Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Susan Collins Already Making Pre-emptive Excuses For Backing GOP Policy of Obstructionism


The stupider and more clonish of Maine's two Republican senators, the tragically re-elected Susan Collins, often shows up on lists of Republicans that Democrats hope-- for whatever reason-- they can persuade to act in the best interests of the country instead of following a dead-end partisan path into crazy GOP extremism. It makes no sense to include Collins on a list with Olympia Snowe or Arlen Specter-- or even George Voinovich and Lisa Murkowski. And it's not just because Collins is an intellectual dullard (which she certainly is). Her natural inclination is to be as partisan and conservative as she can get away with in Maine. Add to that the fact that she has six years before having to face the public again and expect at least two or three years of pure Republican obstructionism.

Oregonian voters were too smart to fall for it again from Gordon Smith, who always used the same tactics-- right-wing for 4 years/moderatish for the 2 before the election-- and he lost his re-election bid, even though he spent more than double what his Democratic opponent, Jeff Merkley spent. But Mainers decided to give Collins another chance to screw them over. And she will.

Last week she announced that she's angry at Democrats for campaigning against her and plans to get revenge by helping block Obama's agenda for change. Mainers went with Obama over McCain 58-41%-- and it wasn't just because Lewiston has a lot of Somali refugees.
She confessed that she had “trouble forgiving colleagues” who traveled to Maine and told voters she was “a Bush clone and called into question her ethics,” said a senator who attended the meeting.

Collins’s lingering resentment could emerge as a snag for Democratic leaders who expect her to side with them on many important votes.

Unless Democrats win a recount in Minnesota and a runoff in Georgia, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will need at least two Republicans to side with his conference on procedural votes next year to overcome GOP filibusters... Yet her willingness to cross the aisle from time to time didn’t stop Democrats from lobbing attacks during her recent campaign for reelection. Collins received her hardest shots from Democratic Sens. Frank Lautenberg (N.J.) and Sherrod Brown (Ohio).

During a campaign event in Portland, Maine, earlier this year, Lautenberg accused Collins of turning a blind eye to war profiteering in Iraq while she served as chairwoman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

“I was eager to get to the bottom [of dealings with] Halliburton, but the chair of the committee refused to look into it,” Lautenberg told reporters in February, according to PolitickerME.com.

Lautenberg also said that Collins blocked an effort to subpoena Vice President Dick Cheney about salary and stock options he had received from Halliburton.

Brown blasted Collins for voting regularly with President Bush and then falsely portraying herself as a party maverick to voters at home.

“Susan Collins tries to sell herself as a moderate, but when I look at her record, I don’t see it,” Brown declared during a trip to Bangor in September.

Brown said Collins supported the policies of President Bush 81 percent of the time and “when she comes back to Bangor she brags about the other 19 percent of the time.”

Any Democrats who are looking to Collins for help in overcoming the Republican Party's plans to filibuster everything Obama tries to do must be smoking something a lot stronger than ordinary folks get.

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