There’s a lesson for Susan Collins to learn in her plummeting poll numbers

Susan Collins is going to be very, very concerned about her re-election prospects come November. A Colby College poll released Tuesday has her losing by one point to her likely Democratic opponent, Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon, 42-43. The Democratic primary isn't until June, so Gideon is still focused there, but even if she doesn't emerge as the victor, Collins needs to be worried.

Just 42% of Mainers said they will vote for her in November, which is pretty darned bad. That's where her favorability rating sits, too, compared to 54% who view her unfavorably. Since winning the seat in 1996, when she squeaked in, Collins has always won with about 60%. "We're not used to seeing Sen. Collins in a tight race," Dan Shea, a researcher on the poll, told The Wall Street Journal.

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

"American politics has taken a dramatic turn in the last four to six years, and the broader question is whether or not the nationalization of American politics has spread to Maine as well," Shea continued. That's one way of putting it. Another is that Collins has demonstrated that she's as craven as any other Republican when it comes to giving Trump a free pass and betraying the principles she's always claimed to hold. Especially when it comes to selling out women.

That's where Collins has lost the most support, Shea points out. "She is hemorrhaging women voters. […] We weren't quite sure of the impact that the Kavanaugh vote would have on her brand, but it's really popped up in this poll." She has the support of just 36% of women overall, compared to 49% for Gideon. With women under 50, she loses 25-56. Her vote for the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court contains multitudes of problems for Collins—it was a proxy for her caving to Trump and McConnell; it is a rebuke of Christine Blasey Ford and her testimony against Kavanaugh, and by extension of all of the women who have been abused by powerful men and bravely tell their stories; it endangers the most basic of our rights: control over the decisions we make for our own bodies. Collins betrayed women on every level with that one vote, so it's not a surprise that they're abandoning her now. Not to mention what Kavanaugh will mean for civil rights, the environment, gun safety measures—all the issues for which Collins was a pet Republican who won't be there any more.

Mainers aren't too thrilled with her impeachment trial performance, either, especially independents, about 40% of the electorate in the state. Just 13% of that group say they're more likely to vote for her because of her vote to acquit Trump, compared to 39% who are less likely to vote for her. "What happened for a lot of independents is I think that many were looking for a Mitt Romney moment, and they didn't get it," Shea said. Sounds like they're the last group to get the message about Collins.

Collins, the most unpopular senator in the land, is absolutely beatable this cycle.

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.

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.

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.]

Susan Collins, now a national laughingstock, has concerns

Congratulations, Sen. Susan Collins! You've become national figure! Unfortunately for you, it’s as a laughingstock. First she appeared in a Saturday Night Live skit and then in a Stephen Colbert monologue, in which he described her as "the senator who has most successfully talked herself into believing that she believes in something."

Proving Colbert’s point, Collins went on WMTW, Portland's ABC affiliate, to say she "did what I felt was right" in her votes in the impeachment trial of Donald Trump, and that this was an even more consequential vote than the one on putting Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court because "removing a president from office" is "overturning an election and preventing the president from appearing in the ballot this fall." About this fall, and if she'll vote for Trump this time around? "You know, I'm not going to discuss presidential politics at a time like this." A time like this being before the filing deadline for Maine's primary. She already made her decision clear, however, in the only vote that really counts—on Trump’s impeachment.

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!

She's still trying to convince Mainers that she'll vote to "curb the president's powers." She left out the part about needing to have Mitch McConnell's permission to cast those votes. She also said that she would disapprove of retribution by Trump against anyone who testified. She will tell every reporter she can talk to that she is very concerned when Trump fires Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman from the National Security Council after he testified in House impeachment hearings, or when Attorney General Bill Barr starts investigating House Democratic leadership.

She told Maine reporters after a Friday meeting of the Maine Chiefs of Police Association that she wished there had been witnesses in the Senate trial, proving that her wishes are about as effective as her hopes.

Boy, does Susan Collins look like a craven, partisan hack today or what?

What a day for Maine Sen. Susan Collins, huh? Her colleague, Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, just provided a master class in political principle, courage, and independence—you know, all those qualities Collins has pretended to possess during her too-long Senate career. How will she look anything other than craven, compared to that? Her actions seem particularly gutless after the cringe-inducing interview she gave CBS to explain her vote to acquit impeached president Donald Trump.

