Voters have little interest in taking away Nancy Pelosi’s Democratic House majority

At the federal level, Democrats face three distinct challenges: 1) win the White House, 2) take control of the U.S. Senate, and 3) retain control of the U.S. House. Of the three, that last one appears to be the easiest task. 

Civiqs Results

That’s about eight months of data, and you can see how stable the numbers are. The closest Republicans have made it is a six-point deficit, and the largest Democratic lead has been eight points. You can’t see it (it’s behind a paywall), but among white voters, it’s 53-41 Republican, because of, you know, “economic anxiety.” But that’s significantly offset by black voters (90-6) and Latinos (72-23). Note that Democrats have shown improvement among white voters—prior to impeachment, it was 53-39. 

Incredibly, it’s 61-33 Republican among white men. Among white women? 47-46, Democratic. Chew on that. That’s a 29-point gender gap! 

Also, white women weren’t pleased with Donald Trump’s acquittal in his impeachment trial: 

It’s a slight shift, but notice pro-Democratic bumps both when Trump was impeached in the House and then again when the Senate acquitted. In an otherwise static trend line, such subtle movements matter, particularly in our 50-50 country. 

Note that in 2018, the national House popular vote was 53-45, or … 8 points. As long as Democrats maintain the same margin, as they do in our current Civiqs tracker, we should hold on to the House relatively easily. Republicans are likely seeing the same numbers in their own internal polling, which is why so many of them are once again jumping ship. Actions speak louder than words, and in this case, they confirm the numbers. 

Retaining control of the House is of paramount importance as a bulwark against a potential second Trump term, given the difficulties of the Senate map (in short, winnable, but tough), and the uncertainness of the presidential contest (it’s not a gimme). And with victories in the courts, on ballot initiatives, and in successful efforts to pick up state legislatures (a battle that continues unabated this year), we will be in a much better place during the post-census redistricting battle. This is a majority we can build on. And so far, the public is in little mood to reverse course. 

For Republicans in Trump’s cover-up it wasn’t about ‘heads on pikes,’ it was all about the money

In the latest Daily Kos/Civiqs poll, fully 60% of Americans disapprove of how the U.S. Senate conducted Donald Trump’s impeachment trial. The behavior of Senate Republicans following that trial probably won't get many cheers, either. The three most closely watched Republicans during the trial, those who pretended to be open-minded and committed to doing their jobs, have all popped up in the last few days with slathering praise for the Trump administration which let loose all the money once the trial was done. It turns out the issue wasn’t the threat of heads on pikes at all. It was all about the bribes.

Please give $1 to our nominee fund to help Democrats end McConnell's career as majority leader.

Retiring Sen. Lamar Alexander tweeted to thank Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Trump for the investment of "$9 million in Tennessee to provide and improve high-speed broadband infrastructure projects for 3,744 rural households, 31 businesses and 41 farms."

Sen. Lisa Murkowski had Transportation Secretary and Moscow Mitch spouse Elaine Chao to thank for "a $20M Port Infrastructure Development Program grant to the Port of Alaska to help offset the 1st phase costs of the Port’s desperately-needed modernization program, enabling safe, cost-effective, & reliable Port operations." That's a whole 1% of the estimated cost for the port. Was it worth a vote to keep the worst president ever to sit in the Oval Office?

You know, of course, who else is getting in on the action:

Great news! 19 Housing Authorities in Maine have been awarded more than $9.5 million to preserve & modernize affordable housing units that serve individuals with disabilities & low-income individuals and families.https://t.co/9FzNcL197P

— Sen. Susan Collins (@SenatorCollins) February 13, 2020

Could they be more blatant? No. The answer is no. 

