Blind GOP Drove Specter Away: Snowe

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 29, 2009 8:11 AM CDT
Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pa., sits on the Democratic side of the aisle during an emergency hearing on swine flu, April 28, 2009, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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(Newser) – Arlen Specter’s departure is a “tremendous loss” for the Republican party, made “all the more painful because I believe it didn’t have to be this way,” Sen. Olympia Snowe writes in the New York Times. The party ought to have learned its lesson when Jim Jeffords switched teams 8 years ago, but instead plowed ahead, growing more conservative and turning "a blind eye to the iceberg under the surface.”

"It is true that being a Republican moderate sometimes feels like being a cast member of Survivor—you are presented with multiple challenges, and you often get the distinct feeling that you’re no longer welcome in the tribe," Snowe writes. But the party needs moderates just as much as it needs conservatives. “We can’t continue to fold our philosophical tent into an umbrella under which only a select few are worthy to stand.”