Sen. Susan Collins is at it again with a new get-your-hopes-up stunt, telling reporters on Friday that she is speaking with “a fairly small group” of Republican senators about allowing witnesses at Donald Trump’s impeachment trial. The problem is, the only reliable thing about Collins is her unreliability. Collins likes to present herself as some thoughtful, reasonable moderate who will stand up to Trump, but we know she will almost certainly disappoint. Fortunately, although voting is several months away, Collins’ recent reelection campaign announcement is already leading people to step up efforts to ensure she does not get elected to a fifth term in November.
Majority Forward, a not-for-profit organization that works with Senate Majority PAC, launched a six-figure TV and digital ad campaign across Maine this week. In the ad, titled “Half Measures,” Majority Forward calls out Collins for voting against measures that would have lowered the cost of prescription drugs, pointing out that she meanwhile “raked in $1.4 million” from drug and insurance companies. As the ad states simply, “Collins should work for Mainers, not donors.”
Also this week, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) launched a new Web site, whatchangedsusan.com, aimed at exposing Collins’ hypocrisy, contrasting her statements about Trump’s impeachment trial with those she made ahead of President Bill Clinton’s trial. The site accuses Collins of once being “outspoken in her support of a fair process, including witnesses and evidence” while refusing to demand the same now that Trump is on the hot seat.
As the site points out, even Collins’ talk of this secret meeting with other GOP senators about witnesses comes up short. Last week, Collins told Maine Public Radio that she is “open to witnesses” only to immediately insist it is “premature” to make any witness decisions until well after the trial begins. Although Collins did tell reporters on Monday that former National Security Advisor John Bolton would “certainly be one” of the witnesses who would, at least, be “appropriate for Stage 3” of Trump’s trial, she failed to speak up after Trump told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham on Friday that he would invoke executive privilege to prevent Bolton’s testimony altogether.
For three years, Susan Collins has performed the same faux-resistance routine. Whether it’s about Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination or Trump’s impeachment trial, Collins has proven herself to be a master of displaying great concern only to enable Trump bigly in the end. It is time to close the curtain on this tired act. Maine needs a thunderous blue wave to grace its rocky shores this November.