I never give money to politicians. Here’s why I just gave money to Elizabeth Warren

Political journalists simply don't make donations to politicians. It's a cardinal rule that insulates reporters from being tagged as provably biased toward one candidate or another. I've abided by that rule for the better part of two decades with one exception, when a close buddy of mine was running for Congress in Western Michigan where I grew up. But this week I broke that rule when I made a modest donation to Elizabeth Warren. I had wrestled with the impulse to donate to her campaign for over a month. As a reporter-turned-blogger, I no longer make any claim to so-called objectivity, though I still prize fairness, transparency, and intellectual honesty as hallmarks of my own work. I don't write things I don't believe in, and I refuse to be a blind follower of any particular person or group. So to some extent, this post is a public confession of sorts. And despite donating to Warren, I reserve the right to disagree with her and/or take her to task if the moment calls for it. 

But what this political moment calls for right now is that every American who wants to save this country from its slide toward authoritarianism step up and do everything humanly possible to combat that descent. For different people that means different things. For me, it means going public about why I think Warren is not only the best candidate to take on Donald Trump but also has a path toward the nomination in a muddled field where no single candidate has proven they can consolidate the base, unite the party, and steamroll Trump in the general election. And just to be clear, I think that both uniting the party, first and foremost, while also appealing to disaffected voters from the white working class and more affluent suburbs is a must to defeating Trump in November.

To me, that's where the current front-runner for the Democratic nomination, Sen. Bernie Sanders, continues to fall short. Despite winning the popular vote in both Iowa and New Hampshire and demonstrating some appeal among voters of color in the polls, Sanders still hasn't lived up to his promise of turning out an army of young people and other nontraditional voters to propel Democrats to victory in the fall. Sanders' promise has been that by inspiring nontraditional voters to turn out in droves, he can beat Trump without getting overly concerned about appealing to disaffected conservatives and other voters looking for an alternative to Trump. But he has yet to deliver on that promise and has underperformed in both Iowa and New Hampshire according to the expectations his own campaign set. In Iowa, he predicted huge '08-level turnout that never materialized and found himself struggling to make the case that he had won. In New Hampshire, where turnout exceeded 2016 levels, Sanders just barely edged out Pete Buttigieg for first by little more than one point after absolutely clobbering Hillary Clinton there in '16, 60%-38%. Sure, there's more people in the race, but that night was custom-made for Bernie and he underperformed again. As the Washington Post writes:

The share of Democratic voters ages 18 to 29 dropped from 2016. And [Cook Political Report's Dave] Wasserman observed that turnout increased by higher percentages in areas where Buttigieg and third-place finisher Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) won than they did in Sanders's towns. This suggested the overall increase in turnout was likely attributable to GOP-leaning independents who opted to vote in the Democratic primary, rather than Sanders bringing out new voters.

So even though Sanders has more delegates and arguably more momentum than any other Democrat in the field, his electability argument for beating Trump has not held up. In fact, so far, Sanders has not demonstrably broadened his coalition beyond where it was in 2016. The loyalty of his core of supporters runs deep, which makes him a good-enough candidate in a crowded field but doesn't necessarily make him a formidable candidate in a two-way race.  In short, Bernie may ultimately win the war of attrition, but this isn't the stuff of a revolution. 

I also personally believe that Bernie is Trump's dream opponent, which is why Republicans have consistently tried to rile his base supporters into believing establishment Democrats are treating him unfairly. As GOP strategist and anti-Trumper Rick Wilson observed on MSNBC Friday, looking out across the field, Republicans absolutely want to run against the actual socialist who’s had recent health problems and plans, above all else, to take away people's private health insurance. That's a whole bunch of scary stuff teed up for Trump and the GOP. And I’m not saying any of that is fair, but it does appear to be the match up Republicans want most in the general election.

The problem for the other Democrats right now is that, while Sanders hasn't exactly closed the deal yet, they are dividing the rest of the pie up amongst themselves. In fact, some three-quarters of the Democratic electorate still prefers some other candidate. Analysts have generally thought of these divisions in terms lanes, with Sanders and Warren in the liberal lane; Buttigieg, Vice President Joe Biden, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar in the moderate lane; and Mike Bloomberg and Tom Steyer in the "billionaires buy elections" lane. I say that last part only half facetiously because, while Bloomberg in particular is now running third nationally, it's not yet clear that he has any ideological pull among Democratic voters other than his ability to flood the zone with billions if he's the nominee. That idea alone may appeal to some voters who are absolutely desperate to unseat Trump, but the more I think about it, the more it turns my stomach. If Bloomberg were to win the nomination and take on Trump, our presidential elections would be forever changed into a billionaire showdown every four years.

