Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Another One Bites the Dust

First Chuck Hagel declares he's not running for reelection (or anything else), then former Senator Lincoln Chafee bails on the GOP, and now its Congressman Jim Randstad.

From the Star Tribune

Citing fatigue and political isolation, U.S. Rep. Jim Ramstad triggered a scramble by potential successors with a surprise announcement Monday that he is retiring from Congress next year after nine terms.

Ramstad, 61, had barely finished announcing his decision when at least five potential candidates declared an interest in going after his seat while other potential hopefuls were mentioned.

And even though the Third District in the Twin Cities' western suburbs has been supremely safe for him, Ramstad said there's no guarantee it will remain so for a Republican successor.

He said he has grown tired from the relentless physical grind of service in Washington and weary of being a lonely centrist in an increasingly polarized legislative body.

Looks like the GOP has begun to hemorrhage moderate politicians in addition to moderate voters. Should this trend continue it'll mean that the GOP will remain the minority party for a long time to come. If the Republican party doesn't reengage the middle over the next few years they'll have to wait for the Dems to screw up as big as they did and then we'll end up with a much more radical Grand Old Party running things. Hopefully they'll pull out of this nosedive in time to bring back divided government sometime around 2012.