"I believe that the president has learned from this case," Collins said. "The president has been impeached. That's a pretty big lesson." Uh, huh. How much has he learned? The Washington Post's Josh Dawsey tweets the answer, reporting on the pre-State of the Union lunch Trump had with news anchors: "Asked about Sen. Susan Collins saying he'd learned a lesson, Trump told the anchors he did not agree. He had done nothing wrong. 'It was a perfect call.'" So much for that. Now Collins says she shouldn't have said "believe" and a better word would have been "hopes." Uh, huh. 

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!

It’s just like the time she "hoped" Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's promise to give her a vote on her health bills in return for her support on the GOP Tax Scam was "ironclad." Just like she hoped that now-confirmed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh would respect precedent on Roe v. Wade.

She's not impressing anyone in Maine, and her actions are drawing very unfavorable comparisons to Romney with political observers back home. Steve Collins, the State House reporter for the Sun Journal in Lewiston and apparently no relation to the senator, tweeted that the combination of Romney's decision and Trump's disavowal of having learned a damn thing "combine to make her decision to acquit politically dicier." He continues, "She likes to claim the middle ground. But it's Romney, not her, who is standing on it."

Collins’ legacy: To be ‘remembered not for her courage, but for her capitulation’

The convention wisdom, for some unknown reason (laziness? lack of imagination?), that Sen. Susan Collins is a "moderate" still persists. Here's a headline in Sunday evening's Washington Post: "Republican Sen. Susan Collins finds it's lonely in the middle."

"Here in Maine," the story says, "where the famously independent Collins is locked in a tight reelection campaign, the choice elicited a wintry mix of cold shoulders and icy glares." The choice meaning her vote for witnesses in impeached president Donald Trump's trial, a vote that was carefully choreographed in Mitch McConnell's conference. That's because her "famous independence" is a sham, and people like Bill Nemitz, Maine's leading political observer, know it. In Sunday's Portland Press Herald, he laid out the whole con job.

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!

"She will say she tried her best. She'll note that she voted for witnesses in the impeachment trial of President Trump, but that vote fell short," he writes. "Then, when the final impeachment vote comes on Wednesday afternoon, expect Maine Sen. Susan Collins to fall back into the Republican line and vote to acquit." She has "pages upon pages of detailed notes" to justify her vote, but since they just could hear from those witnesses she really wanted to hear from, the case just hasn't been proven so she, sadly, has no choice. She has to stand with Trump. But Nemitz remembers when Collins "demonstrated integrity," when she wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post explaining "Why I Cannot Support Trump."

"Collins’ statement of conscience bears revisiting," Nemitz writes, "if only to show that while Trump hasn't changed, the senior senator from Maine most certainly has." She's no longer a moderate, an independent voice for Maine, and Maine knows that. This is what Maine is expecting to see this week: "So, come Wednesday and the final impeachment vote, look for Collins to express her deep concern at how nasty everyone has become, wring her hands over how difficult her life has grown and then, ever loyal to a party that now devours those who dissent, vote to let Trump off the hook." Yes, Nemitz knows her very well. "And long after this national trauma passes into history, Maine's Susan Collins will be forever remembered not for her courage, but for her capitulation."

CPAC Disinvites Mitt Romney After He Votes For New Witnesses In Trump Impeachment Trial

By PoliZette Staff | February 1, 2020

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), who was the Republican presidential nominee in 2012, got some bad news on Friday when he was officially disinvited from the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, took to Twitter on Friday to say that Romney had been disinviting from the conservative event.

CPAC cut all ties with Romney after the senator voted to allow new witnesses in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, according to The Blaze. Romney and Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) were the only two Republicans  to join Democrats in voting for more witnesses and evidence. Prior to the vote, a spokesman for Romney said that the senator “has said, he wants to hear from Ambassador Bolton, and he will vote in favor of the motion today to consider witnesses.”

Related: Trump Wins Witness Vote 51-49, Acquittal Looks Solid

Unfortunately for Romney, Democrats needed four Republicans to join them in this vote, so it’s likely that the impeachment trial will come to an end on Wednesday.

As Romney faced backlash on social media for his actions, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) defended him on Twitter.

“Mitt Romney is a good friend and an excellent Senator. We have disagreed about a lot in this trial. But he has my respect for the thoughtfulness, integrity, and guts he has shown throughout this process,” Lee said. “Utah and the Senate are lucky to have him.”

It’s unfortunate that Romney has turned into a Never Trumper who would rather see our country fail than see Trump succeed. If he is going to take such drastic action against the Republican president, he should not be surprised if more conservative groups cut ties with him going forward.

This piece originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

Read more at LifeZette:
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The post CPAC Disinvites Mitt Romney After He Votes For New Witnesses In Trump Impeachment Trial appeared first on The Political Insider.