Where Warren comes in is that she is the only candidate who can bridge the divides of the party. If she were to be nominated, she could excite the widest swath of Democratic voters, leaving no single bloc with the burden of holding their nose at the voting booth. This isn't just my opinion, it has bore out in polling metric after polling metric, (some of which I've written about before). But in brief, Warren has twice won a polling question that asked, if you could wave a magic wand and nominate anyone in the Democratic field, who would it be? Warren was the top pick in both June 2019 and January 2020, the only two times the question was asked.

Earlier this week Warren also topped a Quinnipiac poll showing that she would draw more Democratic votes than anyone else in the field in a head-to-head with Trump. Most other candidates were mere points away from her but the takeaway isn't that she absolutely dusts everyone else. The takeaway is that voters have talked themselves into the idea that a woman can't the win against  Trump, or is somehow unelectable. That fear-based bill of goods has harmed Warren's candidacy more than anyone else in the field, and frankly, it's an absolute shame so many voters let it dissuade them from voting their heart.

The latest poll demonstrating the breadth of Warren's appeal is one that pitted each Democratic candidate against Sanders, the current front-runner. Warren is really the only other Democratic candidate who rivals Bernie for the affections of Democratic primary voters. She's not only within 2 points of him (42% Warren to 44% Sanders), she puts the most undecided votes in play at 14%.

That's a particularly interesting finding because it shows Warren's ability to draw a coalition of support that includes both moderates and liberals, since Sanders has shored up more of the liberal vote by now. Warren is also better suited for the general election particularly because she doesn't identify as a socialist. Whoever the nominee is, Republicans will smear them as a socialist, but in Bernie's case it will actually be true. There's a marked difference between that smear and that reality, and Warren's self-identification as a capitalist will give her the ability to provide a safe space to voters who don't exactly want to vote Democrat but can't stand Trump.

But all electability arguments aside, Warren has my vote because she would make the best president hands down. Although she is not a life-long politician or creature of Washington, she has proven her ability to things done (like creating the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau). She has been a U.S. Senator just long enough to have the relationships and institutional knowledge needed to effectively enact policies. She also has a slew of well-reasoned ready-made policies, which (fairly or unfairly) have received far more vetting from the press than those of any other candidate. As writer Kaitlin Byrd put it, Elizabeth Warren is who you vote for if you like Bernie Sanders’ policy but actually want it enacted.

In fact, in a marked turn-around this week, some staunch Sanders supporters began to admit that he likely couldn't actually achieve passage of his signature issue: Medicare For All. Most notably, one of Sanders' most high-profile surrogates, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, told Huff Post that compromising on Bernie's signature proposal might be necessary. 

“The worst-case scenario? We compromise deeply and we end up getting a public option. Is that a nightmare? I don’t think so,” she said.

The entire article suggested that, whatever the differences between candidates' goals on health care, the realities of what can be achieved in Congress might result in very similar outcomes. In fact, I generally agree with that contention, but it is a very notable departure from the litmus-test proposition the Sanders campaign has promoted on the campaign trail. Warren, in particular, was demonized for creating and presenting a transition plan to Medicare For All. On top of that, exit polls in New Hampshire suggested that just 6% of Democratic primary voters support single payer only, while 61% support offering both a public option and a single-payer plan. Bernie dominated among the small slice of hardcore single-payer only fans, winning 65% of them, which clearly helped him eke out a victory in the state. But it's not where the bulk of Democratic primary voters appear to be.

