A Heroine

Sen. Susan Collins has stood up to the mob and our republic will be the better for it. From her speech on the Senate floor:

Some argue that, because this is a lifetime appointment to our highest courts, public interest requires that doubts be resolved against the nominee. Others see the public interest as abiding to our longest tradition of affording to those accused of misconduct a presumption of innocence. In cases in which the facts are unclear, they would argue that the question should be resolved in favor of the nominee. Mr. President, I understand both viewpoints. This debate is complicated further by the fact that the Senate confirmation process is not a trial. But certain fundamental legal principles about due process, the presumption of innocence and fairness do bear on my thinking and I cannot abandon them. In evaluating any given claim of misconduct, we will be ill-served in the long run if we abandon the presumption of innocence and fairness, tempting though it may be. 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.

The Human Rights Campaign, which believes women (except for Juanita Broaddrick…‎Paula Jones…‎Kathleen Willey…et al) responded predictably.

And here:

And the Women’s March weighed in:


More, you say:

Let’s remember what’s driving the hysteria. Other than reflexive Trump hatred, it’s the demand for a Supreme Court that will oppose state restrictions on abortion, including limits on late-term abortion on demand, preferably done at taxpayer expense. (I agree with more-knowledgeable court-watchers that the likelihood of a whole-scale overturning of Roe by the conservatives on the court, especially under an incrementalist like Chief Justice Roberts, is virtually none.)
I know, I am not entitled to an opinion about terminating the lives of unborn babies.

I wrote in September 2011 about Collins’ pivotal actions in overturning the military ban against openly gay service members:

Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid, it should be noted, never pushed for repeal or any other pro-gay equality legislation, but his role with “don’t ask, don’t tell” was particularly egregious. In late 2010, he insisted that the repeal bill be combined with an appropriations measure that the GOP was determined to block, and did with its filibuster. Reid then declared it was the GOP’s fault that the repeal failed. An incensed Sen. Collins and Sen. Lieberman demanded that a separate, stand-alone “don’t ask” repeal bill be brought forward, and the media glare [they generated] forced Sen. Reid to capitulate. The stand-alone repeal was brought up for a vote and easily passed with the support of many senators, including Sen. Brown, who had voted against the combined appropriations/repeal bill. …

…Sen. Collins shared that she simply couldn’t, at first, believe what Sen. Reid was doing (and then charged to the podium to protest the maneuver and its foregone conclusion—to no avail).

Keeping “don’t ask, don’t tell” in place as a campaign and fundraising issue while blaming the GOP for blocking repeal was the strategy all along. For the same reasons, when Democrats had a big majority in the House and a filibuster-proof Senate majority for nearly two years (2009-10), and with a “progressive” president in the White House, they choose not to pass comprehensive immigration reform (or vote on a federal LGBT anti-discrimination measure, for that matter).

7 Comments for “A Heroine”

  1. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    Several thoughts:

    (1) It has been entertaining, in a mind-bending ironic sort of way, to watch Judge Kavanaugh, by all accounts a drunken lout in his younger years, become the poster boy for victimization of the marginalized white male ruling class, anointed by conservatives who dismiss BLM and tell blacks and other minorities to put their big-boy pants on and stop whining.

    (2) It was inevitable that Justice Kennedy would be replaced by a far-right “originalist”, whether the replacement was Judge Kavanaugh or any one of the other 20 potential nominees on the “21 List”.

    (3) Justice Ginsburg and Justice Breyer are not getting any younger, so it is more likely than not that we’ll see at least one more “originalist” elevated during the Trump/Pence administration. When that happens, the only possible judicial moderate among the Republican-appointed justices, Chief Justice Roberts, will become a judicial eunuch, assuming that he has any interest in the precedential value of the Griswold line.

    (4) Republicans now have what they’ve worked so hard to get for the last thirty-odd years, a count that will eviscerate and/or overturn Roe. As Tony Perkins, the author of the “culture wars” planks of the 2016 Republican Platform, acknowledged as much tonight:

    We applaud the U.S. Senate for putting an end to further delaying tactics and proceeding to a final vote on Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination. Long before the president even made his Supreme Court pick, both sides knew about a battle that would follow. But no one knew the depths to which the Left would stoop, including jettisoning the principle that people are innocent until proven guilty. This is dangerous and undermines fairness and the rule of law.

