Liberal Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine (shown), who scored just 30 percent on The New American’s latest Freedom Index, wrote an op-ed piece for the Washington Post explaining why she will not support for Donald Trump for president.
In her brief article, Collins, who has a record of being anti-Second Amendment, pro-abortion (despite identifying as a Catholic), and in favor of giving an Obama Supreme Court nominee a hearing, did not mention a single issue upon which she bases her opposition to a Trump presidency. He entire argument against her party’s nominee boils down to her dissatisfaction with comments that Trump has made that are not nice.
After acknowledging that Trump “was connecting with many Americans who felt that their voices were not being heard in Washington and who were tired of political correctness,” Collins charges: “But rejecting the conventions of political correctness is different from showing complete disregard for common decency.”
Collins continued, "Mr. Trump did not stop with shedding the stilted campaign dialogue that often frustrates voters. Instead, he opted for a constant stream of denigrating comments, including demeaning Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) heroic military service and repeatedly insulting Fox News host Megyn Kelly."
Looking at Trump’s feud with Kelly, which was conducted before Trump secured the nomination and when Kelly was the moderator of several Fox News-hosted presidential debates, there is little doubt that Trump’s choice of names directed at Kelly were at times intemperate, at best. It can also be said, however, that as moderator, Kelly seemed to bait the candidate by asking him questions that were not about any substantive issue but about derogatory remarks she said Trump had made about women. Considering that both Kelly and Trump were likely to benefit from the attention and improved ratings any “feud” between them would generate, it is quite possible that the entire “feud” was as fake as professional wrestling and amounted to little more than a publicity stunt willingly engaged in by both of them.
Trump said his reaction to Kelly after the first debate might have been partly responsible for his success, indicating that he might have regarded the “feud” as simply part of his campaign strategy. Trump talked about this in an interview conducted by Kelly on Fox News in May, during which the two smiled and seemed at peace with each other. Trump told Kelly: “I could have done certain things differently. I could have maybe used different language in a couple of instances, but overall I have to be very happy with the outcome.”
“If I would not have fought back the way I fought back, I don’t think I would have been successful,” Trump said.
Regarding Trump’s statements about McCain, the controversy started over a year ago, during the candidate’s appearance at the Family Leadership Summit in Iowa, and it was definitely not Trump’s best moment. After moderator Frank Luntz questioned Trump’s criticism of McCain, suggesting it was inappropriate to criticize a “war hero” (McCain spent over five years as a POW in North Vietnam) Trump momentarily took exception to the description. But after the two argued over what constitute a “war hero,” Trump gave ground, saying, "He’s a war hero, because he was captured, okay? I believe, perhaps, he’s a war hero. But right now he said some very bad things about a lot of people."
When asked about the exchange afterwards, Trump said, “Four times, I said [McCain] is a hero but you know … people choose selective pieces.”
In fairness to McCain, it must be said that while becoming a POW is not, in and of itself, an act of heroism, he did exhibit heroic behavior by refusing the North Vietnamese offer to be released before others who had been POWs longer than he was, an offer that was made because his father was a Navy admiral. In refusing their offer, McCain told his captors, “The prisoners must be sent home in the order in which they were captured.”
What is odd, however, is that while Collins has offered Trump’s alleged shabby treatment of McCain as a key reason for withholding her endorsement of the GOP nominee, McCain has apparently not been as upset by the year-old statement as Collins is.
Speaking on CNN’s State of the Union in May, McCain said he would stick to his promise to back the Republican Party’s presidential nominee and urged other GOP party leaders to get on board.
“You have to listen to people who have chosen the nominee of our Republican party,” said the Arizona senator. “I think it would be foolish to ignore them.”
Indicating that any rift between them was not important enough to preclude support of each other’s candidacies, Trump endorsed McCain on August 5, stating, “I hold in the highest esteem Sen. John McCain for his service to our country in uniform and in public office, and I fully support and endorse his re-election.”
Collins offered nothing of substance in her op-ed piece, and even the two people she named as being victims of Trump’s “demeaning” and “insulting” words have largely mended fences with him.
As for why Collins cannot also let bygones be bygones and patch things up for the sake of a Republican victory in November, one explanation is that she is very liberal for a Republican. As noted above, she scored and anemic 30 percent on The New American’s latest Freedom Index. He record on social issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage would not put her out of sync with the party if she changed her affiliation from Republican to Democrat. On October 21, 2003, she joined Senate Democrats, and was one of the three Republican senators to oppose the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act.
On December 18, 2010, she voted in favor of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010 (to allow gays, lesbians, and bisexuals to serve openly in the U.S. armed forces) and was the primary Republican sponsor of the repeal effort.
When she won reelection in 2014, Collins became the first Republican senator to be reelected while supporting same-sex marriage.
Collins has demonstrated little regard for the Second Amendment and voted for the Manchin-Toomey amendment to expand background checks for gun purchases.
In June, Collins unveiled what she proposed as a ”bipartisan” gun control bill that would have denied the right to purchase a gun to anyone appearing on the government’s “no fly” list. As was noted in an article in The New American in June, Collins’ bill infringed on rights protected not only by the Second Amendment, but also by the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. Among those cosponsoring Collins’ bill was Hillary Clinton’s running mate, Senator Tim Kaine (D-Va.)
In her article, Collins did not say whom she was voting for in November, but she might as well endorse the Clinton-Kaine ticket, and change her party affiliation to Democrat while she's at it — and get the charade over with.
Photo: AP Images