A ‘very concerned’ Collins just rubber-stamped another Trump nominee. Of course

Back in March, Sen. Susan Collins was concerned about Rep. John Ratcliffe, impeached president Trump's pick to serve as director of national intelligence. That was when the nomination was fairly new, after Ratcliffe had already been considered and rejected as a "chicken-plucking liar" in Mark Sumner's perfect words. Since that time, Ratcliffe proved his fealty to Trump in a completely over-the-top impeachment hearing process/Republican shouting competition.

So of course Trump nominated him officially, no doubt appreciating a fellow fabulist, which gave Collins heartburn. As she loves to remind anyone who will listen, she sponsored the legislation which created the DNI position. Back in March, she fretted "I don’t know Congressman Ratcliffe. As the author of the 2004 law that created the director of national intelligence position, I obviously am very concerned about who the nominee is, the qualifications and the commitment to overseeing the intelligence community in order to provide the best-quality intelligence." So much for that.

Collins voted for him in committee Tuesday, in a closed hearing. Which means Collins didn't have to comment on it again. Go figure.

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

Biden Rape Charges Hurting Democrats In U.S. Senate Races

All across the country Democrats are turning on Joe Biden and backing a probe into Tara Reade’s rape charges, much to the consternation of the Biden campaign. Though some are sticking with Biden and some are trying to cut the baby in half.

Because Democrat Senate hopefuls are all over the road on their party’s de facto nominee, it is hurting their party unity and thus their races all over the nation. Here are some examples of how the Reade charges are playing out. We lead off with Mitch McConnell setting the stage.

Kentucky: “Well, at the very least it’s pretty obvious that the same people who were outraged about allegations — unproven allegations against Justice Kavanaugh when he was in high school — seemed to have little or no interest, or certainly not as much interest, in suggestions of improper behavior by an adult who was in the Senate,” said GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

“I was asked earlier today about Judge Brett Kavanaugh and I answered (that she would have voted to confirm) based upon his qualifications to be on the Supreme Court,” Amy McGrath said. She is the Democrat up against McConnell. First she was for Kavanaugh, knowing that would play in red state Kentucky. Then she turned tail after leftist pressure and said this, “But upon further reflection and further understanding of his record, I would have voted no.” Ducked the issue on Reade altogether.

Maine: “At the time of his confirmation, there was plenty of evidence that put into question Brett Kavanaugh’s fitness for the Supreme Court,” Democrat Sara Gideon said.

Gideon is challenging GOP incumbent Senator Susan Collins. “Senators Collins cast a critical vote to confirm him anyway, and she said she doesn’t regret it.” Gideon has dodged all comment on the Reade story.

“Principles like the presumption of innocence, fairness, and due process always bear on my thinking in evaluating such an allegation,” Collins said. “Ms. Reade should be treated with respect and have a chance to tell her story. I served with Joe Biden in the Senate, and I have respect for his service to our country.” Cautious and down the middle. Very Susan Collins.

Georgia: “The law actually has a system for this that can be used in the political and civic world as well, and that is when a woman makes an allegation she makes a prima facie statement and it is to be believed, and then it is to be rebutted by the accused and then the burden’s on the woman to state her case,” Teresa Tomlinson said. She is in the Democrat primary to take on GOP Senator David Perdue (R-GA) this fall. She tries to go down the middle. Her legal mumbo jumbo fails.

“Any allegation of sexual assault needs to be taken seriously. In a supercharged political environment, we need to look carefully. And only Vice President Biden and the accuser really know what happened,” Jon Ossoff said. He is also in that primary. A little bit better than Tomlinson. But still not good enough to escape charges of Democrat hypocrisy.

“These accusations deserve to be heard in full and the voters deserve a full investigation of what happened,” Sarah Riggs Amico said. “And at the same time Joe Biden does deserve due process.” Still better and smarter, this time. But that wasn’t her attitude on Brett Kavanaugh.