What has consistently polled well among both Democrats and the general electorate alike are Warren's signature issues: an anti-corruption bill and a wealth tax. In poll after poll, Warren's 2% wealth tax on households with a net worth exceeding $50 million has polled at 60%-plus among American voters. And while both the wealth tax and M4A have lost a bit of traction after being debated for a year on the campaign trail, the wealth tax continued to gain the support of more than six in 10 Americans, according to the New York Times as of last November. 

Furthermore, Warren's emphasis on ending corruption in Washington is the perfect antidote to the reelection bid of Trump, easily the most corrupt president in American history. Equally as important, her anti-corruption package—the bill she would champion first and foremost as president—would be the linchpin to getting future major legislative wins because it would end the stranglehold that entrenched lobbying interests have on otherwise very popular policies. They include measures like combatting gun violence, climate change, and ever-increasing healthcare costs.

All that analysis is a long and perhaps tedious way of saying that I've thought about this a lot, and I have concluded that this political moment yearns for both a Warren candidacy and a Warren presidency. And although her chances of winning the nomination now are very slim, I am dedicated to the proposition that you must never stop fighting the good fight for the things you believe in. This is easily the most volatile and unpredictable field of primary candidates most of us have witnessed in our lifetimes, and only a tiny homogeneous percentage of the Democratic electorate has spoken. I'm putting my money on Elizabeth Warren not because she has the best chance of winning but because I believe she is the best candidate in the field. And one thing I have never regretted in my life is holding true to my ideals and fighting for them no matter what the odds. The greatest wins are never the most obvious ones—they are the dreams that triumph because a group of committed individuals refused to let them die.

Trump shows Collins a lesson he learned from impeachment: Don’t let anyone listen to your criming

Sen. Susan Collins has done her best to walk back her ridiculous statement that impeached president Donald Trump learned a lesson from the impeachment process, and to absolve herself of any responsibility for a now totally unfettered Trump. The thing is, though: She can't. Because Trump himself is yelling out the real lessons he learned every damn day. Like on Thursday, when he trashed another presidential norm meant to keep chief executives in check and to protect national security.

Collins' time is up. Please give $1 to help Democrats in each of these crucial Senate races, but especially the one in Maine!

In a radio interview with Geraldo Rivera, Trump talked about one of the lessons he’s learned: not to let officials listen in on his phone calls with world leaders. "Well, that's what they've done over the years," Trump said. "When you call a foreign leader, people listen. I may end the practice entirely. I may end it entirely." This came about in a discussion about Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who Trump was bitching about in the interview, calling him "insubordinate" for raising his concerns about Trump's call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. "I'm not a fan of Vindman," Trump added. Surprise.

Given his cavalier attitude toward classified intelligence, this latest lesson learned by Trump has the national security community freaking out. "Right now, President Trump is a nightmare to every intel and [national-security] officer, and this is all stuff he's done with their knowledge," a former senior National Security Agency official told Business Insider. "Allowing him to conduct these calls in private would be catastrophic for us."

A former National Security Council senior director under President Barack Obama, Edward Price, told Business Insider that allowing intelligence and national security people to listen to calls "is indispensable to the coordination and implementation of sound foreign policy and national-security practices,. […] No president—but especially not this one—can or should be relied upon to backbrief senior advisers on details that can often be extraordinarily nuanced." Of course it has happened with this impeached president. And it wasn't just a phone call, but also face-to-face meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin: On several occasions, Trump has talked with Putin without U.S. staff present.

So the lesson he did learn from Collins and the rest of the Republicans who let him off the hook is that that's the way he should always conduct foreign policy, with no one around him who can alert the rest of the government—including Congress—about the crime-doing.

Joe Biden On Debating Trump: ‘I Can Hardly Wait’

Former Vice President and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said Thursday that he was eager to debate President Donald Trump.

‘I can hardly wait’

“I can hardly wait,” Biden told ABC’s “The View,” calling Trump “the most corrupt president we’ve ever had.”

