To the editor:

Maine newspapers have been filled lately with accolades for Olympia Snowe and with commentaries lamenting the loss of bipartisanship her retirement from the Senate is thought to represent.

The accolades aren’t a surprise. Snowe has been the favorite Republican of independents, Democrats and the liberal media for a long time. If many Republicans are less enthusiastic about her, it is because in recent years she has been an increasingly unreliable vote on almost every issue that is of fundamental importance to the party.

Republicans shouldn’t fall for the hand-wringing about the lack of political cooperation in Congress. What liberals mean today by bipartisanship is that Republicans should end their opposition to the country’s steady drift toward a social-welfare state characterized by excessive spending, expanding entitlements, growing indebtedness and costly regulation.

Many independents and some Democrats, as well as Republicans, understand that moving along the road to Greece is not the right direction for America.

Politics at the national level has always been partisan, sometimes fiercely so, as it should be when the future of the country is at stake. Recall Nancy Pelosi’s definition of bipartisanship, “We won,” and that as soon as he had the Democratic votes he needed, Harry Reid dismissed any Republican input into Obamacare.

Republicans don’t need a Pelosi or Reid equivalent. The party simply needs someone who understands and supports core Republican principles. Central to these is a belief that government should limit its goals, balance its checkbook and restrain the regulatory leviathan.

A Republican candidate who can focus on these principles, explain how they are being abused today in Washington and refrain from preaching to the public about private beliefs and values can win the party primary and can win the Senate seat in November.

Martin Jones,

[email protected]