Trump and fellow Republicans dig Susan Collins' political grave just a little bit deeper
Sen. Susan Collins still hasn't said whether she voted for Donald Trump in her state's presidential primary in March, or if she'll endorse him this fall. She has a novel excuse: "I am concentrating on my own campaign and I am not going to get involved in presidential politics. I'm going to concentrate on my own race." She's not going to reiterate her adamant 2016 opposition to Trump, detailed in an op-ed during that election. She could do that then, she says, because "I wasn't on the ballot, I wasn't up for reelection. I didn't have my own race to worry about at that point." How very brave and principled of her.
The delicious part of all this is how much harder Trump is making her elected life. It's like he's just pushing and pushing and pushing to finally make her break. In reality, he probably doesn't give a second thought to her, so he can do things like announce he's going to put out a new list of potential Supreme Court nominees who will be avowed social conservatives, not like those traitors John Roberts and Neil Gorsuch. “I will only choose from this list,” of "Conservative Supreme Court Justice Nominees" he tweeted. It's “more important than ever” he continued, because “Second Amendment, Right to Life, Religous Liberty, etc.“ Have fun with that, Collins.
The odious Sen. Josh Hawley from Missouri stepped in to rub Collin's nose in it a little bit. “I will vote only for those Supreme Court nominees who have explicitly acknowledged that Roe v. Wade is wrongly decided,” Hawley said in an interview with The Washington Post. “By explicitly acknowledged, I mean on the record and before they were nominated.” That's the marker laid out for Trump and any nominee he could name—all of the groups Trump is trying to court, to keep on his team, will now point to that as their bottom line.
That leaves Collins, and to a lesser extent her sorta pro-choice colleague Lisa Murkowski, hanging out to dry. And their fellow Republicans don't give a damn. They'll happily sacrifice these two. The best hope these two, but particularly Collins, had in a Trump regime was to go independent and try to create a "moderate" bloc with the likes of Democrats Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema. It's too late for that, particularly for Collins.
She's in a jam right now, and trying to get out of it only makes it worse for her, because she's really bad at this politics thing. Every word out of her mouth is disingenuous, this supposed principled, independent moderate. But it's what she signed up for when she voted for Trump's nominee, Brett Kavanaugh.