Impeachment Trial Puts Susan Collins, Stung by Kavanaugh Backlash, Under Scrutiny

The four-term Maine senator, who crossed party lines to vote against President Clinton’s impeachment, must now decide whether to break with President Trump.

Comments: 198

  1. That she reads briefing books, that she consults various and sundry sources, even experts, doesn't surprise me. It also doesn't inoculate her against charges that she makes change pivotal decisions based on political calculations.

  2. @sixmile I don't think that she consults 'various and sundry sources'. She consulted with three very conservative economists to come up with her decision to support Trump's useless tax cuts on corporations and the very wealthy. She believes that a 1-1 meeting with Kavanaugh was sufficient to support him for the Supreme Court when Maine's other Senator said that there were many of his court decisions that showed he should not have been approved. She may really be 'concerned' with some people's well being but she is a moderate only by comparison to extremists that make up todays Republican Party.

  3. I’m exhausted of hearing about Susan Collins being a so called moderate. By confirming kavanaugh she made her bed. I for one don’t trust a single GOP congressperson to put country ahead of party. This trial will be nothing short of a kangaroo court.

  4. @Michael Justin Amash was the only honest Republican. He read the documents and voted according to his oath of office. The GOP could not tolerate that, so he is now independent. He showed courage and character. The others, including the so-called never Trumpers, not so much.

  5. If Susan Collins can comfortably acquit Clinton and ignore the evidence against Trump then I have lost all grip on rationality

  6. Trump recently endorsed Collins’ 2020 re-election bid. I don’t think we need a crystal ball to divine what her impeachment position will be.

  7. What will Collins Do ? Whatever gets her reelected .

  8. Nothing to scrutinize here. Despite her heroic little speeches, Susan Collins is securely under Trump's thumb, enjoying his support, and ultimately planning to vote the Republican line. Review the tapes of the Kavanaugh debacle if you need reminding and proof.

  9. This feels like PR spin for Collins. She is a sell-out, a wolf in sheep clothing. I hope Maine votes her out in a grand slam kind of way. Maine deserves better. Spent some wonderful summers there as a kid when we lived in Montreal.

  10. @Barbara Yes! PR! I was thinking (and wrote) the exact same thing!

  11. Senator Susan Collins' support for abortion rights and the environment would sway me as a Maine voter, but her support for Donald Trump would persuade me otherwise.

  12. @Margaret I have no doubt that Kavanaugh will support doing away with abortion riights.

  13. One thing is for sure: whatever Senator Susan Collins decided to do during the impeachment trial will not be based on virtue, prudence, or consistency.

  14. Ms. Collins is not a true moderate. The press loves to label her as such, but with the exception of a few votes over a 24 year career, she has consistently voted with conservative Republicans time and again. As author and famous Maine resident Stephen King has said on many occasions, “Collins is not a moderate. She just wants voters (and the press) to think she is.”

  15. @Jimmy Gillman To put in context how far the Republican Party has moved to the right, it's worth noting that Barry Goldwater, who when he ran in 1964 was the most conservative major party presidential candidate in the country's history, would today be too liberal to even be a member of the party as he supported abortion and gay rights. Collins only appears moderate compared to the neanderthals that control the party today.

  16. @Steve As far as I know, the only gay right he publicly supported was military service, and that was only well into his retirement.

  17. @Jimmy Gillman Stephen King was precisely correct about Collins. She's a fraud.

  18. Her vote for Kavanaugh did it for me. We will never forget or forgive you, Sen. Collins. That vote impacted every woman in the US. I’m donating to Sara Gideon, and hoping Mainers vote Collins OUT!

  19. Thank you for letting us know about her challenger. I just donated.

  20. @Dawn , I completely agree!

  21. @Dawn My feelings exactly.

  22. Collins is a goner. Not even voting for removing Trump from office will save her now. She is about the least impressive speaker in the Senate and she caved on Kavanaugh. Democrats will vote for whoever wins their primary and Republicans won't like her ACA votes. Sometimes, especially in politics, the punishment doesn't fit the crime. Collins may have been a good senator for Maine 30 years ago, but in such a polarized nation a moderate Republican is unappealing to both sides. Perhaps, after Gerrymandering is undone, and voting restrictions are repealed, such politicians can cater to the middle and get elected again. But we have a lot of work to do first, and sweeping away trumpism and those Republicans who bent to the would-be king should join the rest of the carpet lint in the dust pan.

  23. @Dennis Well stated!

  24. Senator Collins talks a wonderfully Great Game then votes the party line. Time and time and time again. One cannot reasonably call her a moderate simply because she talks like one. It’s the vote that counts, and through them she has made her hardline position(s) crystal clear. Don’t waste the ink / bandwidth positing otherwise .....

  25. Senator Collins is not broadly a "moderate." Examination of her voting record suggests she is a moderate talker, but, most of the time, a Trumpist voter. Full credit to get for being one of the few votes to prevent the loss of Obamacare, but for failing to understand the problems with Kavanaugh--his moderate talk, but radical judicial record; his hissy-fitting temperament bring unsuited to any bench--the voters of Maine will be replacing her with a reliable senator. Without the support of the many Democrats and Independents who now regret having voted for her in the past, Collins can not win, so not even money from Mitch McConnell can stop this.

