Betrayed in D.C., in Maine and around the country. AP Photo
Well lookee here. Turns out Susan Collins' betrayal of women and decency - aka her vote for drunken liar, frat boy and sexual assaulter Brett Kavanaugh after ignoring months of heartfelt pleas, calls, protests, e-mails and sit-ins by us, her alleged constituents - netted her a cool $1.8 million for the last quarter of the year, or the most blood-money she's ever raised in her endless, ignoble career. To put her new riches in perspective, the quarter before her Kavanaugh vote, Collins raised just $140,000. Oddly, according to analysis from American Bridge 21st Century, just $19,000 of that $1.8 million came in contributions of $200 or less from Mainers, the people she's supposed to represent, but doesn't, and hasn't for years.
The vast majority of it came from Kavanaugh supporters - keg-loving, oft-puking high school friends like Tobin and Squi, women who worked with him in the Bush White House etc. Most donated the day or the day after Collins said she'd vote yes in a sickening, 43-minute speech in which she called the despicable candidate "an exemplary public servant, judge, teacher, coach, husband, and father” with, despite the vengeful hysteria he displayed to the world during his confirmation hearing, the "judicial temperament" to serve on the Supreme Court. She also said Kavanaugh promised her he'd respect Roe v. Wade as settled precedent, and, really, if you can't trust a drunken liar, frat boy and sexual assaulter, who can you trust? With her appalling vote, Collins' approval rating from conservatives jumped 46%.
Collins' turn to the dark side, while infuriating, was less than surprising to many Mainers who've long suffered through the bullshit of her enticing, deeply hypocritical "moderate" moniker. In 2017, according to Congressional Quarterly, Collins voted with the GOP - and Trump - 87% of the time. She supported the vile GOP tax cut scam, voted to confirm Neil Gorsuch and then Kavanaugh, endorsed the loathsome mini-Trump Paul LePage (twice) and just-as bad Bruce Poliquin. Before votes, she often made a great, hollow, verbose show of thinking about it before drinking the inevitable Kool-Aid. By now "her game is transparent and tired" to many. On Trump's possible declaring of an emergency to build his wall, she said, “I think it's of dubious constitutionality." One translation: “Fuck yeah I’ll support it!"
Still, the Kavanaugh vote was a bridge too far, final proof she'd betrayed the public trust and any pretense she would listen to Mainers who largely and loudly opposed the nomination. During the Kavanaugh fight, sniffing the reactionary wind, a crowdfunding effort was set up by three progressive groups - the Maine People's Alliance, Mainers for Accountable Leadership, and Be a Hero - for Collins' as-yet unnamed Democratic challenger in 2020. To date, it has raised nearly $3.8 million. Weirdly, Collins dismissed the fundraising as "an attempt to bribe me.” Nope, say organizers: It's an act of democratic resistance to your "failing to stand up for the people of Maine, ignoring the voices of your constituents (and) endangering the lives of millions of Americans." Also, an irrefutable sign we are done with you.
The company she keeps
Every Mainer we know