Susan Collins is sad that people are finally seeing through her act
She's just so misunderstood! Poor, poor Susan Collins. If only people would just listen to the meaningless words that come out of her mouth and not pay attention to her actions. But, no, the mean voters in Maine and all the national groups she turned her back on are insisting on accountability. She's positively knitting her brow over it.
"Have I lost some votes because of my decision to support Justice Kavanaugh? Yes, I have," Collins tells Politico's Burgess Everett. "And I'm sad about that because I explained in great depth my decision-making," she continues. But "there still is an appreciation in Maine for someone who looks at the facts of an issue, votes with integrity and independence." Pffft. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Collins' other "pro-choice" Republican colleague, looked at those same facts and voted against Kavanaugh. But that was surely a deal the two struck with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, one that allowed Murkowski to be the one with "integrity and independence" this time around.
"It's never enough," she frets. "Never. For those who truly hate the president, I’m never going to be able to do enough for them. […] I get tired of the 'she speaks but doesn't act.'" Her evidence of acting, as reported by Everett: She “voted against Betsy DeVos as Education secretary and tried to override many of Trump's vetoes. She took the lead on disapproving of Trump's emergency declaration at the border." All of which has achieved precisely nothing to rein in Trump. She's not allowed to do anything to constrain him: McConnell precisely counts his votes and instructs Collins on when she's allowed to vote in the minority. Only once has it counted, on Trumpcare. But it was John McCain's surprise defection that did it, and not Collins'.
Collins is a Republican deal-maker, like all the rest of them. As the Republican Party has become more extreme, she's happily followed along that path, selling out all those groups that gave her bipartisan, "independent" credibility for all these years. If that means selling out the nation's women, so be it. She's got Mitch McConnell's full-throated support (meaning big money) and is declaring her fealty to him in return.
She's made a deal with two devils—Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell—betting that the path of least resistance is the one that keeps her in her seat.