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Olympia Snowe NY Times Op-Ed On Specter Defection

The upside for Democrats is that they won't listen to a word of what Sen. Snowe says.

I have said that, without question, we cannot prevail as a party without conservatives. But it is equally certain we cannot prevail in the future without moderates.

In that same vein, I am reminded of a briefing by a prominent Republican pollster after the 2004 election. He was asked what voter groups Republicans might be able to win over. He responded: women in general, married women with children, Hispanics, the middle class in general, and independents.

How well have we done as a party with these groups? Unfortunately, the answer is obvious from the results of the last two elections. We should be reaching out to these segments of our population — not de facto ceding them to the opposing party.

There is no plausible scenario under which Republicans can grow into a majority while shrinking our ideological confines and continuing to retract into a regional party. Ideological purity is not the ticket back to the promised land of governing majorities — indeed, it was when we began to emphasize social issues to the detriment of some of our basic tenets as a party that we encountered an electoral backlash.

At the heart of this is the belief by conservatives that the very same thing that has driven them off a cliff - hardcore conservatism - is what is needed to bring them back into relevancy. But they don't even realize how far gone it is.

The Republican party isn't even relevant right now, let alone in danger of contending for the majority again.

Do situations like this change? Sure, they can turn on a dime. But the Republican party seems dead set on screwing itself. Better them than the country.