  26. @Ima Palled - Exactly. I believe Dr. Blasey-Ford, but even setting that aside for a minute, the behavior he displayed in his hearings was in no way befitting of the highest court in the land. Shouting about partisan conspiracies, raging at those who dared to ask him hard questions, the man was absolutely unhinged. There was also the whole 'lying under oath' thing, but hey, Susan Collins felt a lot of concern before she dismissed it and voted for him.

  27. @Ima Palled "Full credit to get for being one of the few votes to prevent the loss of Obamacare ..." You do realize that Collins voted for the Trump tax bill, which repealed the tax penalty for Obamacare's individual mandate. It is on the basis of that tax bill and a related federal district court decision that all the red states are arguing that the entire Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional. So please don't give Collins so much credit for preventing the loss of Obamacare.

  28. Everyone I know from Maine is watching how Collins behaves during the trial. They want her to make it a fair trial with Witnesses. Her future in the Senate depends upon what she does or says. Don't forget many in Massachusetts have relatives and friends in Maine and we are not happy with what McConnell has done so far.

  29. I'm not sure why reporters continually refer to Susan Collins as a moderate as she's anything but and has proven it over the years. She's just good at talking out of both sides of her mouth and then voting the way the extreme right wants her to...

  30. @Alord Christine Blasey Ford was a hit-job. Both parties benefited, in that their bases got riled up. Donations flowed in. Where's the follow-up on her and her allegations? She was brought in for a hit-job and then promptly disappeared. Isn't that the characteristics of a hit man or woman?

  31. @Tom Kavanaugh overshadows everything. For the rest of her life.

  32. @MS no a hit man (or woman though rare!) is anonymous. This woman took a lot of heat and threats due to her testimony. She did not seek this position but was asked. Yes the parties may have benefitted. She did not.

  33. Senator Collins said that she would serve no more than two terms. What people say and what they do are often not the same thing.

  34. If she resents the suggestion that her votes are politically motivated, then she resents the truth.

  35. The most effective way to influence Susan Collins is through potential voters in Maine. And that means the Democratic Party in Maine needs to get LOUD. There needs to be protests, sit-ins, and a tremendous number of phone calls. If the Democratic leadership in Maine can't organize this, then Collins is likely a lost vote.

  36. Senator Collins is between a rock and a hard place. Her vote for Kavanaugh was damaging, but more so, Hillary Clinton won Maine by 3% points, a decent margin. Maine, like many moderate States are veering more left. She knows this, but how will she vote on this Impeachment? Big question only she can answer. My belief is Senator Collins will place Country first, then Maine, and last party. At least that's my hope.

  37. Nope, it will be party first, Maine second, democracy dead last. It’s the Republican way.

  38. @cherrylog754 No. Repub party as defined by McConnell first all the way.

  39. Ms Collins has lost the respect of so many people that I believe it is time for her to go. Congress needs members who have consistent values and votes according to those values. When we vote for a congress person we need to know who he or she really is.

  40. I know naïve and idealistic, so I'm not surprised that I keep imagining that others -- like, say, those specific 100 men and women -- might also see the importance of serving as a deciding figure within an historic event -- like, say, actually being a senator within an impeachment trial -- would bracket political anxieties -- like, say, retaining a status (like, say, being re-electable) -- for the sake of the nation and the Constitution. Yes, I know. But I still hope.

  41. Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine has been one of the finest senators with the highest integrity. Her vote for confirmation of Justice Kavanaugh as well as her calm and thoughtful justification of her vote to confirm was just outstanding and superb. Whether she votes in favor of or against impeachment, I am certain she will do the right thing and conduct herself with dignity and honor. As far as those upset with her support of justice Kavanaugh and will do everything to try to defeat her, I say you can never defeat this great senator with your dirty money. Senator Collins will get equal and more support for her reelection from her admirers from across the country. I will be happy to break my practice of never to contribute to any politician and make my small contribution just to say "Go big girl you don't deserve the wrath of these hopeless people" By the way justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg defends Brett Kavanaugh, says he's a 'very decent' man https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/26/politics/ruth-bader-ginsburg-kavanaugh-gorsuch/index.html

  42. Lying about a sex act in the White House is one thing. Sticking it to the entire country by lying and covering up efforts to pressure the leader of another country into lying on his behalf is another. Let's hope Collins regains our trust to do the right thing she lost letting Kavanaugh slime his way into the Supreme Court. Fingers crossed.

  43. NYT is zeroing in on the more 'vulnerable' senators in a desperate attempt to try to make sense of a doomed enterprise. Expect more name-calling or 'gentle' prodding on the front pages of this ruthless extreme-agenda driven media-warrior.

  44. Solid, informative article. If I was still teaching high school social studies, I'd use in class to improve critical thinking skills. But, one non-substantive question is in order. When referring to the author, whom some of your readers might not be familiar with, why are you referring to her by her first name? It should be Ms. Steinhauer, shouldn't it? Your comfortableness with her is one issue, but not mine. I've noticed the same perspective with many NBA television commentators; using a player's first name most of the time. I don't know the dude personally, most viewers don't either. Stop using the player's first name, unless warranted. Let's try to keep a little formality when it's appropriate!

  45. Clinton lied about his sex life. Many people would lie about their sex lives. Marital cheating is grounds for divorce, but not grounds for impeachment. She chose not to divorce him, so that was that. Trump’s crimes are obviously much worse than Clinton’s crime.

  46. @Jerrold, which is more impeachable: consensual oral sex or obstruction of justice? Oh yeah, lying to Congress, which is the new norm.