    And despite whatever uncorroborated allegations have been made, the bottom line is the same today as it was when Justice Kennedy retired. The battle for this seat is also not about one person. It’s about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It’s about the constitutional right to live freely. It’s about 60 million — all victims of the type of assault that liberal Democrats are desperate to protect: Abortion.

    If Americans have forgotten that this has all been about abortion, it’s because the Left served up its best distraction of all — guns, pre-existing conditions, and even a sexual abuse allegation it knew Republicans wouldn’t ignore because most conservatives have a genuine respect and concern for others. Now, two weeks into a methodical smear campaign that has shown no basis in fact, Democrats have proven that they’re willing to destroy a man for the ‘right’ to keep destroying children.

    (5) Obergefell and a host of other cases arising out of the Griswold line will suffer a similar fate, but as collateral damage. The battle for “equal means equal” now moves to the political front.

    • posted by Jorge on

      (5) Obergefell and a host of other cases arising out of the Griswold line will suffer a similar fate, but as collateral damage. The battle for “equal means equal” now moves to the political front.

      Regardless of whether those two cases are overturned, this country will be better off 30 years from now for the lack of an environment in which judicial legislation offends the dignity of decent folk, takes power from the powerless, and turns democracy into a sham that benefits the few over the many.

    • posted by Tom Scharbach on

      Regardless of whether those two cases are overturned …

      The problem goes well beyond Roe and Obergefell. Among the cases that directly descend from and are dependent on the Griswold “right to privacy” rationale are Eisenstadt, Carey, Zablocki and Lawrence, to name a few in the line. All will be at risk.

      … this country will be better off 30 years from now …

      Uh huh. Well, luckily you are young enough to reap the benefits of your folly. I’m old enough to have grown up in the world you are hoping to see.

      I’m in my 70’s and am not likely to live long enough to see our individual freedoms chipped away, right by right, protection by protection, in favor of the government as the arbiter of our most personal, intensely private activities and relationships.

      You will. And, like most conservatives, you will cheer the process, right up until the time that you realize that your freedom is being eroded, not just the freedom of “minorities”.

      • posted by Matthew on

        I would gladly see everyone of color who voted for Prop 8 in CA and Amendment One in NC pushed back to the back of the bus where they belong as payback for what they did to take our marriage rights away. Louis FarraKKKhan has more privilege than any gay white Republican of either sex in the United States or any Jew of any race or sexuality and you fucking know it.

  2. posted by Jorge on

    Yes, I watched in full later, too. And unlike the nomination hearings, I kept watching Collins’s speech to the end.

    But earlier, when I turned on the news, it was the other moderate woman in the Senate, Lisa Murkowski, who was speaking, and I did not mind that she put her best case for No, much though I disagree. (I must confess I watched the full recording later.) That shorter speech is worth watching to the end, when she announced a gracious action (obviously one that benefits my side over hers) publicly in a hope that it would move things in the right direction.

    (Murkowski and Collins both believe Kavanaugh will be a vote to uphold Roe v. Wade. That’s very interesting.)

    Collins and Murkowski both pushed back against the more deplorable actions by President Trump and the leaking, though I didn’t agree with their call for an additional FBI investigation, really for the predictable worsening of the political circus that followed. This is the Age of Trump. It does not mean we cannot act to make the world a better place in spite of it.

    My more amusing observation is that I was looking forward to see whether November would show this to be the Year of the Woman or the Year of the Man. Looks like it’ll be the Year of the Woman after all!

  3. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    Sen. Susan Collins has stood up to the mob and our republic will be the better for it.

    I was wondering where Stephen came up with this drek, and then I read ‘An angry mob’: Republicans work to recast Democratic protests as out-of-control anarchy in today’s Washington Post.

    Question answered.

    • posted by Matthew on

      It’s not dreck, Uncle Tom Krautbach. The Slaveocrat Party is against the rule of law and has been waging an anti-male Warlock Hunt; their words and deeds have proved that they are completely unfit to govern at any level.

      By the time Trump leaves office there will be no Slaveocrat Party. The GOP is going to finish what the Slaveocrat Party started when they started the Civil War to enslave black people. No, we’re not sorry we took your slaves away. No, we won’t be sorry when we take them away again.


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