“I will never be silent when it comes to fighting for what’s right. That’s why I’m offering my unwavering support to those who are coming forward and joining others calling for Kavanaugh’s impeachment because this is no time for half measures, especially when it comes to our values. It is clear that Senate Republicans, including Senator David Perdue, put partisan politics ahead of good judgment by confirming Kavanaugh without a thorough investigation,” said Amico during the Kavanaugh hearings. Even later, she wasn’t so evenhanded about Kavanaugh.

All over the road. It will cost them, and Biden, in the fall.

This piece was written by PoliZette Staff on May 7, 2020. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

Read more at LifeZette:
California Democrat Gov. Newsom hit with massive lawsuit over $75 million stimulus for illegal aliens
Influential COVID scientist promoting lockdown resigns after he’s busted breaking his own quarantine rules
Meghan McCain shuts down Whoopi Goldberg after she claims Trump is afraid of Fauci testimony

The post Biden Rape Charges Hurting Democrats In U.S. Senate Races appeared first on The Political Insider.

Susan Collins has nothing to say about lessons in latest post-impeachment retaliation from Trump

Sen. Susan Collins didn't even manage to work herself up to "concerned" in reacting to impeached president Donald Trump's firing of Michael Atkinson from his post as Intelligence Community inspector general. "I have long been a strong advocate for the Inspectors General," the senator, a member of the Senate Select Committee Intelligence wrote.

Then she fluffed herself a bit. "In 2008, I coauthored with former Senators Claire McCaskill and Joe Lieberman The Inspector General Reform Act (P.L. 110-40), which among other provisions requires the President to notify the Congress 30 days prior to the removal of an Inspector General along with the reasons for the removal. In notifying Congress yesterday, the President followed the procedures in that law," and here's where we finally get to her reaction. "I did not find his rationale for removing Inspector General Atkinson to be persuasive."

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

So what are you going to do about it, Senator? "While I recognize that the President has the authority to appoint and remove Inspectors General, I believe Inspector General Atkinson served the Intelligence Community and the American people well, and his removal was not warranted." Oh, that's it? You're not going to do anything? Even fret your brow?

Fortunately for Collins, this time Trump has retaliated against a perceived enemy, there aren't any reporters around to remind her about that whole "the president has learned from" impeachment nonsense. She gets to issue statements from self-isolation without having to face questions about her own culpability for Trump's actions.

Morning Digest: Progressive Marie Newman unseats anti-choice Rep. Dan Lipinski in Democratic primary

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, Carolyn Fiddler, and Matt Booker, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, David Beard, and Arjun Jaikumar.

Illinois held its downballot primaries on Tuesday, and you can find the results here. We’ll have a rundown in our next Morning Digest.

Leading Off

IL-03: In a huge win for progressives, businesswoman Marie Newman defeated eight term Rep. Dan Lipinski, who has long been one of the most conservative members of the Democratic caucus. With 99% of precincts in, Newman’s lead stands at 47-45 in their expensive primary rematch in Illinois’ 3rd Congressional District. While Newman had to fight hard to beat the powerful incumbent on Tuesday after narrowly losing to him two years ago, she shouldn’t have any trouble prevailing in the general election in this 55-40 Clinton seat in the Chicago area.

Lipinski made a name for himself during his nearly 16 years in Congress as a loud opponent of abortion rights and same sex-marriage, but he proved to be very tough to dislodge. Lipinski’s father, Bill Lipinski, represented this area from 1983 until 2005, and plenty of primary voters still supported the family and shared their conservative views. The younger Lipinski received the Democratic nomination in 2004 from party leaders after his father dropped his re-election campaign after winning the primary, and much of the old Chicago machine remained loyal to him throughout the years.

Lipinski turned back a well-funded primary challenge in 2008 by a 54-25 margin, and he didn’t face another serious threat for the next decade. During that time the congressman repeatedly voted to defund Planned Parenthoodopposed the Affordable Care Act, and refused to endorse Barack Obama's re-election campaign in 2012—despite the fact that his district is solidly blue.

