Fewer politicians have ruined their reputation more rapidly than Susan Collins of Maine. While most senators cruise to re-election for their fourth or fifth term in the Senate, Collins is one of the most vulnerable senior members of the Senate – potentially facing a primary challenger while dealing with a strong Democratic opponent in former Maine assembly speaker Sara Gideon.
As she lives in a fairly moderate state hit by last year’s blue wave, she’s either not moderate enough or sufficiently pro-Trump enough when it comes to her voting base. Even worse is the fact that she’s currently the only Republican in Congress representing the New England region – but it may not be for much longer. She tried positioning herself as a moderate during the first year of the Trump administration, despite the fact that she nearly always votes in line with Donald Trump’s policies, nearly 90% of the time. Even though she voted against the repeal of Obamacare, she supported a disastrous tax cut that would help to chisel it away.
While she claims to be pro-choice, she only pretended to be concerned about Brett Kavanaugh, before voting for his nomination anyway – and acting surprised at the sudden rash of anti-choice legislation we saw across the states last spring. She even voted in favor of letting Trump take money from military families to fund his border wall.
On the same day that the White House released a memo detailing Trump’s phone conversation with the Ukrainian president, two of Mitch McConnell’s aides threw Collins a fundraiser. It was only a preview of things to come, as he plans to personally throw her another one on October 21, according to The Wall Street Journal, promising to spare no expense.
As the Trump presidency is rapidly unraveling, McConnell is doing what he can to save the GOP from going down with him, and the most obvious answer is saving the Senate in 2020. Of course, this is looking less likely by the hour. McConnell in the last few days seems to be acting against Trump in the open and we could expect to see Collins join him in the near future, if only to say she’s disappointed in the new revelations.
We could see a few speak out against Trump before election time, if not openly call for his impeachment, simply to save their own careers, while hanging on him every piece of corrupt legislation they’ve proudly supported in the past and let him autograph. When Trump’s presidency finally comes to an end, we can’t afford to be fooled into thinking the party has changed for the better. w
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making