  47. What an unfortunate circumstance for her. Susan is going to lose either way with or against impeachment. Not taking sides by staying in the middle is no longer a virtue in this polarizing political jungle where Cannibalism is celebrated by both the right and left.

  48. Susan Collins has not discernible principles.

  49. The Republicans and the Houston Astros are the new standard of excellence.

  50. If Susan Collins could not vote to convict Clinton she would be a total hypocrite if she voted to convict President Trump. While Clinton clearly broke the law President Trumps only crime, in the eyes of the left, is that he was elected President.

  51. Susan, you only vote with Democrats and Independents when it doesn’t matter. McCain was the wild card in the healthcare vote,. You voted yes on Kavanaugh, and your speech explaining your vote was labored and unbelievable. You have not met with your constituents, no town meetings or open meetings for 20 years. You no longer represent us.

  52. @Meme As a fellow Mainer yes, this is exactly right.

  53. @Meme 20 years! That should be a big part of her opponents campaign. Collins is a phony.

  54. @Meme so why vote for her? Come on Maine!

  55. Susan Collins' quest to find common ground is strictly verbiage. She talks and talks, but votes party line every time.

  56. If she indeed applies the Clinton impeachment standards to the Trump impeachment process then she is on the right path. Let the republicans call witnesses! Hunter/Joe Biden will cement Biden's nomination. The whistleblower is protected by law as far as I understand it. Schiff? versus Bolton, Mulvaney, Parnas. Come on...

  57. Collins is famous for self-promoting, and before a key vote, saying "Oh, I don't know how I'll vote yet, but I'm thinking of voting blue. You never know, of course, but maybe I just might." And then when the vote comes, she votes red, and says "I never said anything about voting blue. I'm a red voter through and through." She is a boloney merchant. She will end up voting to support Trump every step of the way in this Senate trial. And when the Senate fails in their sworn obligation to be impartial and ends up exonerating him, she will stand by his side and coo and flutter her eyelashes at him and call him all sorts of complimentary things and polish his shoes. Just like she always does. The good people in Maine are too smart to re-elect her. I hope she enjoys her final days in office.

  58. Congressional Republicans have been complete cowards in standing up to the lawless and corrupt activities of Trump and his team. I expect Collins and all other Republicans to timidly fall in line for the Senate trial. They always do...

  59. Susan "Kavanaugh" Collins - Nothing more than another petrified (in terms of both fear and stagnant age), self-serving politician hopelessly addicted to and unable to conceive of life without the privilege, power and perquisites of her lofty senatorial status.

  60. Mitch will let Collins and Gardner vote with the Democrats because their seats are in jeopardy. Mitch has got it covered people!

  61. We shall see if Collins has the conscience of the late Margaret Chase Smith... she, who began the take-down of Joseph McCarthy: the most immediate model of the current Oval Office occupant.

  62. From what I've seen - that woman just takes a liberal pose - in order to get more money from the RNC - or even Trump. She pretends to lean away - for cash.

  63. How can she vote against the Obstruction of Justice charge with everything trump did to block and obstruct justice?

  64. She will do her usual, very public hand wringing and then not vote for witnesses to be part of the impending trial. And I certainly don't believe she will vote for Trump's removal. It's time Mainers vote her out.

  65. Collins showed her true Trumpian colors during the Kavanaugh hearings. She had her chance to stand tall. Instead, she cowered. Encourage anyone you know in 'The Great State of Maine' to get behind Sara Gideon. She will serve the state, and the country, well.

  66. I apologize for the human beings who have threatened her. Though having voted once for a republican in my 45 years of voting, If I were from Maine, she would receive my vote.

  67. The article writes about Sara Gideon as if she is a done deal and will be the Democratic nominee. I would not count out Betsy Sweet, who is a seasoned by a statewide campaign for a Governor, while Sara Gideon has only run in a single, solidly Democratic Maine House seat, where only a few thousand voters have voted. My money is on Betsy as the Democratic nominee. But no matter who wins, Susan Collins, the most bipartisan Senator in the nation, by any report card you look at, will be formidable. She has proven her independence over her entire career: saving the ACA, voting against the Clinton impeachment, organizing the gang of 14, which tried to be more bipartisan regarding judicial nominees. No one works harder, or listens more, than Susan Collins. If she loses, it will not only be a loss to a Maine, but also a loss to the country.

  68. Great read! Senator Collins has proved she is not about partisan politics based on the track record outlined here and based on the fact that despite threats to her and her family, she continues to make logical and objective decisions. I applaud her and hope their are more like her on the Senate. Thanks for sharing this very valuable information. As for threats she has received, unbelievable that this is what a Senator has to deal with if he/she chooses to go against GOP. I can guarantee Trump's pressure he openly pits on those who stray is contributing to Americans believing they have a right to harass her. Just another example how Trump's is creating a hostile environment in Washington and now across our country.

  69. @Heather ha ha she tries to compare trump impeachment to Clinton. NOthing is similar. With Clinton it started with investigating Clinton investments before he was in office Whitewater and nothing found so he continued investigating and found a BJ. If Collins want to Impeach trump the same as Clinton then she needs to demand investigation of trumps investments before he was in office.

  70. I strongly believe that Democrats have willfully disregarded their duty to the truth and impeached Trump for partisan reasons that do not serve the interests of this country. People like Adam Schiff and Nancy Pelosi put their party’s interests over their country; not so Senator Collins. By contrast, Senator Collins is a thoughtful, fair person who makes her decisions based on her sense of justice and fairness. Regardless how she votes in this impeachment trial, I will respect her decision and I will continue to respect her as a person. The values that she exemplifies transcends petty politics and are essential to making America great again. Hopefully one day we will see more people like her in Congress and a person like her leading this country.