Newman challenged Lipinski from the left in 2018, and while she looked very much like a longshot against the well-funded and entrenched incumbent for most of the race, she ended up holding him to a 51-49 win. Lipinski, though, quickly proved that he wasn’t going to change his conservative ways after that near-loss by headlining the anti-abortion “March for Life” in early 2019, an event he’d skipped the previous year when he was fighting to win renomination. Lipinski also signed onto an amicus brief alongside more than two hundred Republican Congress members asking the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Newman launched her second bid for this seat in May of 2019, and this time, it was clear to everyone from the beginning that she was a serious threat to Lipinski. While the incumbent enjoyed a massive financial advantage during his last campaign, the two candidates ended up spending a comparable amount this time. EMILY’s List also deployed $1 million on Newman’s behalf, while major outside groups didn’t do much to help Lipinski this time. Newman also picked up a high-profile endorsement in February from Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who memorably took Lipinski to task by declaring, “[I]f it were up to Dan Lipinski, I wouldn't be able to marry my wife.”

Still, Lipinski had some strong advantages for his second campaign. The congressman still enjoyed the support of much of the Chicago Democratic establishment, including powerful state House Speaker Mike Madigan, and many labor unions. Two other candidates, activist Rush Darwish and underfunded perennial candidate Charles Hughes, were also on the ballot, and there was a real possibility that they could take enough support from Newman to allow Lipinski to win with just a plurality of the vote. However, this time it was Newman who ended the primary night as the victor.

Election Changes

Alaska: Alaska Democrats had already switched to mail balloting for their April 4 presidential primary before the coronavirus outbreak, so the election is proceeding as planned. Party officials say they haven't yet changed their plans to offer in-person voting at a limited number of sites, but they're exhorting voters to postmark their ballots by the March 27 deadline in case that changes.

Connecticut: Democratic Secretary of State Denise Merrill says discussions are underway about delaying the state's April 28 presidential primary, which the CT Mirror says Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont has the power to unilaterally move. Merrill says she will issue a recommendation to Lamont but added, "We don’t need to make that decision now." In addition, because Connecticut's constitution requires voters to have an excuse to vote absentee, Merrill has asked Lamont to declare that all voters may request an absentee ballot due to the pandemic. While lawmakers have passed an amendment to change this provision, they need to do so a second time after 2020 before it can come into an effect.

Delaware: Elections Commissioner Anthony Albence, an appointee of Democratic Gov. John Carney, says there's no provision in state law allowing Delaware to postpone its April 28 presidential primary, though presumably the legislature could pass a bill changing the date. Delaware's constitution also currently requires an excuse to vote absentee. While lawmakers have passed an amendment to change this provision, they need to do so a second time after 2020 before it can come into effect like in Connecticut.

Florida: A federal judge rejected a last-minute request filed late on Monday night to extend the absentee deadline for Florida's presidential primary, which took place on Tuesday, until March 27. However, the judge did not rule on the underlying merits of the lawsuit but rather on plaintiffs' request for a temporary restraining order, so it's possible absentee balloting could be re-opened when a final ruling is issued.

Georgia: Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger says his office is contemplating a plan to mail absentee ballot applications to the 2 million Georgia voters over the age of 60, and possibly to all 7.2 million registered voters regardless of age. Voting rights advocates, however, want Raffensperger to skip the application step and instead simply mail out ballots to all voters, but the secretary of state's office claims it cannot afford to administer an all-mail election.

Hawaii: Like their counterparts in Alaska, Hawaii Democrats are conducting their April 4 presidential primary largely by mail, but party officials say the fate of 21 in-person polling locations remains uncertain at this time.

Maryland: Republican Gov. Larry Hogan has moved the date of Maryland's presidential and downballot primaries from April 28 to June 2. The special election for the state's vacant 7th Congressional District will still go forward on April 28, but it will be conducted entirely by mail.

Minnesota: Democrats in Minnesota have canceled their upcoming local and congressional district-level conventions, which had been scheduled throughout April and May, and will instead issue endorsements by online vote. No decision has yet been made about the party's statewide convention, which is set for May 30-31. Republicans, meanwhile, have postponed their local and district-level conventions through April 15.

