Former Representative Claudine Schneider (R-RI) believes that the Republican Party is heading in the wrong direction. According to Think Progress, the moderate Republican believes that today's Republican Party has no place for centrists like herself, and that the current crop of Republican women in Congress are "not voting in the interest of all women," particularly with regards to the question of pay equity.

Schneider joins other disaffected Republicans like former George W. Bush adviser David Frum and The Myth of Heterosexual AIDS author Michael Fumento in decrying a Republican Party that they believe has moved too far to the right. She said that former President Ronald Reagan "would be embarrassed" by today's Republicans, who have driven out all but the most extreme candidates in primary elections all over the country.

She is particularly disappointed in women Republicans, who she says are so frightened of losing their primaries, that "They have drunk the Kool-Aid that makes them think it is more important to win, than to do what is right by ending discrimination. The conservatives have co-opted the primaries and in order to win, they appear to do whatever it will take. Clearly, based on [the voting records of the 24 current Republican Congresswomen], they are NOT voting in the best interest of all women and men, because when women lose, families lose!"

Republican women legislators have formed a caucus called the Women's Policy Committee, a tack that Schneider dismissed as window-dressing. "This is merely posturing so that the Republican party might stop hemorrhaging the women’s vote," she said.

Schneider was instrumental in passing laws protecting the environment, health legislation and gender equity laws like the Economic Equity and the Pension Equity Acts. She served five terms in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1981 to 1991.

(image via Wikimedia Commons)