Remembering Susan Collins

Dennis Sanders

Dennis is the pastor of a small Protestant congregation outside St. Paul, MN and also a part-time communications consultant. A native of Michigan, you can check out his writings over on Medium and subscribe to his Substack newsletter on religion and politics called Polite Company.  Dennis lives in Minneapolis with his husband Daniel.

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11 Responses

  1. Philip H says:

    Susan Collins did a lot of good as a Senator and we must remember this. However, we also must remember that when it counted, Senator Collins fell short.

    This is the essence of where many of us on the left fall on her and others in the allegedly moderate camp. For a long time she well represented Maine, which a complex social and political state in spite of its small size. Its hard to tell exactly when she began to morph in this direction, but clearly the Republican Party still has a problem (developed under Reagan and made worse with GW Bush) admitting it is flawed and makes mistakes. Senator Collins is no exception, doubling down as she has on her defense of both the President and Justice Cavanaugh. What irks the left – and I suspect a good many moderate conservatives as well – is she appeared for so long to have principals and to stick to them consistently, until keeping power required her to abandon them. For the most egregious case of this see Graham, Lindsey (R-SC).

    And that’s what I see as the real tragedy – especially for folks like you whose ideology is conservative but whose party of record is running away as fast as it can from anything that would make your daily life actually better. Mitt Romney (who will not ever really live down his assessment of makers and takers) appears to be the last principled Republican in the Senate but he can’t seem to convince any of his colleagues to get behind him.Report

  2. Doctor Jay says:

    It has seemed to me that Collins can be quite principled, which on some issues makes her quite liberal, unless the national spotlight is on her. IIRC, she voted against Obamacare repeal, but that’s the only time she’s held the spotlight and gone against Trump.

    I’m glad to be reminded of other times and places where she’s done things like this, and supporting the Log Cabin Republicans is certainly worthy. Did the Trump Administration’s attitude toward trans people ever get any kind of Senate vote? I don’t recall that it did.Report

  3. J_A says:

    Susan Collins has been, for quite some time now, one of the key members of the axis of serious concern. Something would happen that would give her “serious concern” and after serious reflection she would conclude that eh correct course of action was to do nothing about it. Other members have included, on and off, Ben Sasse, Rand Paul, Lisa Murkowski, Mitch Romney, and others, but Susan Collins, probably because of her previous independent streak, has become the epitome of a group of pathetic hand wringers.

    It is significant that all of Collins’ great examples occurred before Dec 31, 2017. After her, yes, decisive, vote against the ACA repeal, there has been no further shows of independence from her beyond mouthing platitudes about her concern with things.

    If i were a betting man, I would guess she was told, by Mitch McConnell, in no uncertain terms, that unless she behaved as a loyal member of the team from there on, come November 2020 she would not be the Maine Republican candidate to the Senate. Only Romney, independently wealthy, and high enough in the Mormon church hierarchy, has a position that is safe enough from being de-platformed by the MAGA right. Susan Collins knows that Trump would not allow her to be the candidate unless she showed her loyalty to him, in all ways that matter,.

    It is actually surprising that she is allowed to still say that she is concerned. I guess it’s Mitch’s concession to electoral realities. He knows it’s unlikely she wins, having thrown her voting record away. ,But he knows she will not win if she’s forced to become another Dear Leader sycophant. At some point though, she might be forced to not only eat the sacrificed meat, but also to drop the pinch of incense. Dear Leader does not suffer serious concerns gladlyReport

  4. Truth says:

    Anyone who thinks Collins is really a moderate hasn’t paid attention to her voting record. They let her dissent only when her vote won’t change the outcome. If her vote winds up mattering she’s a rubber stamp for the worst, most racist and sexist outcomes they can muster.Report

    • Doctor Jay in reply to Truth says:

      Collins voted against Obamacare repeal, along with McCain and Murkowski. This mattered. It was a big deal. They didn’t “let” her do that. I think it’s important to recognize it.

      That’s the only time I can remember she did that in Trump’s term of office, but I could be wrong.Report

      • North in reply to Doctor Jay says:

        Yeah it’s the only substantive thing I can think of too. I suspect a lot of GOP senators secretly were very grateful for her part in steering them clear of that fiasco.Report

        • Truth in reply to North says:

          She was allowed, along with McCain and Murkowski, because GOP leadership didn’t really want to pass the repeal. They saw the idea of continually passing masturbatory “we repeal” stuff out of the House as far more effective than actually passing a repeal and then having to explain what the fuck THEIR nonexistent replacement plan was.Report

  5. Michael Cain says:

    I suspect some of Collins’s problem for the election is that Maine has changed more than Collins has in almost 25 years. Maine is now a Democratic trifecta state (governor, both chambers of the state legislature), and only one Republican has won a US House seat in the last 20 years. At some point that matters and the voters decide even a moderate Republican isn’t good enough.

    I claim the same thing about John McCain: it was a good time for him to leave office because Arizona had become a quite different state than it was when he was first elected, and he hadn’t changed. Five of nine US House seats are now held by Democrats. Sinema won Flake’s open seat. Kelly (the Democratic) was leading McSally for McCain’s old seat by nine points in the last poll I saw.Report

  6. DensityDuck says:

    blah blah blah, blah blah blah, blah blah fucking blah, she didn’t Go After Trump when she had the chance and that’s all people care about. Sure she’s got a Great History, but history is something that, like, Karens care about. right?Report