Olympia Snowe wasted no time getting a column into the New York Times blaming Arlen Specter’s move across the aisle on intolerance of dissent within the GOP.   She compares the life of a moderate Republican in Congress to being a Survivor contestant, and laments that the party often wants to make politicians accountable for their votes in Congress (via Veronique de Rugy at The Corner):

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

Yes, it’s absolute hell being accountable for one’s decisions.  I would actually sympathize with Snowe’s statement here about litmus tests if Snowe hadn’t already failed it:

It is for this reason that we should heed the words of President Ronald Reagan, who urged, “We should emphasize the things that unite us and make these the only ‘litmus test’ of what constitutes a Republican: our belief in restraining government spending, pro-growth policies, tax reduction, sound national defense, and maximum individual liberty.” He continued, “As to the other issues that draw on the deep springs of morality and emotion, let us decide that we can disagree among ourselves as Republicans and tolerate the disagreement.”

Let’s have a show of hands from those who believe that Ronald Reagan would have voted for Porkulus, or issued a statement in support of massive government spending on make-work projects.  Anyone?  Anyone?  Bueller?  Bueller?

Now how many believe that Ronald Reagan would not just have vetoed Porkulus had it reached his desk, but would have scheduled a prime-time national address to let everyone see him do it?  Oh, let’s not always see the same hands.

I’d like to hear Snowe explain how the Porkulus bill for which she, Specter, and Susan Collins voted restrained government spending.  On top of a massive $3.5 trillion budget request from Barack Obama, the Porkulus Three provided the key votes to approve almost an additional trillion dollars in expanded government spending.  Not only did the three of them do that, but they stabbed their GOP colleagues in the back — including the moderates in the House who opposed the bill unanimously — when they could have forced the Democrats to craft a better bill that actually stimulated something other than key Democratic constituencies.

If Snowe thinks that Reagan would have sat silently while the three of them did all that damage, then she slept through the 1970s and the 1980s.