By Zachary Guiod
Susan Collins is known as a “moderate Republican” who has served as a check to the president and the right wing in Congress. After her vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh, people are furious that the “moderate” confirmed such an extreme figure to the Supreme Court. But people who are just now getting angry at Susan Collins are late to the party. While confirming Kavanagh was an extremely odious vote, according to FiveThirtyEight, Collins has voted with Donald Trump 78.5 percent of the time.
Her voting record is absolutely abysmal. The tax cuts that give 83 percent of the benefits to the top 1 percent: She voted for them. Rolling back regulations on big banks that were weak regulations to begin with: She voted for it. Raising the military budget by an additional $82 billion: She voted for it.
She has also voted for most of Trump’s extreme nominations. Susan Collins confirmed Gina Haspel, who oversaw torture during the Bush administration and tried to cover it up, to head the CIA. She voted to confirm white supremacist Jeff Sessions as attorney general. She confirmed Steve Mnuchin, former Goldman Sachs executive, to be the Treasury secretary. While having corporate banksters and torturers in positions of power in the United States is a moderate position, it shouldn’t be. So the Kavanaugh vote is not too out of character for Collins. Even so, it is unarguably extreme.
Kavanaugh once argued that a sitting president could not be indicted. He believes that if the president is going to deal with his never-ending tasks, he “should be excused from some of the burdens of ordinary citizenship while serving in office.” Even though he didn’t believe this to be the case when Bill Clinton was being impeached, which is an example of his extreme partisanship. “This is not something I necessarily thought in the 1980s or 1990s. Like many Americans at that time, I believed that the President should be required to shoulder the same obligations that we all carry. But in retrospect, that seems a mistake.” This is basically saying president should be immune to punishment if he breaks the law, which should immediately bar Kavanaugh from being on any court, let alone the highest court in the land. So even if Susan Collins was to ignore the testimony of Dr. Ford, which she did, confirming someone with a philosophy such as the now Justice Kavanaugh’s is extreme.
To put pressure on Susan Collins, activists began a crowdfunding campaign. The campaign description read, “If you fail to stand up for the people of Maine and for Americans across the country, every dollar donated to this campaign will go to your eventual Democratic opponent in 2020. We will get you out of office.” The campaign has raised $3.7 million, and because Collins voted to confirm Kavanaugh it will be donated to her Democratic opponent in 2020. Of course Collins was not pleased with the crowdfunding campaign against her:
“This is a classic quid pro quo as defined in our bribery laws. They’re asking me to perform an official act and if I do not do what they want, $2 million plus is going to go to my opponent. I think that if our politics has gotten to the point where people are trying to buy votes and buy positions we’re in a very sad place.”
Okay, Susan. So you believe that over the course of your career General Dynamics has given you $164,400, Blue Cross Blue Shield gave you $89,700 and Goldman Sachs has given $46,050 for the sole reason that they like your personality? Or do they believe that you’re going to vote a certain way if elected, and if they give you money, the chances of you being elected will be greater and the legislation they support will have a higher chance of getting passed? Because if you didn’t vote for the tax cuts that gave so much to the wealthy people and corporations who BRIBE YOU, then many of those corporations and PACs wouldn’t give you money for reelection. Susan, you’ve raised $21 million during your time in politics. You’re taking bribes and if you think otherwise, you’re fooling yourself.