Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Good Sign From Susan Collins

Recently I've wondered how long Susan Collins (up for re-election in 2014) and Olympia Snowe (up in 2012) would remain Republicans. After watching the Tea Party end the careers of moderate and even not-so-moderate Republicans, I'm sure they're worried about their future in the party. The best course here is probably to become Democratic-caucusing independents in exchange for assurances from Democratic leaders that voting the right way would earn them the Bernie Sanders treatment, where the Democratic Party just stands down and doesn't run a serious candidate against them.

So I'm happy to see Susan Collins attacking Sarah Palin for being a "celebrity commentator" instead of governing.


CharleyCarp said...

No one can make that deal. Last time I saw it, I swore that the next time someone used the 'x party runs y' construction, I would scream.

It sounds somewhat Dean-like.

As you absolutely know, parties don't 'run' candidates. Individuals self-select, and first self-market to funders, and them to the primary electorate. There are a bunch of funders, and they can, and often do, act independently of each other.

What can Reid offer? An assurance that he won't campaign in Maine, and will encourage others to similarly refrain. Unless a better deal emerges, and then whatever promises were made are worthless. The Maine senators should still take that deal, imo, but people should stop acting like real agreements are at issue.

CharleyCarp said...

I'm also far from convinced that there's any actual understandings with Sanders. He got where he is on his own.

Maybe the more realistic comparison is Spector. I don't know what people said to him, but I know what it was worth.

Neil Sinhababu said...

The Maine state Party would have to be in on the deal to some extent.

There at least was this much with Sanders -- the Democrats didn't run anybody against him. That takes some degree of coordination, and it was successfully carried off.

AJD said...

Yes, but consider in the case of Sanders that it's also true that potential Democratic candidates in Vermont have little or no reason to be dissatisfied with Sanders's (past or future) voting record—i.e., no Democrat felt like running against Sanders because no Democrat felt that Sanders was unlikely to be a satisfactory Senator. That may not be the case in Maine.

Neil Sinhababu said...

That's true, AJD. Certainly Collins and Snowe will have to spend some time and effort racking up an appropriate voting record if they want to make this work.

Davis X. Machina said...

Collins is pissed because Palin is the competition.

The Collins 2016 model is based on walking into the smoking ruins of the GOP after the blowout, like Fortinbras in Hamlet. If the Dems had done a '98 and actually gained seats in a mid-term, she'd be running now.

A northerner, not a God-botherer, pro-choice, a cultural moderate (Family Leave Act), her affect is the opposite-of-a-politician (the anti-Romney).

We're supposed to turn our lonely eyes to her after all the madness...

Don't discount the level of her delusion, or her staff's ambition.