Minnesota's primary for downballot offices is not until Aug. 11, and party conventions don't impact ballot access. However, candidates who fail to win their party's official endorsement during convention season often drop out rather than continue on to the primary.

New Mexico: Democratic Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver says she plans to conduct "a heavy push toward absentee balloting" ahead of New Mexico's June 2 primary for the presidential race and downballot offices. She also says that any adjustments to in-person polling sites are "still under consideration," but it doesn't sound like a discussion of changing the date of the election is underway.

Texas: According to the Houston Chronicle, election officials in Texas are exploring a move to all-mail balloting for the state's May 26 runoffs, though the secretary of state's office would not confirm whether it's considering the idea.

Senate

AZ-Sen: Politico reports that the conservative group One Nation is spending $700,000 on a TV, radio, and digital ad campaign that commends GOP Sen. Martha McSally's work to expand mental health care for veterans.

GA-Sen-A: On behalf of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the University of Georgia is out with the first poll we've seen of the May Democratic primary to take on GOP Sen. David Perdue. 2017 House nominee Jon Ossoff is in first with 31%, while former Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson edges out 2018 lieutenant governor nominee Sarah Riggs Amico 16-15 for the second spot in a likely July runoff.

Maine: Candidate filing closed Tuesday for Maine's June 9 party primaries, and the state has a list of contenders that can be downloaded on this page. Both the primary and general elections for downballot offices will be held using instant-runoff voting.  

ME-Sen: GOP Sen. Susan Collins easily won re-election in 2014, but her bid for a fifth term has already turned into a very expensive affair. The Bangor Daily News reports that, in the past week alone, Senate Majority PAC spent $600,000 against Collins, while the conservative 1820 PAC deployed $1 million against Democratic state House Speaker Sara Gideon.

Whoever wins the Democratic nomination will also benefit from about $4 million that several organizations, including Daily Kos, raised after Collins became the decisive vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2018.

Four Democrats filed to take on Collins, who does not face an intra-party challenger. Gideon has the support of prominent national Democratic groups, including the DSCC, and she's raised far more money than any of her primary rivals. Former Google executive Ross LaJeunesse has been doing some self-funding, though, and he launched a $200,000 ad buy at the start of March. The other two candidates are 2018 gubernatorial candidate Betsy Sweet and attorney Bre Kidman.

This will almost certainly be the most competitive re-election contest of Collins' career, and even the senator didn't dispute the idea that her once mighty approval rating had taken a dive when she was asked about it back in July. Polling has been infrequent, though, so we don't fully know the extent to which Collins has damaged her reputation with swing voters. Maine also moved sharply to the right in 2016 thanks to its large population of white voters without college degrees. Daily Kos Elections rates this contest as Lean Republican, but this is one we'll be watching closely.

Gubernatorial

NJ-Gov: Assemblyman Jamel Holley said on Friday that he'd been approached about challenging Gov. Phil Murphy in next year's Democratic primary by unnamed "[e]lected officials, community-based people, clergy." Holley continued, "I have no immediate plans. I haven't considered it. I haven't given any thought to it. But there are conversations."

Holley has been a prominent opponent of an unsuccessful bill to remove religious exemptions for school vaccinations. This attracted the attention of Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who is notorious for spreading misinformation about vaccines, and he headlined a fundraiser for the assemblyman in January. While scientists overwhelmingly agree that vaccines are safe, Holley argued in February that he'd seen children who had been "injured from vaccines."

WV-Gov: On Tuesday, Kanawha County Commissioner Ben Salango received an endorsement from Sen. Joe Manchin, who is the most prominent Democrat in West Virginia politics. Salango is competing in the May primary to take on GOP Gov. Jim Justice.

House

CA-50: Former GOP Rep. Duncan Hunter was sentenced to 11 months in prison on Tuesday, and he was ordered to surrender to the authorities by May 29. Hunter pleaded guilty last year to a single charge of conspiracy to convert campaign funds to personal use, and he resigned from Congress in January. Hunter's wife and former campaign manager, Margaret Hunter, pleaded guilty to her role in the scandal several months before as part of a deal with prosecutors, and she is set to be sentenced in April.

