Today, and unknowable decisions for the next thirty years, falls solely on the responsibility of Susan Collins. Yes, we can blame every other Republican senator, as well as historically opportunistic Democrat Joe Manchin, but no one, especially since John McCain is dead, has one’s brand and electoral appeal conflicted so much with how one actually thinks, votes and determines the future of our country than Sen. Susan Collins of Maine.
Maine, you think you’ve been saving yourself, pragmatically sending her back to DC term after term, but you’re actually fanning the flames surrounding you. Please, now, exile Susan Collins to the northernmost part of our state. She can enjoy its beauty and never control us again.
Today, Collins told the world that she is exactly who she has always been. Dozens of articles have articulated her penchant for posturing as a moderate while dependably falling in line with a Republican Party that was already radically right wing when she arrived in D.C., so far from Caribou, in 1997. As we realize the most reactionary, fascist and universally destructive GOP we’ve known, Collins has stayed the course.
I truly believe that shame can be a dishonest emotion, a monkey many don’t deserve to own, shelter and feed. But shame is also a sibling of guilt and today, with Collins in their cockpit, the state of Maine is guilty as fucks. You’ve been ride or die with Collins for over 20 years, since I was twelve and she is a reflection of you. This is the state who just passed ranked choice voting, which will hopefully vote her out, yet you stand by an incredulous conservative.
I know we don’t live in a representative democracy. I know politicians are deceptive sociopaths. But you had two decades to figure this out.
Should I be surprised? You’re led by Paul LePage and have followed the shameful lead of liberal Democrats to preserve process and institutions over the lives of your breathing constituents. You elected former governor Angus King who has used his big “I” independence to pursue such acts as confirming Mike Pompeo and approving the third-act-of-Scarface defense bill of 2018.
And I know lots of well-meaning Maine liberals who fancy themselves as moderates. I grew up in Kennebunk. Open minds and closed wallets that tolerate, or worse favor, a Republican that preens about women, healthcare and decency while backing it up with nothing. Maine pays for school children’s tissues out of pocket on a Monday and on Tuesday votes for a person who slashed taxes for the richest 1% of our country.
The Republican party is designed to protect the existing capital and private property of the wealthiest and ensure the remaining wealth is driven north. That’s to the rich, not to Maine. With only only 1% of the population enticed by this deal, the party has glued together a coalition of racists, misogynists, fascists and evangelical foils. “Dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns,” as centrist hero Henry Kissinger said of US military soldiers. Are you any of that, Maine?
Maine, you’re cool with a senator who voted against women, the environment and the poor today. You’re cool with a senator who voted for the Iraq war, and has an F rating on the environment. In broad strokes these stances are objectively abhorrent. In context, Maine is 51% female, 51 Maine servicemen have died since 9/11 and every one of Maine’s top industries depends on a stable climate, from fish, to paper, to tourism to it’s very coastal settlements.
Republicans will go on and on about whatever dumb shit you care about and fuck you over afterwards. It’s a numbers game. Not enough people watch C-SPAN at 11:00 on a weekday. Not enough people follow votes that cable news doesn’t follow. Collins, Flake, Corker, Murkowski, Sasse, McCain until last month, and even your liberal hero Angus King will sell you down the fucking Penobscot. From a politics standpoint, their crudeness is goddamned enviable. Democrats have no chance against their cynicism. But maybe Mainer’s, raised on disappointing crops, cold winters, muddy spring and generous summers, do.
As goes Maine, so goes the nation. Do something good in such a bad time.