Snowe: GOP in trouble

Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) took to the pages of the NY Times today to lament Arlen Specter's decision to switch parties and urge her party to accept greater diversity.

"Regrettably, we failed to learn the lessons of Jim Jeffords's defection in 2001," Snowe wrote in an op-ed. "To the contrary, we overreached in interpreting the results of the presidential election of 2004 as a mandate for the party."

Snowe argued ideological rigidity would prevent the party from ever regaining the majority.

"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," she wrote.

And Snowe describe her precarious position as a northeastern, Republican centrist with a stark metaphor.

"It is true that being a Republican moderate sometimes feels like being a cast member of 'Survivor,'" she said, "you are presented with multiple challenges, and you often get the distinct feeling that you're no longer welcome in the tribe."

Snowe herself has been approached in the past by Democrats about a party switch but has rebuffed them. Along with Specter, Snowe was one of three Republican Senators--along with her colleague from Maine, Susan Collins--to vote for President Obama's stimulus proposal.