After Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer announced his retirement this week, Senate Democratic leadership let it be known that it already has the votes to confirm President Joe Biden’s nominee, and that the process will play out rather quickly. While Manchin and Sinema are corrupt pains in the ass, they tend to pick their battles, and Schumer has an accurate sense all along when it comes to which times he does or doesn’t have their vote.
This means Biden and the Democrats don’t need any Senate Republican votes in order to help make the Supreme Court confirmation happen. So why is Republican Senator Susan Collins up there giving a speech about how the confirmation process needs to play out slowly? After all, the Democrats don’t need her vote.
Let’s not forget that Collins is the Republican version of Manchin and Sinema. They like to verbally play both sides to see if they can corruptly get anything out of it from either side. Verbally playing both sides also allows them to come out of the process claiming to be moderate and bipartisan. Then they end up voting in whichever way they think benefits them the most, and make up some arbitrary excuse for voting that way. The only real difference is that while Sinema is terribly incompetent at playing this corrupt game (look at her 8% approval rating), Manchin is pretty good at playing the game, and Collins is an expert at playing the game.
Susan Collins is doing two things by speaking up. First, she’s letting Biden and the Democrats know that her vote is potentially for sale, if something unexpected happens and they lose one of their own votes along the way. Second, even presuming the Democrats do end up having all the votes they need, and Collins’ vote doesn’t count, she’ll still want to grandstand on it either way. So she’s just playing her own corrupt game.
As things now stand, the Democrats don’t need Susan Collins on this issue – which means we can just ignore her. If any media outlets or pundits try to chase ratings by framing things as “The Democrats need Collins’ vote on this or they’re doomed,” just keep in mind that according to Democratic Senate leadership, this is not the case at all.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report