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Were Snowe and Collins threatened with a primary?

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sandyd921 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 07:58 PM
Original message
Were Snowe and Collins threatened with a primary?
Is it possible that Senators Snowe and Collins withdrew any hope of their supporting the public option and any Democratic healthcare bill because they were threatened with a Republican primary? That's the story one expatriate journalist is reporting based on unnamed sources ("a senior GOP Senate staffer"):

Maines two usually reasonable and moderate Republican Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe spent the summer trying to find ways to support health care reform, including some form of a public option. Suddenly, they did an abrupt about-face: No public option, no non-profit co-ops, no triggers, no anything in the bill theyd previously supported.

So what happened?

Last week, they were bombarded with calls, elevator and hallway chats, and e-mails from the RNC, the Senate leadership, other Senators, people on the partys Senate campaign committee, serious donors, a GOP Senate staffer explains to me Tuesday afternoon by phone.

Basically, the message was the same he insists. Support health care in any form and face serious, well-funded primary challenges when theyre up for re-election.


http://www.ukprogressive.co.uk/gop-thugs-warn-collins-s...

While not as many as in some parts of the country, here in Maine we certainly have our share of right-wing-nuttery. Just take a look at the board many of them hang out at, As Maine Goes: http://www.asmainegoes.com / (if you don't mind wading into that muck). You can be sure that that ilk would not forget their moderate senators voting for "Obamacare" (even though their terms are not up until 2012 and 2014) and if the GOP funneled money to a conservative opponent, those two would be out on their keisters. So, if true, their sudden opposition would make a lot of sense. That, combined with the fact that they are still republicans and all the money they're raking in from the insurance and healthcare lobbies, explains a lot. For example see: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/06/10/snowes-ties-to...

Gotta say I'm not all that surprised. Been saying to people (including some involved in coordinating efforts to convince them to support healthcare reform and the public option) all along that they'd back out. I also kept saying that maybe it was time to take the gloves off with these two but was told that there was lots of hope they'd go along.
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DrToast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 08:00 PM
Response to Original message
1. After what happened with Specter, I doubt it.
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sandyd921 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 08:30 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. Spector got out of the GOP
due to pressure from the right and the threat of a primary. He was a Democrat a long time ago so it made sense for him to move back into the Democratic column. Both of these women have no history with Democrats and they tenaciously cling to a miniscule fragment of moderate republicanism (and apparently to their delusions). Unlike Spector, If both were similarly bullied, they are much less likely to just tell them to shove it. They just swallow it and hope that their GOP masters will once again allow them to cast a few liberal-appearing votes here and there to continue the illusion of the independent (called "unenrolled" in Maine) and dumb Democratic voters back home that they're really "independent" and not controlled by the GOP.
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DrToast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 08:34 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. Specter was a democrat 40+ years ago.
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sandyd921 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 08:38 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. He has a different MO than they do.
These two represent (and I would say cling to) a tradition of old-style republicanism in Maine (remember Margaret Chase Smith?). It's basically dead and buried, but they still hang on to their illusions.
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Bleacher Creature Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 08:05 PM
Response to Original message
2. Collins was just re-elected last year.
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 08:05 PM by Bleacher Creature
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sandyd921 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 08:11 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Well the nuts have long memories...n/t
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Gman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 08:22 PM
Response to Original message
4. Sure appears to be so.
And with seizure of the GOP by the far right nuts and the stoking of the RW idiocy fires either one would be easy pickins in a primary for a wingnut. The wingnut would lose horrifically in the GE. We'd likely be better off in the long run.
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sandyd921 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 08:35 PM
Response to Reply #4
9. Yep, a primary from the right would be sweet.
But it's clear that those two will never bite.
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 08:25 PM
Response to Original message
5. I'd REALLY like to know what has kept them on the reservation. nt
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grantcart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 08:33 PM
Response to Original message
7. Lincoln Chafee said some time ago that they would face primary contests
if they voted for the bill.
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ShadowLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 09:55 PM
Response to Original message
11. Didn't Collins already oppose the public option, etc, before the summer recess?
I wouldn't be surprised if some kind of heavy pressure was put on them to get them to take those stances, but I'm kind of skeptical that they'd even need to worry about a primary challenge. I mean the soonest they're up for reelection is Snowe in 2012, and she won something like 80% of the vote in the general election in a horrible year for the GOP. Plus Maine has elected several governors registered as independents in the past, so surely a popular incumbent moderate senator like Snowe could still win a general election in Maine as an independent.
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stevietheman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 09:57 PM
Response to Original message
12. Ummm, why don't they just become Democrats? n/t
n/t
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sandyd921 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 10:00 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. See posts 6 and 10 above. n/t
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SpartanDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 10:05 PM
Response to Original message
14. Steele threatened he might support a primary after the stimulus vote
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Sebastian Doyle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 10:07 PM
Response to Original message
15. Poppy still lives in Kennebunkport.
Perhaps he made it known that it "wouldn't be prudent" for them to vote with Democrats at "this juncture"?
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