I sent the following letter, in more personalized form, by email to the offices of Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine and Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania. Though I disagree with them politically on more than one issue, I applaud their ability and willingness to put country before party and vote for the stimulus bill in the Senate. We need more Republicans willing to cross the aisle and reach an effective consensus with the White House and the Democratic congressional majority.
I have criticized the cutting of the bill, and in so doing I have criticized Senator Collins and Senator Nelson of Nebraska. I stand by my statements about the substance of the bill, but I understand the pragmatic need for compromise in politics even if I do not like it. The bill passed in the Senate is not the best bill possible, but it is still a good bill. I do not believe we should stop fighting for the items cut. We should continue to press for them to be passed separately. However, we should give credit where credit is due. These three senators have crossed the aisle, to meet the president Americans elected for his promise of bipartisanship in a fair and bipartisan way. If more of their fellow Republican senators would follow of them, it would be a good thing for the country. I hope they do not allow the backlash they are experiencing from within their party's caucus to do the right thing again in the future. I encourage my readers to send similar letters to these three senators, regardless of their home states. If you live in a state with Republican senatorial representation, send them letters expressing your disappointment that they have not followed the example set by these three. Urge them to do so in the future.
The letter I sent them is as follows:
Senatosr Collins, Snowe, and Specter,
I am not one of your constituents, but I want to thank you anyway. I want to thank you for caring more about the country than about partisan politics, and for helping to pass a bill I believe the country needs. I am a registered Democrat and rather a liberal, so there are issues on which I am sure we disagree. I don't want to floridly say that I wish I lived in your Maine or Pennsylvania so I could vote for you, because I do not honestly know if I would vote for you or not.
That said, I admire you. What you have done has won my respect and my gratitude. I maintain a blog, The Eclectic Radical (www.eclecticradical.blogspot.com) and I will be posting a copy of this email to that blog as well as sending it to the three of you and I will speak well of your patriotism and conviction to do what is right for America. Thank you.
Though I have indicated that I would like a reply, do not feel obligated to give one. I realize I am not one of your constituents. I do hope you read this, however, because I want you to know how I feel.
Christopher M. Richards