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Snowe Decries Democrats Mad Rush to Pass Obamacare

While the Democrats hard sell worked to flip erstwhile “moderate” Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson, one centrist Republican who had voted for the Baucus version of a health care overhaul in committee, remained unswayed:

One GOP lawmaker who had been in talks with the White House, Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine, said the bill was being pushed through without a chance for meaningful debate or change.

She said the “beat the clock” approach “is really overruling legislative sanity.”

Unlike her Cornhusker colleague, the lady for the Pine Tree State is clearly not a “cheap date.”



  1. Perhaps Snowe is realizing that it wasn’t really history calling.

    Or, more precisely, she wants history to forget that it was her vote that allowed this debacle to go forward in the first place.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — December 20, 2009 @ 3:56 pm - December 20, 2009

  2. Meanwhile, she is a cheap date. She already sold out for air kisses from Teh One; now she’s probably trying to desperately show that she actually wants to get something for her vote, since everyone else did.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — December 20, 2009 @ 3:57 pm - December 20, 2009

  3. NDXXX, your comments at this time have no bearing on the reality of the situation. The bill would have gone forward without her vote.

    If she caves, as did Nelson, then I’ll join your criticism, but so far, she hasn’t even given the Democrats rhetorical cover. And the words quoted above are particularly strong, so give her some credit. Particularly given where she’s coming from.

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — December 20, 2009 @ 4:03 pm - December 20, 2009

  4. If she caves, as did Nelson, then I’ll join your criticism, but so far, she hasn’t even given the Democrats rhetorical cover.

    I strongly disagree on that. As in the article I quoted, her vote to move the legislation forward was repeatedly cited by Obama Party members.

    And the words quoted above are particularly strong, so give her some credit. Particularly given where she’s coming from.

    No. As the article I quoted pointed out, she is “electorally untouchable” in Maine. Furthermore, given that the public push was strongly AGAINST the Obamacare bill when she placed her vote, her voting against it could hardly cost her politically.

    Finally, her words are only critical of the process, not the bill itself. She quite obviously could care less about what is being rammed through; she’s only upset that it’s happening so quickly. She was used, she realizes that, and she also realizes that this could make her quite electorally touchable in Maine, especially when the full extent of the taxes, cost increases, and mandates that she voted to push forward are unveiled.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — December 20, 2009 @ 4:32 pm - December 20, 2009

  5. NDXXX, yeah, but her criticism of the process hurts the Democrats as much as anything. Especially as per your point that Dems use her vote to defend their bill.

    Don’t assume the worst about her.

    She appears to have come around now. If conservatives don’t commend her for that, she may find there’s no reward to bucking the Washington consensus to stand with her party.

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — December 20, 2009 @ 4:43 pm - December 20, 2009

  6. Dan, I am not ready to be more than civil with Olympia Snowe. If the Republicans had one or two more conservative Senators, I would probably seat her next to Arlen Specter at the kids table in the living room while the grown-ups dined.

    I will kiss her hem because we need her when she is willing to play on our side. But, I hope you will understand if I support a real conservative, be he Democrat, Independent or Republican to run against her Souter-like ways.

    Comment by heliotrope — December 20, 2009 @ 4:59 pm - December 20, 2009

  7. But, could we elect a more conservative Senator from Maine?

    Recall what Buckley said about nominating the most conservative candidate who can win in the general.

    Right now, she’s with us–and we should give her credit for that, especially given the efforts the White House has exerted to win her over.

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — December 20, 2009 @ 5:17 pm - December 20, 2009

  8. You have scratched me in the conundrum. I am full bore ready to rebuild the Republican Party or overwhelm it with the core of Constitutionalists and fiscally responsible voters who are fed up with earmarks, unfunded liabilities, too big to fail bailouts, politics as a career move to power and fortune and socialist psychobabble.

    Maine has been home to a growing number of hippy refugees and it has morphed from Down East Yankee cantankerousness to an unfortunate salmagundi of whiners and state dependents. If Maine can not send a more conservative Senator to Washington, then I expect we would be better served to work hard getting that Senator from elsewhere. Virginia, my state, has every reason to dump Webb. This sucker is going to vote for cloture and then vote against the Senate bill so he can claim to be conservative at election time. His vote is there when 60 votes are a must and he will get cover when he opposes the bill when only 50 votes are needed.

    All things considered, I would like to keep Maine in the club, but Olympia Snowe and Ben Nelson went to different schools together when it comes to how much their services cost. It is not a question whether they can be bought.

    Comment by heliotrope — December 20, 2009 @ 6:03 pm - December 20, 2009

  9. heliotrope, better to work to elect a conservative from Virginia where he could win than to deprive a moderate of the GOP nomination where her loss could hand the seat to a liberal.

    Should a miracle happen and the GOP win Massachusetts next month and pick up 10 seats next fall, having two Republican Senators from Maine, albeit moderates means Max Baucus is no longer chairman of the Finance Committee and Dick Durbin won’t be his party’s next Majority Leader.

    (For the record, I am currently predicting a 6-seat GOP pickup in the Senate, with an outside chance of 10.)

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — December 20, 2009 @ 6:23 pm - December 20, 2009

  10. Agreed. Snowe is probably the best we can hope for in Maine and since she is voting against this montrosity I welcome her aboard. As for Webb, his time will come. As I recall, he won by a 3,000 vote margin which can easily be overcome next time around. He certainly is NOT the conservative Democrat he claimed to be.

    Comment by John — December 20, 2009 @ 6:35 pm - December 20, 2009

  11. Let me confirm: Mainers love her here.

    Sure, I’d prefer Jesse Helms, but I’ll take Snowe over George Mitchell anyday.

    Best wishes,

    Comment by MFS — December 20, 2009 @ 8:15 pm - December 20, 2009

  12. I’m with you MFS & Dan – Olympia is untouchable here in the Pine Tree State. There are only 2 ways for her seat to open: she retires or she leaves her seat in a horizontal position toes up. If she does decide to retire or expire, look who’s waiting in the wings: ex-congressman Tom Allen. Ugh!

    Comment by Jim Michaud — December 20, 2009 @ 10:59 pm - December 20, 2009

  13. @#1

    Yes, exactly. She could’ve tied the process up (I say process because god only knows what in this bill, and the bill she allowed out of committee isn’t this one). She didn’t; therefore, she gets the blame she deserves. You simply cannot work with people who are bent on destroying the nation, Olympia.

    Comment by Michael — December 21, 2009 @ 1:43 am - December 21, 2009

  14. Snowe voted against cloture. That’s worth at least one point in my book. And McConnell held the caucus together. Kudos to him.

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — December 21, 2009 @ 2:54 am - December 21, 2009

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