My Favorite Moderate

Photograph Source: United States Congress – Public Domain

To paraphrase an old saw, imbecility travels halfway around the world before sanity gets its shorts on. An old friend in Geneva sent me a link to a January 11 Susan Collins op-ed in the Bangor Daily News. It reads like the diary entry of a tone-deaf pre-adolescent.

Collins laments having worn heels to the January 6 Capitol insurrection and her inability to find parking when she returned to the capitol post-insurrection to rubber stamp the Electoral College.

It gets worse.

At first Collins thought the insurrection was an attack by Iran. You know, that country 10,000 miles east of here with the funny looking Ayatollah guys. Yeah, that one.

Good to know she’s learned something from her tenure on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence with Rayburnesque Senate titans such as Marco “Castro’s Under My Bed” Rubio, Tom “I Love a Good Police Riot” Cotton and Richard “I Didn’t Dump Those Stocks” Burr.

But not to worry, after the insurrection and all that, Collins found her way to Senator Lisa Murkowski’s house, where she was able to enjoy a nice fire in the fireplace and a nice glass of wine. Whew. Insurrections sure can be tough.

For 73 days friends have been emailing and texting from all over the world asking what the hell it is with my home state of Maine and its senior Senator Susan Collins.

Good question.

It all reminds me of when I did citizen lobbying for School of the Americas Watch in D.C. several years ago. SOAW was impressed that I had wrangled an appointment with a senator and they asked to send along an SOAW staffer to my meeting with Collins. I said sure.

Collins said she understood Honduras was introducing democracy and human rights classes for its military. You know, the Honduran military that’s always off having pizza whenever an environmentalist is murdered.

“Yes, that’s right,” the SOAW staffer said, “and the man who’s teaching the democracy and human rights classes is under indictment for colluding with drug traffickers.” Collins looked like someone had stolen her long underwear.

On February 4, 2020 Collins famously told CBS News she was quite sure Trump had learned his lesson from his highly instructive impeachment. Hence the heels on insurrection day.

If you ever want to be a senator from Maine, all you have to do is memorize these four simple easy sentences. My neighbor Milton memorized them in only eight and half minutes, and he’s only 11, so you should be ok. Remember to furrow your brow.

“I am very concerned about this.” “He deserves his day in court.” “She deserves her day in court.” “It deserves its day in court.” There, see, that wasn’t so bad.

First Collins gave us Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, the only one of three appellate judges to uphold the firing of a truck driver who abandoned his rig rather than freeze to death. With January nights averaging two degrees Fahrenheit, one might think Caribou, Maine’s favorite daughter might be sympathetic to the inconvenience of fatal hypothermia. One would be wrong.

Then Collins gave us Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Never mind the sexual assault allegations. Never mind the senate’s refusal to hear more accusers. The guy lied to Congress. Repeatedly.

But that’s ok, as long as one’s yea vote is preceded by a drive-by hallway interview replete with requisite furrowed brow. All that’s missing is a loud helicopter and a coif of orange hair.

Hell, even People of Praise handmaids are ok on the Supreme Court if you remember to express real concern before voting to confirm the appointment.

Collins may have given us Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Handmaid Amy Coney Barrett, but the Clinton/Perez/Wasserman Schultz DNC just saddled us with six more years of Collins by tilting the playing field against progressive Democrat Betsy Sweet in favor of zillionaire Sarah “From Away” Gideon.

Don’t give Mainers a choice between a zillionaire From Away and a horse’s ass, unless you’ve got a pretty good shovel. Any UMaine poli-sci major knows that.

I can’t wait to read about Collins’ adventures at the impeachment trial.

Lawrence Reichard lives in Belfast, Maine, and can be reached at