Biden defended his decision to remain in the presidential race in the interview despite terrible results in both Iowa and New Hampshire

“People know me. They know who I am,” Biden said. “They know I’ve never been accused of doing anything indecent, I haven’t lied. I’ve been straight up.”

RELATED: Joy Behar: Clinton Was Sleeping with Lewinsky But Trump Is Sleeping with Putin

‘I’m authentic’

“The bad news for me is I’m authentic,” he continued. “I say what I mean. I mean what I say and sometimes I say all that I mean but that’s — you know …”

The View co-host Sunny Hostin noted that Biden’s supposed reputation for being authentic was one of the reasons many people thought he should have been a witness in the Senate impeachment trial against Trump.

“At one point there was talk of this trade. Bolton testifying for your testimony,” Hostin said. “Many people think you should have testified because you would make a good witness. Why didn’t you?”

Biden dismissed the question, claiming no one had asked him to testify, then immediately went back to attacking Trump.

“Look, this is a tactic he uses,” Biden said. “The best thing when you’re attacked, go to somebody else, take your eye off the ball, focus on something else. I’ll be damned if I’m going to give him that opportunity. I can hardly wait to get him on the debate stage …”

The audience burst into applause.

RELATED: ‘The View’ Goes Off The Rails As Impeachment Lawyer Alan Dershowitz ‘Triggers’ Hosts By Defending Trump

Biden Continues to Pretend to be a Hardballer Despite Poor Showings in Iowa and New Hampshire

“I can hardly wait. This is the most corrupt president we’ve ever had,” Biden went on. “He wants to fight corruption. Mr. President, I released 21 years of my tax returns. Release one of yours. What do you have hiding?”

Joy Behar then intervened, asking, “Let’s say you’re on the debate stage with him and he does what he did to Hillary, starts hovering behind you like a big monster behind the poor woman. What are you going to do?”

“I’ll say, come up here, Jack. Up here. Stand next to me. Come on, this guy is a — oh gosh,” Biden laughed while shaking his head. “God, give me the grace to not say what I’m thinking.”

The post Joe Biden On Debating Trump: ‘I Can Hardly Wait’ appeared first on The Political Insider.

Susan Collins is so concerned about Trump that she’s going to make a sternly worded phone call

The White House better be prepared. It’s going to get a sternly worded phone call from Sen. Susan Collins over the impeached president’s interference in the sentencing of Donald Trump’s buddy Roger Stone after his conviction in federal court. She told reporters that Wednesday, saying that Trump should "play no role whatsoever when it comes to sentencing recommendations" and that he "should not have commented" and that she wished he "would not tweet." No word on whether she's also going to talk about the tweeting on the phone call. But boy, that's sure going to strike terror in Trump's heart.

She also has questions for Attorney General William Barr, she says, but she's not sure if there should be any hearings yet over Trump and Barr turning the Department of Justice into Trump's defense counsel. She wouldn't want to be hasty. Still, a sternly worded phone call might be happening. I'm sure she really wishes it would help. But don't worry, she says, about Trump being "emboldened" by being let off the hook by her and her Republican pals.

Her time's up. Please give $1 to help Democrats in each of these crucial Senate races, but especially the one in Maine!

He wasn't acting out because he knows now that there are no limits to his power, now that the Senate will let him do literally anything. It's just him acting like a toddler, she says. He "often acts in an impulsive manner," she explained in a USA Today interview. "I think the president was angered by impeachment and that is reflected in the personnel choices he made," she said. Because that makes it so much better, the fact that he's now a 4-year-old on speed, and it had absolutely nothing to do with her.

No, she's not responsible at all for his behavior now. She was doing her solemn duty and certainly, she told the Bangor Daily News, if the president had committed "treason or bribery," she would definitely have voted to impeach. The House, however, called Trump's treason and bribery in withholding aid to Ukraine in order to force that country to interfere in the presidential election on his behalf "maladministration." So they didn't meet her bar.

But boy, Trump, she better not catch you doing this again, or you'll be in big trouble.