  71. @Raul Campos Collins hopefully will be voted out in November. She does not deserve to be in the senate.

  72. @Raul Campos Forget Susan Collins. Do you think it "makes America great" for the the President of the United States to ask the leader of another nation to investigate a potential rival in November? And then lie about doing so? Really? You do? Then you just made our country weaker, not stronger.

  73. @Raul Campos Does that mean you do not think he did the acts asserted? Or that he did do them, but it is OK?

  74. Enough already! Susan Collins is a fraud. True to form, she will make a few noises about reason, but will do as Trump instructs. Send her home. 2020

  75. I’m about ready for Susan Collins to stop being the “Lucy” to Senate Democrat’s’ “Linus” and do the right thing for once.

  76. “Political survival”. That’s all politicians are focused on. Forget “Moral survival”. #ZPIC #zeroprofilesincourage

  77. Collins is 67 and up for re-election this year. She's a wild card for sure.

  78. Because of Susan Collins there is an attempted rapist on the Supreme Court and he will be there for decades Whatever happened to the investigation into whether he lied during his confirmation testimony? I am hoping a Democratic president pushes this to the forefront

  79. @WJ I’m no more a fan of Collins than I am of any GOP politician. They all support trump so they should all be voted out of office. That said, Collins deserves no more blame for Kavanaugh‘s appointment than any of the others who voted for him.

  80. @RickyDick but this article is about here, and she behaved disgracefully in her vote on Kavanaugh, so it is completely fair to go after her for that. Especially her character "republican with a conscience," is on stage again.

  81. A calculating sophist who thus far has jumped in the winning direction.

  82. So... expressing displeasure towards our elected representatives is intimidation? Who's the snowflake now?

  83. If she gave Clinton a pass, how could she possibly talk herself into supporting Donald Trump?

  84. Collins: vote her out of office. She's a big pretender doing this Hamletian "to vote for or not" and her record shows doing the right things by the GOP and Trump. Something very foul in the state of Maine regarding Collins.

  85. Keep it simple Senator, Mrs Collins. It waddled in and it quacked, sufficiently so. The proof is incontrovertible. It's a Donald!

  86. The main thing I got out of this story is how long she's been in the Senate yet she's asking for yet another term. We have too many geriatric people in government, starting at the top with Donald Trump and moving further down the chain with people like Susan Collins and most of the Democratic primary candidates. Is it any wonder government moves so slowly, is so dysfunctional and seems completely incapable of responding quickly to the demands of the citizenry?

  87. @Shane I certainly hope Susan Collins loses and loses badly. But your comment reeks of ageism.

  88. @Evan Katz In the United States you are not allowed to fly a commercial jet after age 65. If you're an air traffic controller you're forced to retire at age 56. Yet we entrust a nation of 327 million people, with enough nuclear weapons to destroy the world many times over, to a cabal of geriatrics. It makes absolutely no sense and the quality of leadership is illustrated in the outcomes our government produces for the people.

  89. I don't know why people continue to look to her in hope of seeing her do the right thing. She never does.

  90. @Jon Q Not never, but rarely.

  91. @Jon Q In the case of the ACA, she did. If she hadn't voted the way she did, it would have been toast and millions of people would have suddenly been without Health Insurance.

  92. The truth will set you free, or send you packing Mr. President. Let's hope for the sake of the Republic that a sufficient number of Republican Senators contemplate that old maxim carefully in the coming days.

  93. I used to believe that Sen Collins actually was a centrist with a core of ethics/morality. But her recent voting record shows her to be just another lock-step Republican. And then I lost all respect for her with her equivocating on Kavanaugh. Vote her out!

  94. @Paul-A We plan to!

  95. Susan Collins is "moderate" only in comparison with the rest of the Republican senators, which says as much about Republican senators as it does Collins.

  96. Ms Collins doesn't appear to have any philosophical or ideological policy views that she is committed to. She constantly seems to be doing a "dance" to manipulate public opinion of herself based on the way she feels the wind is blowing but really only shows herself to be a vacuous self-promoter. Each time a critical vote comes up she repeats the same tactic of publicly stating..."I haven't decided yet" and dragging it out to the final hour so that she can grab the public spotlight only to finally vote exactly the way everyone knew she would. Time to stop paying attention to her and her cheap, transparent and highly predictable tactics. Hopefully, Maine will soon replace her with a serious person.

  97. @joeSusan Collins should read Margaret Chase Smith's wiki page and learn something about being a public servant.I hope she loses her seat. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margare tChase Smith

  98. @joe You hit the nail on the head, Joe. When Trump does something outrageous, Collins is always "concerned" or "disturbed" and some people think/hope she will do the right thing. But she never does. Her Kavanaugh vote is the perfect example. She has no core or backbone. Time for someone who does.

  99. @Texas Democrat her shtick is really getting old.

  100. I once respected Senator Collins but voting with Trump and against the good of the people on more than one moral issue has lost that respect. I don't live in Maine, but her vote effects our country, and my life. I have been sending donations to her opponent. She can no longer be trusted to do what is right for our country. I hope her constituents agree. I hope voters in every state take a good look at what they want for their lives and our country and do the right thing.

  101. @Teddi This constituent agrees! I didn't vote for her last time around. No one I know will vote for her. We're tired of her phony attempt at appearing moderate. She shot herself in the foot with the Kavanagh nonsense.

