WASHINGTON, D.C.- Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) is now public enemy #1 as far as many Democrats are concerned.
Collins, a well-known swing vote in the Senate who caucuses with the Republican Party, stated that she believed then Judge Brett Kavanaugh was innocent of sexually assaulting Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, allegations which surfaced before his confirmation hearing.
Then, she contributed the deciding ‘yes’ vote to confirm Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court in a 50-48 vote on the Senate floor last week. For the Left, this seems to have been interpreted as a shot across the bow.
And immediately the world outside the Senate gallery erupted with verbal bullets raining down harassment on Collins, which included public statements from voter advocates.
Never let Collins have a moment of peace in public again.
— kat calvin (@KatCalvinLA) October 5, 2018
Collins knew this was headed her way. Through the media lens, Americans witnessed the days of verbal and physical eruptions inside and outside the Senate gallery during Kavanaugh’s divisive confirmation hearing.
In Collins’s 45-minute floor speech before the vote, she said:
“We must always remember that it is when passions are most inflamed that fairness is most in jeopardy. The presumption of innocence is relevant to the advice and consent function when an accusation departs from a nominee’s otherwise exemplary record.”
She has since been continually confronted on Capitol Hill, most of it caught on video.
“I’ve had the honor of serving in the Senate for nearly 22 years, and this is as ugly a situation as I’ve ever seen during that time,” Collins has said.
Before Kavanaugh’s nomination went for a vote, the checkbooks were out and so did the financial threats. Consider the Crowdpac campaign “Either Sen. Collins VOTES NO on Kavanaugh OR we fund her future opponent.” It was organized by the ‘Be A Hero Team,’ Maine People’s Alliance, and Mainers for Accountable Leadership.
The campaign has raised $3.6 million, and her colleague, Senator Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judicial Committee, says he is rolling up his own fundraising sleeves to help out by raising against it.
“I think that if our politics has come to the point where people are trying to buy votes and buy positions, then we are in a very sad place,” Collins told CBS News’ “60 Minutes. “This is a classic quid-pro-quo as defined in our bribery laws.”
Others are gearing up to oust Collins. Indivisible, an anti-Trump organization with chapters nationwide, is also targeting the senator, with one representative in Maine saying that after her floor speech she “gravely damaged her reputation in Maine.”
She weighed in further, stating that Collins “betrayed women across this country,” and it has seen wide support among supporters of the left.
Many thanks for the encourgement. I’m not making any announcements. Like so many Americans, I am deeply disappointed in Senator Collins’ vote for Kavanaugh. Maine and America deserve better. https://t.co/6oGFTFuO1Q
— Susan Rice (@AmbassadorRice) October 5, 2018
Psst: “I’m not making any announcements” means “I’m just testing the waters.”
When asked about Rice’s statements, Collins remarked to CNN, “I really have little interest in what she has to say. She’s not a legal resident of the state of Maine.” She added that if she wanted to run in 2020, she’d better move to Maine.
But Rice is just one of many names being raised for a potential 2020 run against Collins. A roster of Democrats with interest in running against Collins in 2020 has emerged from within Maine. These include the speaker of the Main House of Representatives, Sara Gideon; Emily Cain, who is a top dog at EMILY’s List, a Democratic group; and Seth Berry, a former member of the Maine House of Representatives.
For your interest: Collins’ full statement from the floor of the Senate.