I’m assuming that most of you are generally non-political, and therefore have never heard of Olympia Snowe. She is, in fact, a Republican U.S. Senator from Maine and part of a dying breed soon to be as extinct as the Dodo bird. You see, she’s actually a Republican moderate, in this day and age, when the GOP has swung so far to the looney right, that they want to put Galileo on trial again for suggesting that the Earth revolves around the Sun instead of the other way around. What brought her to mind, was that she just announced that she will not run for re-election to the Senate this November although she could have easily won. She opined that the well of political discourse has been so thoroughly poisoned by increasing extremism on both sides of the aisle, that being the thoughtful moderate person she is, she could no longer achieve anything beneficial for her state or for the country. This means that maybe 2 moderate Republicans are left in the Senate-her fellow Senator from Maine, Susan Collins, and perhaps Scott Brown from Mass. (As an aside, the race for President in 2008 might have been a whole different ball game if John McCain, instead of selecting the dingbat from Alaska as his running mate, had picked an intelligent woman like Olympia Snowe.)
There was a time, however, and not that long ago, when a fair number of moderate to liberal members of Congress did belong to the Republican party. There was an excellent Senator from New Jersey named Clifford Case, whose son recently campaigned for his father’s old seat in N.J., but was much more conservative and lost the race. The first black man elected to the Senate since Reconstruction days was named Edwin Brooke from Mass. and was quite the moderate. New York had several what would be called liberal politicians such as Senator Jacob Javits, John Lindsey who was mayor of NYC, and of course, Nelson Rockefeller who became Governor of NY and later, Vice-President. I first ran into Rockefeller in my early 20s when I still lived in Brooklyn and he was running for Governor. I was strolling along the boardwalk in Coney Island one Sunday, with some friends, when this larger than life figure came charging at me, grabbed my hand pumping it up and down, and said-“How ya doing fella. Would certainly appreciate your vote come November,” and then strode on to the next prospective voter. ( As an interesting footnote to Rockefeller’s career, shortly after he served his term as VP, he died in the saddle so to speak. He had a fatal heart attack while having sex with his mistress, an event that sent her into a state of shock. She refused any public comment, and the last I heard, she was entering a nunnery.)
Of course we could further back into history to Old Rough and Ready himself, Teddy Roosevelt. You think a sane, rational, no-nonsense guy like TR could ever be his party”s nominee in today’s political climate? Which brings us to his royal mittness, Mitt Romney who will almost certainly win the GOP nomination this year. After next Tuesday’s primaries in 10 states, I’m pretty sure Romney will have a lock on the nomination. Here we will have a candidate that exudes, out of every pore in his being, a lifetime of privilege and wealth. There is absolutely no lack of self-confidence or doubt in his manner. I believe the last President we had like that was John Kennedy. But besides supreme self-cofidence, Kennedy also had tons of charm, charisma, and a sharp sense of humor, qualities I see lacking in Romney. Nevertheless, he’s a good looking guy, which should appeal to women, and all he has to do is cut into the white woman’s vote, which Obama captured last time and he has a lock on the election. Forget that he flip flopped on a whole range of issues- first being for universal health care, legalized abortion, gay rights and a whole host of others, before he realized he had to do a 180 on these very same issues in order to secure the GOP nomination. With little compunction he is now adamantly against everything he once stood for, but voters have short memories and this should be no hinderance. Besides he has a powerful organization funded by a gaggle of billionaires anxious to get rid of Obama.
I believe Obama has too many negatives to be re-elected. His biggest success was killing Osama Bin Laden, which was huge. A large number of other low-life terrorists have also been killed on his watch. But the negatives keep multiplying. There’s the lousy economy, the high unemployment rate, the huge quantity of red-ink Government debt we’ve incurred, and increasing gasoline prices which could be the ultimate killer of Obama’s re-election hopes. But people should keep in mind that if, indeed, Romney wins the election, Roe V. Wade and legal abortion are dead for openers. Romney will get to appoint at least one and perhaps more judges to the Supreme Court, which will then overturn Roe V. Wade. Also look for sharp increases in Defense spending where we are already spending $700 billion a year. It seems that in right-wing whacko land, it’s not the spending that troubles people, it’s what the money is being spent on. Spend it on the sick or poor or jobless or those that are losing their homes to foreclosure, and that’s a bad thing. But spend it on military hardware or troop increases or building a 90 foot wall to keep out illegal Mexicans, and the sky’s the limit.
Aren’t you glad we’re living in such interesting times? Strap yourselves in tightly for the coming roller-coaster ride.