  102. Senator Collins, please vote your pre-Trump conscious and stop pretending that Trump, his administration, and now several members of your own Republican Party are anything less than the greatest threat our democracy has ever faced. While many of your GOP colleagues would like to pretend that your party can hold power if it just sticks together, you and I both know well the potential cost in light of the damning evidence that continues to poor forward. Nunes is likely guilty of the same crimes as Trump as are other sitting members of congress. I believe that you could, not only get re-elected, but that you could also be looked at historically as a champion in the dark days our our republic if you were to leave the GOP and caucus as an independent. Your example might even inspire a few others to follow suit. Such an example might even increase the probability that my son and the sons, daughter, and grandchildren across our nation will be able to keep the gift our founding fathers gave to all of us. None of this is hyperbole anymore, it's time for you and those like you to lead with courage. If left unchecked, Trump or one of his protege (think Stephen Miller) will one day come for all of us including your friends and family members. Count on it.

  103. Susan Collins is one of the biggest flip-floppers in the Senate. She puts her finger up to see which way the wind is blowing and then flips or flops.

  104. Good-bye, Senator Collins. You are a fake moderate in a state moving left. As a woman, your vote for Kavanaugh tells people all they need to know about how independent you may be from the lockstep, fascist, immoral Republican Party.

  105. Susan Collins - Moderate Talker, Extremist voter.....Just don't vote Republican.....

  106. Lying about having sex in the Oval Office is not the same as selling out your country’s national security for personal gain. One is a really stupid personal act and the other is a high crime and misdemeanor. If Susan Collins or any other Republican can’t see the difference, they are not fit to serve.

  107. @Queenie Yes, and where are the Republicans now who were so outraged then? Trump can't open his mouth without lying about something.

  108. Because of Susan Collins`s one vote the Country is stuch with Kavanaugh for ever !

  109. @B Sharp She doesn’t deserve any more blame than the others who voted for Kavanaugh’s nomination just because there was some hope she would vote against.

  110. Our machiavellian president and his band of fellow corrupters will get spanked in the coming trial due to the conscience of the Senators.

  111. She is one of the most despicable opportunists to have ever held office in Washington. I have no doubt she will sell her own mother if it got her elected again. Let us not pin any hopes on this person. She stands for nothing but herself.

  112. She deserves to be voted out of office. She does not deserve death threats. No one does. Who have we become?

  113. @V No one deserves death threats. Most especially people who have far less power and security than a US Senator. People such as Brett Kavanaugh's accuser. I don't remember Susan Collins attempting to use her enormous power to protect Ms. Ford. Perhaps Sen. Collins believes that some people do deserve death threats. Just not her.

  114. Along with sending money to support the overturn of Citizens United, my favorite other cause is sending money to her challenger, in the hope of defeating this hypocrite in 2020. As someone else commented, she talks out of both sides of her mouth. She lacks courage.

  115. The minute you hear the nonsense phrase"overturn an election" with regards to impeachment - as you hear Collins quoted here - you know you are dealing with someone who is acting in bad faith.

  116. Senators Collins could perform a great service for the country and significantly boost her chances for reelection by calling Stormy Daniels and the 20+ women who have accused President Trump of molesting them as witnesses at the Impeachment Trial.

  117. My bet is that the "logic behind every Collins decision" will turn out to be, in the end, to go along with the Republican Fuehrer's wishes. . . .

  118. i was shocked by the harrassment, threats, and stalking of the people who disagree with her political moves. trumps a wimp in comparison and so am i.

  119. We need a breakout of 4 GOP Senators to take over the operational phase of this impeachment. I believe it will happen.

  120. Collins has no spine, no genuine virtue, no sense of true values. She stands for nothing, caves to the GOP with predictability, and even worse -- she repeatedly enables the corrupt and venal Trump's mission to destroy the middle class. He hates women, children and the most vulnerable, so she helps destroy their hopes for a better future. Collins apparently also hates women. And that's the worst kind of woman senator to elect. Her legacy can be reflected in a montage of Kavanaugh footage. It will open with his eye-bulging, venom-hissing tantrum that proved he is unfit for any judgeship, then fade to the sickening idolatry and wildly extreme rationalizations she voiced when explaining her vote for him. Soon she will have lots of time for arts and crafts, or however she decides to spend the cold winter nights alone in that ruggedly beautiful state of Maine. Sorry, Susan. Our Constitution and rights matter to us. You apparently don't care, or don't understand.

  121. Senator Susan Collins ("Our Susan", as Down Easterners call her) has had too many terms in the U.S. Senate. We are tired of her hand-wringing, and shuffling pros and cons on tv and laborious speech and unlimpid voice. President Trump has endorsed her for 6 more years (for a round 30 yrs in the senate's cloakroom). Don't bet on Our Susan considering patriotism and country before giving Donald John Trump the aquittal he so desperately needs during his Senate Impeachment trial starting this Tuesday.

  122. She is long past her sell-out [sic] date. Kavanaugh demonstrated that in an unequivocal manner. Anybody who expects her to do anything decent any more is basically hoping for a longshot.