Chaos Erupts On ‘The View’ As Joy Behar And Meghan McCain Go At It Over Impeachment Witnesses

By PopZette Staff | January 31, 2020

The ABC talk show “The View” went off the rails once again on Friday morning when cohosts Joy Behar and Meghan McCain got into yet another heated argument over Donald Trump’s impeachment trial.

Behar kicked the show off by voicing her frustrations over the fact that the impeachment trial is likely about to end.

“The impeachment trial could be over by tonight,” Behar said. “And Republican Senator Lamar Alexander, who has a deciding vote on letting witnesses testify basically said that Trump is guilty but ‘so what, who cares.’”

The notoriously liberal cohost went on to say that if Alexander were to vote for witnesses, he “would save democracy, a small thing. But no, he doesn’t want to.”

RELATED: CNN Slams Trump For Appointing Non-Diverse White House Task Force On Coronavirus

Behar also accused Alexander of trying to “cover” Maine’s Republican Senator Susan Collins so that she can vote “yes” and then be reelected.

“But she’s a hypocrite and a liar and I don’t trust her as far as I could throw her,” Behar exclaimed.

McCain, however, was not having any of it.

“The counterargument that Republicans are going to make is that it wasn’t a wholly bipartisan trial,” McCain calmly explained. “What I got from Alexander is he said President Trump, what he did was unethical, it just wasn’t impeachable. And I knew you would be very upset, quite frankly, Joy.”

“I am upset. I’m upset for the country,” Behar fired back, already coming unglued. “I feel that people in this country and other democracies have to watch it. We’ve taken democracy for granted because we’ve lived in it for so long and have so many beautiful things because of it. And it’s going down the toilet because of one party.”

McCain was quick to defend the GOP, saying, “it’s not just Republicans,” and adding that it was Democrats who have been “bungling” the case against Trump. She also pointed out that some moderate Democrats may even vote to acquit Trump after the way the trial has been handled.

“I think to blanket it as all Republicans, there were Democrats involved as well,” McCain said as Behar tried to protest. “I know you’re upset, but I’m just trying to explain the other side.”

“God help America and democracy,” an exacerbated Behar said.

RELATED: Republican Lawmaker Launches Bill To Officially Classify CNN And Washington Post As ‘Fake News’

Behar should really be focusing her frustrations on Democrats right now, as it is they who have wasted the time and money of American taxpayers with this ridiculous impeachment stunt. They knew from the start that Trump would never be impeached in the Republican-controlled Senate, yet they chose to push forward with this farce anyway.

Shame on Democrats for their witch hunt against Trump, and shame on liberals like Behar for letting them get away with it.

This piece originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

Read more at LifeZette:
Republican Lawmaker Launches Bill To Officially Classify CNN And Washington Post As ‘Fake News’
Fox Refuses To Air Super Bowl Ad About Abortion Survivors – Greenlights Commercial Featuring Drag Queens
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The post Chaos Erupts On ‘The View’ As Joy Behar And Meghan McCain Go At It Over Impeachment Witnesses appeared first on The Political Insider.

Collins earns a new nickname in Moscow Mitch’s impeachment game: Sidekick Sue

There's a new nickname for Maine Sen. Susan Collins floating around the internet: It’s #SidekickSue, in recognition that she's Moscow Mitch McConnell’s most valuable player when he's trying to fix a Senate vote. That the fix was in (and that she had a key role in it) was glaringly apparently Thursday night in the choreographed release of statements from Collins and Sen. Lamar Alexander regarding whether they wanted to compel additional witnesses and testimony in Donald Trump’s impeachment trial. (Collins said yea, while Alexander said nay.)

The final cynical fillip came Friday morning from Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, the other reliable player in McConnell's game, with her duplicitous embrace of the cover-up with crocodile tears: "It is sad for me to admit that, as an institution, the Congress has failed." But she did her job for McConnell, and she's providing the cover Collins needs. It's not going to work this time.

The jig has been up for Collins since she betrayed every principle she previously touted and voted in favor of Brett Kavanaugh’s conformation to the Supreme Court. "Just as we've known she would, Collins announced her support for witnesses only when the votes were fixed to block witnesses and rig the trial to cover-up the corruption of Donald Trump," Marie Follayttar, co-director of Mainers for Accountable Leadership, told Common Dreams. "We see Collins for who she is—Sidekick Sue to Moscow Mitch and a corrupt and despotic Trump."

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!