Dan Cluchey has an essay about Susan Collins at Medium. He talks about her relationship with Margaret Chase Smith, the first Republican female senator from Maine, and how Suze is a complete failure in comparison. Suze makes believe that she is a moderate, but what she really is is a con artist. Rip off the mask, and she’s just another Rethug opportunist.
The article talks about Smith’s Declaration of Conscience speech. You can find the entire thing here, and it is well worth reading. But back to Suze. From the article:
Last week, Senator Collins rose from the very same desk from which Smith railed against Joe McCarthy to cast a crucial vote in favor of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. […] In the weeks the plan spent slinking through Congress, Collins made patently false claims about the impact of the bill on the national debt, broke her promise to vote down any proposal that made cuts to the top income tax rate, and went back on her word not to exacerbate the healthcare expenses of Mainers (the law is expected to gash Medicare and spike health insurance premiums by nearly $2,000 for struggling families back in Caribou), all before trading away her yea for the magic-bean promises of Mitch McConnell, an Olympic-level liar.
To the surprise of no one, the ‘concessions’ Collins claimed to have secured during her well-worn dance of Hamlet-esque hemming and hawing proved immediately to be worthless — the legislation to subsidize high-risk pools and infuse money into state health exchanges McConnell guaranteed her in exchange for her vote evaporated just around the time the words left his mouth. But no matter: she hadn’t been fighting for these measures themselves, but rather for the appearance of influence over her caucus.
This was hardly the month that Collins gave up the ghost of Smith’s legacy, but it was her highest-profile grave-spitting to date. Maine’s senior senator has been called a “moderate” so often that the label has become trite — a sort of political maxim.
In 2017 alone, she has cast the decisive vote on bills barring citizens defrauded by financial firms like Wells Fargo from suing their assailants, empowering internet service providers to share consumers’ data without their knowledge or consent, and repealing a rule that required federal contractors to report labor violations. She abetted McConnell’s theft of Merrick Garland’s Supreme Court seat, elevated extremists and grifters like Jeff Sessions and Tom Price, and voted to ensure that energy companies would no longer have to disclose payments to foreign governments. On none of these issues can her stance be justified by any above-board ideology, conservative or otherwise.
Susan Collins has a current “Trump score” — FiveThirtyEight’s measure of how reliably members of Congress fall in line behind the President on key votes — of 81.5 percent.
Take Betsy DeVos (please!). When the impossibly-unqualified billionaire donor’s nomination for Secretary of Education came before the Senate HELP Committee, it was Collins’s vote that broke an 11–11 tie to move her forward, allowing C-SPAN viewers everywhere to get to know DeVos and her airtight case for why public schools need more guns in them (it’s to ward off “potential grizzlies”). Having cast the vote that mattered, Collins was free to engage in her favorite bit of performance art: a junior varsity rendition of the Declaration of Conscience, with a homespun twist for the moms and dads back in Maine.
“I’m concerned that Mrs. Devos’s lack of experience with public schools will make it difficult for her to fully understand, identify, and assist with those challenges — particularly for our rural schools in states like Maine,” Collins declared from the well of the Senate. “I will not… I cannot… vote to confirm her as our nation’s next Secretary of Education.”
Collins received accolades for her principled stand on the matter, but — wouldn’t you know it — DeVos was confirmed anyway, with a Mike Pence tiebreaker sealing the deal. Not long after her act wrapped up, Hill Republicans confided to reporters from Politico that Senator Collins had waited to reveal her righteous opposition to DeVos until leadership was certain that they didn’t need her vote to confirm.
Herein lies the modus operandi of Susan Collins: partisan when it matters, and principled when it couldn’t matter less.
I hope you will read the entire article. The Raisinettes have been talking about this for months in the comments, but Dan Cluchey wraps it all up neatly and puts a bow on it.