  123. For God's sake, Susan, for the country's sake, do the RIGHT thing. That's all I'm asking. Do the right thing. Run a TRIAL, allow the trial to proceed with all documents and witnesses, as it should. You know that Donald Trump should be impeached. This is not a president having an affair and lying about it (now, it all looks rather quaint, doesn't it?). This is about abuse of power and a president trying to rig his own election with foreign powers. He needs to go. Look, you should not run again anyhow. You've served your time, you've worked hard, you're 67 years old. You can retire to beautiful Maine and fish and hunt and have social security and medicare and your pension. On your way out the door - did I say it already? - do the right thing and history will remember you well. Do the wrong thing, do as you're told by Mitch McConnell and your name will forever be tarnished as being a coward and unpatriotic. Do you love America?

  124. @Katie Susan Collins loves Susan Collins. Only.

  125. The whole Susan-Collins-is-a-moderate schitck needs to be put to rest. When the going gets tough, she falls in line with whatever Mitch McConnell wants.

  126. After her vote to confirm the temperamental and biased Judge Kavanaugh vote, no one believes or trusts Susan Collins, who is now a card-carrying member of the Trump Cult. She might talk a good game, but she is always going to do what McConnell tells her to do. ActBlue started collecting donations right after Kavanaugh to be held in trust and given to whoever becomes Susan Collins opponent. Sara Gideon will have quite a war chest as money in small dollar donations continues to flood into her campaign from around the U.S. Why should Maine send a career politician and fake "moderate" back to Washington when they can have a real moderate instead. Democrats have a chance to deny re-election to McConnell, Graham and Collins. The Senate and the Presidency will flip to Blue, especially if the Senate Republicans, in lock step, vote against witnesses and documents. Let's hope for once in her career she stands up for the truth.

  127. Susan Collins form of faux-moderate, oh-so-thoughtful political theatre goes like this: give the issue “serious” soul searching consideration and then vote with Mitch McConnell. Why? Follow the money. Look at the PACs supporting her. Look at who is hosting her fundraisers. Just wish she could give up the farce of deliberative decision making. It would be so much more expeditious. Susan Collins, poster child for term limits and campaign finance reform if ever there was one.

  128. I wish the narrative (to my mind, largely false) of Susan Collins as conflicted moderate Republican would stop being perpetuated. Seems like wishful and lazy thinking (and reporting), at this point.

  129. @Matt Clark I would call it lazy, it is the moniker she has established for herself and hopefully, the voters of Maine will have had enough of this role and vote her out!

  130. It's not just the Kavanaugh vote. It's her pattern of not taking a stand (on anything!), voting for whatever McConnell wants, then calling herself a "moderate"! She is widely reviled in my neck of the woods.

  131. Ms. Collins performs for the camera by making a great show of seriously contemplating the issues in front of her - - then she predictably votes the Republican line. She gets a lot of political mileage out of it, too. Here she is again in the NYTs getting free campaign publicity, keeping the cameras and the voters focused on herself. It's sad for all of us when someone like her is our best hope to restore the Democratic Republic.

  132. @JL22 This time, Maine IS really focused on her and her acting.

  133. Why does the Media still call Collins a moderate. Look at her voting record, it's not a record of a moderate.

  134. She is the best show in Congress. We get to witness the public agony of having her Senate votes informed by moral deliberations --- second to none. Enough. She's fallen into the President's orbit as have her Republican Senate colleagues. If that is what Maine voters want, that's fine, but please spare us the Susan Collins Show during this Senate trial.

  135. @Sam She needs to be voted out and then, her show can be cancelled

  136. By publishing this article, the Times are confirming the fact that this impeachment is a political move, by the Democrats. They're looking for votes even before the proceedings have gotten under weigh.

  137. @Raz Of course both sides are looking for votes. This article is predominantly about her status viz the trial in relation to her status in Maine-- however indignant the poster feels about daring to conduct an impeachment trial of their anointed leader.

  138. @Raz So trump hasn’t lied about his move to smear the Biden’s?

  139. @Raz Wake up! The GOP have been and continue to make this most important moment into a farce and tragedy for our country

  140. I do not trust Senator Susan Collins. Period. She bespeaks conservative values. Her response to Kavanaugh was a brutal attack against believing a woman who was, in my opinion, clearly telling the truth. Where her party goes, so goes Susan. We Democrat’s have been forced to trust so-called “moderate” Republicans when, in fact, trust becomes a thing with feathers in the Trump era.

  141. When will media stop promoting Susan Collins as a 'moderate'? While she describes herself as 'bipartisan' and as a 'moderate' she has voted with GOP far more since Trump took office than during the previous administration. She takes Trump's lead the majority of the time. She has accepted campaign money from Trump since his impeachment process began in the House. During this election cycle she has donated to the campaigns of senate colleagues whose platforms include removing women's right to abortion, disenfranchisement of GLBT Americans, increasing pressure on immigration, and other of the most cruel and conservative GOP positions. At home, she does not respond to constituents. She hasn't held a town hall in decades. One cannot get through to her office via phone. She rarely responds to communication. She has voted to confirm all but the most outrageously unqualified judicial appointments rammed through confirmation by McConnell. Wake up. She is NOT moderate. She only is very good at playing her moderate shtick. Mainers know this. Which is why Susan Collins is now the most unpopular senator in D.C.

  142. She talks one way and votes with Trump. It is her votes that matter, not her phony angst.

  143. It has always seemed odd to me that Sen.Collins is considered a moderate. The Republican agenda is so far to the right that labeling as moderate any politician who supports it 99 percent of the time is a joke. Collins may not engage in the outrageous behavior of a Lindsay Graham, Ted Cruz or Rand Paul, and she can clutch her pearls and show exasperation when Trump makes fun of his rivals, but she is no moderate. If she votes in favor of hearing witnesses in Trump’s Senate trial it will only be under duress and fear of losing her seat. Her failure to demand more testimony from Kavanaugh’s accusers when there were serious doubts about his credibility and her blind allegiance to Mitch McConnell, should be enough to end her Senate career.

