Flim-Flam Collins, Yet Again

Collins and her drunken frat boy bestie Kavanaugh, before the vote that will live in infamy. Getty photo.

The crass GOP impeachment cover-up began Tuesday with Trump lawyers offering up "a blizzard of lies" in a legal charade deemed "banana republic stuff" and "the equivalent of impeachment jazz hands” - all acted out before the Supreme Court's Chief Justice, yet. Experts called the House briefs as "brilliant" and the Trump briefs "garbage," not legal arguments but "primal screams" requiring the suspension of logic and betrayal of Constitutional mandate, notably after the GOP voted to refuse to call witnesses or consider mountains of evidence. Unsurprisingly, voting with them was Maine's ever-duplicitous rapist apologist and hypocrite supreme Sen. Susan 'My Words Mean Nothing' Collins - who has long made an ugly art of fence-straddling by clinging to a bogus moniker of "moderate" while siding with her sordid GOP bedfellows 90% of the time, who hasn't held a town hall with her alleged constituents in over 20 years, who for months ignored the pleas and protests of said constituents to vote for drunken frat boy and sexual assaulter Brett Kavanaugh, and who then whined the blowback to her historic treachery was "very unpleasant."

She ain't seen nothing yet: This week, the fallout continued. Planned Parenthood, which long supported Collins as a rare supposedly pro-choice Republican, just endorsed her leading Democratic challenger, Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon; in a scathing statement, they charged Collins "has abandoned not only the people of Maine, but women across the country.” The progressive group Demand Justice also launched a digital campaign to defeat her; their first spot features a woman saying the Kavanaugh vote "made me realize that Collins is not true to her word," a lesson familiar to many of us. Collins' hypocrisy was also called out when she denied accepting campaign money from the Oxycontin-pushing Sackler family (now being sued by Mainers and everyone else) and from the insulin-price-gouging drug giant Eli Lilly (ditto.) She lied: She did. Oddly, she then added she won't return any money because she "won't be influenced" by contributions, we guess thanks to the ironclad integrity that's led some to dub the tired claim she's often "conflicted" a "misspelling" - it should be "complicit." Her perfidious game is clearly getting old: She now ranks as the most unpopular senator in her own state - 52% nay, 42% yea, a 10-point drop since September - for the first time beating out the much-despised Mitch McConnell.

As the Senate's impeachment sham approached, Collins kept up her infamous will-she-or-won't-she charade. Some media played along, blathering about GOP "moderates" - Collins, Romney, Murkowski - who might grow a spine. Others have called bullshit. Outside the "trial," a Jumbotron ran video documenting her and others' betrayals. CNN said her prevarications "suggest she is either confused, unaware of the relevant facts or intentionally ignoring them." And multiple stories noted that after claiming she wanted to see more evidence, she suddenly refused to consider the Lev Parnas mic drop once it was released - a flip so blatant half of Twitter posted old video of Collins whining during Clinton's impeachment that of course "we need the facts." Still, she's boldly maintained her equivocation, castigating "senators on either side of the aisle (who) prejudge the evidence before they have heard what is presented to us...(who) are not giving the appearance of and the reality of judging this in an impartial way." When push came to shove on Tuesday, she sided as usual with the GOP, voting down measures to subpoena both witnesses and documents - ie: see the evidence she piously insisted they should have. She then issued a stunningly disingenuous statement that "I tend to believe having additional information would be helpful" and "it is likely" she would later support a motion to call witnesses. But no promises. R-i-g-h-t.

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We're exhausted by so much duplicity. So is The New Yorker's Andy Borowitz, who had the misfortune of witnessing Collins' tortuous decision-making shtick during lunch on that first day. Borowitz gamely reported that Collins spent  hours wrestling with her choices, "clutching the Senate takeout menu in her hands." “I’m deeply troubled and concerned about getting this order right," said the ever-screechy Collins. For a while, Borowitz wrote, rumors swirled she  might get a quinoa salad that "would have set her apart from her Republican colleagues." Shocker: Ultimately, she chose a roast beef sandwich on a roll - just like McConnell. “At the end of the day," she explained, "there was just not enough evidence that ordering anything else would have been better.” Fool us once, fool us twice, don't try to fool us 872 times. By now, there is more than enough evidence - a wearying amount, truly - of her cowardice, her sycophantic selling out and her unending fakery, which leaves us deeply troubled and concerned. Clearly, electing almost anyone else would be better to represent our fine state. May Collins, the guy who broke the Senate, and all their evil ilk get tossed into the sorry dustbin of history, sooner not later please.

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