LTE: Past Models of Bipartisanship Abound

The Portland Press Herald
by Lori Moses, Cumberland County Child Care Resource Development Center

Never has the U.S. Congress been so polarized. It is now almost impossible to pass legislation to improve the state of the nation and its citizens — the parties are more intent on working on self-aggrandizement and the status of their political party.

It’s gotten so bad that Sen. Olympia Snowe decided in disgust last month not to run again.It was not always that way. There was a time when the country came first, not the party. Mainers don’t have to look beyond their state for excellent examples of bipartisanship and cordiality. Sens. Edmund Muskie, a Democrat, and Margaret Chase Smith, a Republican, were good friends who forged major legislation that benefited the nation and Maine.

Later, Republican Sen. William Cohen and Democratic Sen. George Mitchell worked in unison and harmony to sponsor major bills for the common good. The close friends even co-authored a novel. No wonder that President Bill Clinton crossed party lines to appoint Cohen as his secretary of state.

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