Maine’s Republican U.S. senator, Susan Collins, is widely and correctly perceived as an accomplice of President Donald Trump – and in danger of losing her seat in November on account of that. To create the illusion that she is “independent” and not afraid to stand up to Trump, she now “bravely” asserts that she will vote against anyone he nominates for the Supreme Court before the election.
This is the same cynical trick she has played in the past, with the connivance of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky; once he is sure he has the necessary 50 votes without her, he tells Collins she is allowed to vote against the Republican bill or nomination. To enhance the illusion, Trump then pretends to be “angry” with her. Meanwhile, McConnell funnels more millions into her ad campaign.
Collins compares herself to the late U.S. Sen. Margaret Chase Smith. On the contrary, she is the exact opposite. At the height of U.S. Sen. Joe McCarthy’s “Red Scare” in 1950 – before which both parties in Congress cowered – it was McCarthy’s fellow Republican Smith who courageously stood up to him in a speech called “Declaration of Conscience.” That was the beginning of the end for McCarthy, a vile demagogue with a vicious sidekick, the attorney Roy Cohn.
Years later Cohn molded another political protege: Donald Trump. But instead of standing up to Trump, Collins has collaborated with him at every turn. Hers is a profile in cowardice.