  144. @Mark B. Spot on!

  145. Senator Collins use to be a moderate but while she mouths the words I do not believe her. If Mitch McConnell tells her to jump, she does. Much of her backbone seemed to leave with Senator Snow.

  146. @K D Speaking of Senator Snow, where is she and why does she not speak up about all of this?

  147. Collins may support witnesses but when it come to voting against Trump she will not surpise anyone when she votes against impeachment. She does not deserve to have a fifth term. Most of them need to be voted out.

  148. Interesting that only the women have any ethics in the Republican Party.

  149. And Susan Collins, just a very little; her ethics can't hold out against adversity.

  150. @David how was voting for Kavanaugh ethical?

  151. @David I do not her to be ethical. Just look at her voting records, please.

  152. Come on Collins stop the nonsense that will judge trump impeachment by Clinton. You know full well Clinton started regarding Whitewater investments that took place before he wa in office. Star didn't find anything and he continued until he got lying about a BJ. If you use the same standard then let us do an investigation of trumps investments before he was in office. I can guarantee we will find criminal activity.

  153. Absolutely have to give her the props she earned for her vote to acquit Clinton. I believe every senator and representative should vote the way their constituency wants he or she or they to vote. So be it. Phone home, Collins. Do what your majority wants you to do. The rest have to suck it up. That's democracy.

  154. I think she's pretty much wasting her time preparing. She'll almost certainly end up voting the same way the othe R's will, and they will have spent an average of 5-10 minutes each, reviewing the evidence and considering whether it's okay for the POTUS to extort or bribe another government to do something that has, as its sole purpose, the personal benefit of said POTUS. (It's ludicrous to believe trump cares about about preventing any corruption, seeing's how he wallows in it.)

  155. Her claim that she carefully considered the evidence in the Kavanaugh affair and made up her own mind was undercut by the speech she gave when announcing her decision. It was essentially a condensation of the talking points Kavanaugh defenders had been delivering for weeks. A wag recently tweeted that “Susan Collins always does what’s best . . . for Susan Collins.” How true.

  156. @NA No surprise here.

  157. There’s something rotten in the state of Maine, and it’s Senator Collins. If she votes to convict, I’ll eat my whole hat collection.

  158. Ms. Collins, if treason isn't a high crime and misdemeanor, shall we deep-six the Constitution? We're getting there. Very very sad that the main motivation for far too many politicians has become keeping their jobs.

  159. @GreaterMetropolitanArea unfortunately so very true. Term limits, please.

  160. @GreaterMetropolitanArea Not just sad, but craven, especially in Ms. Collins's case, given that in her first run for the Senate she'd vowed to serve only two terms.

  161. She says now of the Clinton impeachment that "it didn’t reach the constitutional test of high crimes and misdemeanors, and was not sufficient to overturn an election and throw him out of office." I'll bet that she never said then that bit about overturning an election, so here she is disingenuously positioning herself to tow the party line once more.

  162. @Ian Yep and thank you. "Overturn election" talk is a white hot warning that you are being fed pure propaganda.

  163. @True Believer Yes, I read that Republicans got the term "overturn an election" from a focus group.

  164. @True Believer - Truth. If conviction meant overturning the election we'd have President Hillary Clinton. I believe the actual consequence of conviction would be President Mike Pence.

  165. Collins's political contortions to look moderate but then support Trump are a disgrace to Maine — and the legacy of her predecessor, Senator Margaret Chase Smith, who famously was the first to condemn the unethical and immoral tactics of Joe McCarthy. "I don't believe the American people will uphold any political party that puts political exploitation above national interest. . . .We are Republicans. But we are Americans first. It is as Americans that we express our concern with the growing confusion that threatens the security and stability of our country." Senator Margaret Chase Smith, Declaration of Conscience, 1950

  166. @MCV207 And we miss people like Senator Smith, with that ethic, of country over party.

  167. The important vote is the vote to hear witnesses. The Democrats don’t have 47 votes. Joe Manchin won’t vote with them. But if there are no witnesses the country (world) is watching. Sen. Collins won’t win re election no matter what she does so she might as well vote to convict. History will reward her greatly.

  168. What's changed is Maine, probably not Collins. She's losing popularity because she's not representing her constituents as well as she used to. A quick search shows that Maine's approval rating for Trump is about the national average - 40-45% like him, 50--55% disapprove. Collins's disapproval rating in Maine is pretty close to Trump's. Just 2-3 years ago, her approval rating was pushing 70%. This demonstrates three things: One, that Mainers have common sense and decency. Two, that traditional moderates are probably souring on the Trump show. And three, supporting the Trump agenda is hazardous to your political career in any place but the deep red states.

  169. Maine is close to New York and all who know about Trump not seeking money from him know what kind of person he has always been.

  170. She's just leveraging her vote to get something else. It's how she operates, consistently and repeatedly.

  171. To paraphrase Edna St Vincent Millay, "There is room for a great Senator in Maine tonight". When I read comments like, "The Senator is fighting for his or her political career," I cringe. Elected service was never meant to be a career, maybe that's why we are where we are today. Our elected officials need to put the good of the country first and one way to encourage that is to have term limits. While nobody seriously believes someone will get up on the House or Senate floor and propose term limits, a national petition for a referendum might prove popular. As for Ms Collins, it's time to look in the mirror and ask yourself if your job as a Senator has any meaning if you continue to support Trump and his total disregard for the law. I hope she chooses decency.

