The decision of Olympia Snowe, the moderate Republican from Maine, to retire from the Senate is more than a little troubling. We’ve suffered through more than three years of gridlock as senators and congressmen from both sides of the isle refuse to work together. They point fingers at each other like little children, accusing the other of not playing fair, of not having the country’s best interests at heart. Fewer and fewer of our elected leaders are willing to work together, and the moderates are starting to leave what they perceive as a sinking ship. But where does that leave us as the passengers?
Olympia Snowe was one of the increasingly few voices of reason in the Senate, willing to work with Democrats and Republicans alike and find compromises that would result in solutions that moved us forward. The online edition of the Washington Post said, “Snowe has made a reputation, over 33 years in Congress, as someone eager to build political bridges between moderates from both parties. But in recent years, she has become an increasingly isolated voice in a Congress hobbled by partisan gridlock.”
The easy answer, to vote these uncompromising people out of office, is no answer at all because we only know some of them, the very verbal ones whose names are always on the news, and there doesn’t seem to be any reasonable people to take their place. What’s even more disturbing, though, is that not only are our leaders unreasonable, I see an increasing number of our citizens who are caught up in the same uncompromising nonsense, the same mean-spirited name-calling of people in the party they don’t support, and I haven’t heard any voices of reason loud enough to be heard over their shouting.
I don’t blame Senator Snowe for leaving. There is a limit to the nonsense that reasonable people can suffer before they’ve had enough. It’s all well and good that we have our wonderful Constitution, but that document isn’t what governs our country and the people that were elected to do so are not up to the task. I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling very helpless right now, and I don’t have a good feeling that things will change come next January, no matter who is elected.
ADDENDUM: I opened our paper this morning and this was the headline. The gridlock is at every level of our government, not just the federal.
- Sen. Olympia Snowe announces retirement: Can the GOP hold her seat? – Washington Post (washingtonpost.com)
- A Congress with no room for Olympia Snowe and other centrists? (csmonitor.com)