Susan Collins tends to be concerned quite often, usually over whatever reckless or stupid stunt Donald Trump just pulled, but never enough to actually do anything about it. It’s a tiresome act of trying to pass as a moderate in a fairly moderate state while also avoiding the wrath of Donald Trump and his base, even if it ran out of gas some time in 2018. She used some harsher words this time around when the Trump administration talked about ending protections for transgender patients, vowing that she would work to overturn the new policy.
It’s a bit stronger than any commitment she made in the past against Donald Trump, but the problem is that she’s actually worked to help make these policies possible in the first place. In light of yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling, it’s not going to be easy for her to sweep under the rug either. She was the pivotal deciding vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, who not only supported the right of employers to discriminate against LGBT employees, but wrote his own dissent against the 6-3 ruling, calling it an obscure interpretation of the law.
Collins has lost a number of crucial endorsements that give her credentials as a moderate in Maine – with gun control advocates and environmental advocates deciding to endorse her opponent, Sara Gideon, instead. There was the possibility that Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court would largely be pushed to the backburner by the time the 2020 elections were in full swing, but her comments on the matter just brought Kavanaugh back to the forefront and ensured that he’ll almost certainly be a campaign liability for her this year when it comes to debates and campaign commercials.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making