Warren: We Need to Start Impeachment Proceedings For AG Barr

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren is calling on the House to commence impeachment proceedings if Attorney General Bill Barr does not willingly resign.

Barr has been the subject of scorn after the Department of Justice opted – rightfully – to reduce the amount of jail time requested by federal prosecutors for Roger Stone, a former associate of President Trump.

The DOJ, independently of the President’s own complaints, sought reduction of the “extreme” sentencing request of nine years.

The left has wantonly drawn a line between a tweet from Trump calling the recommendation of nine years to be a “miscarriage of justice” and Barr’s actions in taking charge of a case that had gone off the rails.

As former Rep. Trey Gowdy notes, “There are child pornographers, people who rob banks who do not get nine years.”

Still, the chain of events led four career prosecutors to quit the case after the DOJ revealed their plans.

Now, Warren is demanding Barr either resign or face impeachment.

RELATED: Gowdy to Dems Calling For Barr Resignation: “Dumbest Damn Thing I’ve Ever Heard”

Warren: Barr Has to Go

In an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Warren suggested she was so distraught over Barr’s actions that she didn’t even want to discuss the election. You know, the one she’s embarrassingly floundering in right now.

“I have to say I know everybody wants to talk about the horse race, but the thing that is really getting to me right now is what’s going on over at the Justice Department,” claimed Warren.

“The whole notion that we have people in our Justice Department resigning because Donald Trump’s inappropriate influence and the attorney general overturning a sentencing of Donald Trump’s cronies,” she lamented.

He’s not overturning a sentencing, he’s overturning a recommendation of sentencing, a vastly different accusation from Ms. Warren.

“You know, right in front of our eyes, we are watching a descent into authoritarianism,” she claimed without evidence. “And this just seems like a moment to me everybody should be speaking up.”

RELATED: Juanita Broaddrick Whacks ‘Bottom Dwelling Slug’ Hillary After She Calls Trump a ‘Failed-State Fascist’

More Democrats ARE Speaking Up

With the group-think paranoia gripping the Democrat party today, the notion that Warren’s call for resignation or impeachment is a novel one is laughable.

“Senate Democrats have called on Attorney General William Barr to resign or face impeachment,” Yahoo News reported, “after President Donald Trump appeared to confirm that Barr had intervened in the case against the president’s longtime friend Roger Stone.”

Of course, that’s a garbage assessment by Yahoo, as the President merely congratulated the attorney general for “taking charge.” There is zero evidence that Barr actually intervened on Trump’s behalf.

Regardless, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) told NBC News that Barr has “no choice” but to resign because he’s “acting simply as a henchman of the president.”

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has demanded an investigation.

Gowdy, a former House Oversight Committee Chair, opined that calls for Barr’s resignation are the “dumbest damn thing I’ve ever heard.”

Calls for impeachment, we’re assuming, are even dumber.

The post Warren: We Need to Start Impeachment Proceedings For AG Barr appeared first on The Political Insider.

Swamp creature vs. Romney Republican: Georgia Republican Senate primary divides the party

Georgia has two U.S. Senate elections in November—and three serious Republican candidates, leading to some angst for their party. Sen. David Perdue is running for re-election, while appointed Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Rep. Doug Collins will be facing off in a special election. The big concern for Republicans is that the special election won’t have primaries. All of the candidates will compete in November, and if no one gets more than 50% of the vote, the election will go to a runoff in January, with Republicans worried that Loeffler and Collins could provide an opening for Democrats by splitting the vote.

Collins was a major presence in the Republican fight against the House impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump, but that isn’t preventing the Republican establishment from going all-out against him. “Collins is everything Georgians hate about Washington,” according to the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s executive director. “He is a swamp creature that claims to be conservative. ... Now, having made an emotional, ill-informed and selfish decision, he finds himself at a crossroads. Republicans who are working to reelect President Trump and retain the Senate majority hope he has a moment of clarity, does the right thing and walks away from this poor decision. Otherwise, voters will make it for him.”

