted by: tomboy | Aug 10, 2006 2:43:28 PM

Can we please not throw away actual control for the sake of passing some Naderite purity test? Jeebus. So she votes the wrong way some times. She votes the right way others. Take the win if it's offered.

Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Aug 10, 2006 2:48:41 PM

Senate control is incredibly important. I just hope that Lieberman doesn't win, swing the other way if the republicans support him financially, and allow Dick Cheney to break the tie. That would be a disaster.

Not really. If Cheney is needed to break ties, then filibuster is rock solid. Cheney is useless with a filibuster and a split that is 50-50 is a certain win for filibusterers.

Posted by: Praedor Atrebates | Aug 10, 2006 2:49:28 PM

SCTM: I think Hagel is expecting that there will be no change in course, and that by 2008 there will be enough anti-war Republicans that if you could get them all, you'd win some primaries. Historically, the Republican party has been the "have a big army but never use it" party, so maybe people will tire of Cheney's adventure.

Posted by: Nicholas Beaudrot | Aug 10, 2006 2:53:50 PM

Can we please not throw away actual control for the sake of passing some Naderite purity test?

It isn't just a simple "purity test", it's the friggin' Constitution. Alito and Roberts are not just anti-choice, they are anti-Constitution, pro "unitary executive", and pro-signing "statements have real legitimacy" equal to actual law. Alito is pro-strip searching little girls (and anyone else, for that matter). Roberts and Alito are pro-women-are-property (for all practical purposes...they aren't allowed to control their bodies).

It is more than just an abortion thing. It is EVERYTHING these criminals on the SCROTUS rule on. They are enablers of dictatorship. That is unforgivable.

Posted by: Praedor Atrebates | Aug 10, 2006 2:56:15 PM

I don't think either Snowe or Collins is likely to switch... yet. For the moment they are entirely electable in their own state as prncipled moderates, and as long as that holds up there's really no electoral pressure on them. I think it's different for women politicians, to some degree, and I suspect they are both Republicans because they like being Republicans and it would be uncomfortable to leave that behind, absent a compelling reason. I think the male politicians who have jumped ship, or roil about (a la Zell Miller) in "my part left me" styled whining, really don't have the same kind of philosophical dilemma. They just like being where the action is, preferably where the attention is mostly focused on them. And that, Mr. Lieberman, is why you come off as smug, rather than serious.

Posted by: weboy | Aug 10, 2006 3:50:14 PM

Abosolutely no chance that Snowe will switch. I'm from Maine, where Snowe is as popular Tom Brady, and part of her popularity derives from her willingness to take on the GOP leadership, even if she often buckles in the end. Downeast indepedence and all that.

As for Hagel, I think he's going to run for President as an independent, even though I've never heard anyone other than myself predict this. But think about it: he knows he can't win the Republican Primary, where McCain has the moderates locked up, and he's been cautiously yet unmistakably opposing standard GOP positions. I think the likihood will go up if someone other than McCain wins the GOP primary. If he did run, he could, despite his undeniable conservatism, plausibily claim to represent the center, focusing on getting us out of Iraq. Logistical hurdles notwithstanding, I think he'd win.

Posted by: david mizner | Aug 10, 2006 4:07:28 PM

David,

If Snowe's popularity is due to her willingness to stand up to the GOP leadership, which itself comes from "downeast independence," then why exactly is there "no way" she would go independent, as Jeffords did?

Now, I'm just a slow-talkin' Southwesterner living in the plain-speakin' Midwest, so maybe I just don't understand how things are done in the Northeast. But if Bush really becomes a long-term liability, wouldn't it be at least tempting for her to eschew either party and to make a commitment to caucus with the party that best represents her constituents - that is, the Democrats until such time as the Dem party changes or whatever.

Posted by: Stephen | Aug 10, 2006 7:14:21 PM

I'm also from Maine, and I second David's opinion: Snowe will not switch parties, not a chance.

Posted by: Salmo | Aug 10, 2006 10:31:36 PM

BUT IS IT POSSIBLE THAT SHE WILL LEAVE THE GOP AND BECOME AN INDEPENDENT?????????

Jeez!

Posted by: Stephen | Aug 10, 2006 11:07:21 PM

I used to live in Maine. Let's not forget that Snowe is married to a former Republican Governor. Not going to happen.

Posted by: Esq. | Aug 11, 2006 6:00:11 PM

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