  172. @Steve Don't hold your breath.

  173. @steve We have term limits; they're called elections. The problem is, far too few of us exercise our civic responsibility on election day. When you combine that with gerrymandered Congressional districts in too many states, parties in power determined to make it as hard as possible to find a polling station near them, you get the results we face. Make every election day a paid holiday, nationally and locally--that would be a start. Get referendums passed in all 50 states requiring a non-partisan redistricting commission as is the case in AZ, CA and a few other states. And let's hope the old guard passes into history as soon as possible. Our hope is the next generations!

  174. @Sancarloscharlie Term limits for all the Congress is really the way to go. Elections favor the incumbent most times. That is not progress. It needs to be changed

  175. As one of Susan Collins' former constituents, I have always found her endless public cogitating on her votes to be amusing, and nearly always predictable. She will study the options, ruminate on the various outcomes, announce her deep anxiety with both options, loudly proclaim her anxiety with the choices available to her. Finally - but only if it doesn't make any difference to the ultimate Republican vote-count - she'll make a decision based on her deeply plumbed conscience. Otherwise, she's a solid Republican vote. It's a tough line to tiptoe.

  176. @Marion, Well put.

  177. @Marion Absolutely right. She votes her post-study conscience only when it doesn't count for Repub power. It's conscience theater costuming McConnell's cynical power machinations.

  178. @Marion She's a real politician. Pretends to be contemplating something and, really, it's just an act.

  179. Throughout her career, Susan Collins has had this schtick where she wrings her hands and pretends to be undecided about this or that issue or presidential appointee, and then, after this pretense, invariably backs the Republican leadership as loyally as any Trump sycophant. Her "moderation" is just an act. Hopefully the people of Maine see through it now.

  180. @Dr. Planarian Democratic voters in Maine need to organize and put enormous pressure on Collins. Representative Matt Moonen is House majority leader in Maine. It begins with him.

  181. @Dr. Planarian you've summed her politics up perfectly! A feckless sycophant dressed up as a moderate.

  182. @Dr. Planarian Yes, she is a complete fraud. She tries to appear open-minded and moderate, but is no different from the Republican herd. I find her hypocrisy more infuriating than those who are open about their Republican meanness. I have sent money to get her defeated and will continue to do so.

  183. “I would anticipate that it is likely that I would vote to have more information brought forward, whether witnesses or documents or both,” she said Thursday. It's this sort of circumlocution and fence-sitting that has Senator Collins in the dock. If after four terms in the Senate she's unable to state whether a trial should have witnesses or not, voters are left to reach their own conclusions about why.

  184. @Martin Daly, Having witnesses testify at a trial? What a novel idea.

  185. Both sides get to call witnesses, or just the Democrats?

  186. @JQGALT If the GOP wants to call relevant witnesses, ie Pompeo, Bolton, etc, sure, GOP can call as many witnesses as it likes. If the GOP wants to call witnesses who do not have personal knowledge of the President's conduct, ie Hunter Biden, then no. Niether party should be allowed to call non-relevant witnesses.

  187. Margaret Chase Smith was a Republican Senator representing Maine. Margaret Chase Smith said she did not want to see the Republican Party “ride to victory on the four horsemen of calumny - fear, ignorance, bigotry, and smear”. Susan Collins is no Margaret Chase Smith

  188. She's a fraud. No integrity whatsoever. The very definition of an untrustworthy politician. Says one thing, does another.

  189. Republicans hated Clinton because his politics were the same a Eisenhower and Rockefeller and all moderate Republicans who could not back Barry Goldwater and who Reagan’s conservatives drove out of office everywhere that they could. They were and are are terrified of losing power over the Republican Party. That’s why lying over a private indiscretion rose to an impeachable offense. The founders did not want impeachment used for that kind of use. The Republican Party has become a stupid partisan club which has no respect for our republic.

  190. The longer they stay in office, the more egomaniacal they become. Half the stuff that used to come out of mouth was idiocy. Now it's more like three quarters. There's no such thing as a "moderate Republican" anymore. If they don't support Trump's mob, there is no place for them. Susan doesn't get it.

  191. Susan Collins is not and never will be a John Sidney McCain III nor Margaret Chase Smith nor Everett McKinley Dirksen. Susan Collins is by nature and nurture part of the Republican Party sycophant triumvirate that includes Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.

  192. @Blackmamba Margaret Chase Smith. Now there was a Mainer to emulate. Stood up to Senator Joe McCarthy. She had a backbone made of steel. We should long for the days.....

  193. Dump Collins in 2020. Zero integrity.

  194. Trump Owns the GOP; she will vote how Trump tells her to

  195. She needed to RETIRE 2 terms ago.

  196. Collins is a careerist and weak. There is no integrity or courage left in the Republican Party. The Bush family should have used all their muscle to eliminate Trump early in the primaries. Now all of the party and their plutocrat masters are locked in behind Trump.

  197. She is very much on the hot seat following her vote to confirm the party boy justice who likes beer. Now is the opportunity for the voters of Maine to send her packing! You voters in Maine deserve better.

  198. The lamestream media always presents Collins as a "moderate." However, she votes for Trump almost 100% of the time.