With the NRSC—and the Trump campaign—pressuring consultants and vendors not to work for Collins, his spokesman said, “we are forming a group of grizzled freedom fighters taking on the establishment.” The Collins campaign also accused Loeffler of being a “Romney Republican,” which is actually fair, since part of how she bought her way onto the list of people who might be appointed to a Senate seat was by giving a lot of money to a Romney-backing super PAC in 2012.

So Collins and Loeffler will be duking it out over who is the true conservative, while Loeffler’s establishment supporters work to strategically erase all of the question marks the far right might have about her, like that past Romney support. Perdue and his allies, meanwhile, are worried that the Loeffler-Collins fight might divide Republicans enough to weaken Perdue himself. We can hope …

Georgia is going to be lit this year, with these Senate races, several competitive House races, and the Democrat presidential nominee likely making a play for the state.

Help Democrats retake the Senate! Can you give $2 to defeat vulnerable Republicans in critical 2020 Senate races?

Susan Collins really doesn’t want to talk about what lessons Trump learned in impeachment anymore

Following the Tuesday Night Massacre, which happened after last week's revenge binge from impeached president Donald Trump, intrepid CNN reporter Manu Raju caught up with Sen. Susan Collins to see what she's thinking about it all. She clearly did not appreciate the fact that Raju remembered what she said last week. The part about "I believe that the president has learned from this case," which she downgraded to "hopes" after Trump point blank said there was no lesson to be learned because "it was a perfect call."

Fast forward a week, and she really wants to be done talking about it. Asked by Raju if, after the actions Trump has taken, she still thinks there's "any lessons he heard from being impeached," she snapped. "I don't know what actions you're referring to. I've made very clear that I don't think anyone should be retaliated against." Then she launched into lecturing Raju: "That has nothing to do with the basis by which I voted to acquit the president, as I made very clear to you, Manu, on numerous occasions because his conduct, while wrong, did not meet the high bar established in the constitution for the immediate ouster of a duly elected president." Which had absolutely nothing to do with the question at all.

Collins has chosen her side, and Maine knows it. Please give $1 to help Democrats in each of these crucial Senate races, but especially the one in Maine!

Because she doesn't want to answer the question. She didn't want to answer it later, either, when she continued to insist that she bore no responsibility at all for Trump being totally unfettered now. Her vote against impeaching Trump, she told reporters, "wasn't based on predicting his future behavior." Which is a hell of a cop-out for the person who once said impeaching him would be enough to make him curb his future behavior.

Collins is completely abdicating responsibility for both her past and her future failures to do her goddamned most essential job of being a check on the president. What she does think is her job is not obvious (besides granting defense contracts to companies that in turn contribute tens of thousands of dollars to her reelection campaign).

Watch: 

catch that chyron: "GOP Sen. Collins Won't Say If Trump Learned Any Lessons After Acquittal." of course, last week she excused her vote by saying he did learn from impeachment & would be more cautious.....#mesen #mepolitics pic.twitter.com/QMTKd7g2TJ

— Lauren Passalacqua (@laurenvpass) February 12, 2020

MR: In light of the president's actions, do you think there's any lessons he heard from being impeached?

SC: I don't know what actions you're referring to. I've made very clear that I don't think anyone should be retaliated against. That has nothing to do with the basis by which I voted to acquit the president, as I made very clear to you, Manu, on numerous occasions because his conduct, while wrong, did not meet the high bar established in the constitution for the immediate ouster of a duly elected president. And that was the rationale for my vote to acquit him. That is the reason why….

MR: Do you think he learned any lessons?

SC: … In all the years that … since George Washington was inaugurated as our first president that we have never removed a duly elected president from office. It's because the conduct alleged should be so dangerous to our country and so egregious and proven by the House managers that the person should not remain in office one moment more. That was the standard established by the House managers. It was the standard that I used in acquitting President Clinton and that's the reason for my vote and I don't know why you're equating the two.

MR: Well you said the president learned his lesson. Do you think he learned any lessons?

[Collins’ office door slams shut.]