When prosecutors first indicted the Hunters, they alleged the couple had spent a total of $250,000 in campaign money on tuition to their children's private school, oral surgery, and vacations in Italy and Hawaii. In a later filing, however, they also said the congressman had used campaign cash to "pursue a series of intimate personal relationships" with at least five different women, including lobbyists and congressional aides. Margaret Hunter also admitted in her guilty plea that over $500 in campaign funds had been used to fly a pet rabbit on a plane.

FL-15: On Monday, Lakeland City Commissioner Scott Franklin filed paperwork with the FEC for a potential campaign against freshman Rep. Ross Spano in the August GOP primary. Spano is under federal investigation by the Justice Department for allegedly violating campaign finance laws during his 2018 primary.

House

ME-02: Three Republicans are competing to take on freshman Democratic Rep. Jared Golden in a northern Maine seat that swung from 53-44 Obama to 51-41 Trump.

The Republican with the most money at the end of 2019 was 2018 Senate nominee Eric Brakey, a former state senator who has the endorsement of the anti-tax Club for Growth. Also in the contest are former state Rep. Dale Crafts, who has the support of former Gov. Paul LePage, and real estate agent Adrienne Bennett. A fourth Republican, Penobscot County Treasurer John Hiatt, entered and exited the race in December.

Brakey ended 2019 with a $252,000 to $134,000 cash-on-hand lead over Crafts, while Bennett had just $37,000 to spend. Golden had $1.3 million available to defend this seat.

Mayoral

San Diego, CA Mayor: On Monday evening, Democrat Barbara Bry took a 9-vote lead over Republican Scott Sherman, a fellow member of the City Council, for the second-place spot in the November general election. More ballots were counted the following night, and Bry’s advantage widened to 169 votes. Democratic Assemblyman Todd Gloria secured first place in the March 3 nonpartisan primary, so if Bry maintains her edge over Sherman, Team Blue would be guaranteed to pick up this mayor's office.

Grab Bag

Deaths: Former GOP Rep. Richard Hanna, who represented a seat in upstate New York from 2011 until 2017, died Sunday at the age of 69 after a battle with cancer. Hanna was one of the few relatively moderate Republicans in the caucus during his tenure, and he famously endorsed Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump in 2016.

Hanna, who had become wealthy in the construction business, sought elected office for the first time when he challenged freshman Democratic Rep. Michael Arcuri in 2008 in what was then numbered the 24th District. While Barack Obama only ended up carrying the historically red seat 51-48, it was still a surprise when Hanna held Arcuri to a surprisingly small 52-48 win in what was a terrible year for the GOP.

Hanna sought a rematch the following cycle and unseated Arcuri 53-47. However, the new congressman quickly proved to be very different than his many tea party-aligned fellow freshman. At a 2012 rally supporting the Equal Rights Amendment, Hanna notably advised women to donate to Democrats, saying, "Contribute your money to people who speak out on your behalf, because the other side—my side—has a lot of it." Hanna was also the rare congressional Republican to support same-sex marriage and abortion rights.

Hanna had no trouble winning in 2012 in the redrawn 22nd District, but he faced a serious primary challenge from the right two years later from Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney. Hanna decisively outspent Tenney and received air support from a group dedicated to electing pro-same-sex marriage Republicans, but he only turned her back by a modest 54-46 margin.

Hanna announced in December of 2015 that he would not run for a fourth term, a move he insisted had nothing to do with Tenney's decision to seek a rematch a few weeks earlier. Tenney won the GOP nod this time against a candidate backed by Hanna, and the outgoing congressman never supported her for the general election. Hanna later mulled a 2018 run for governor or an independent bid for his old seat, but he ended up endorsing Democrat Anthony Brindisi's successful bid to oust Tenney.

Voter Registration: As the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc with the administration of U.S. elections, experts are exhorting states to switch to voting by mail to keep the public and poll workers safe—and to ensure democracy carries on.

For safety’s sake, it’s also critical that every state offers residents the opportunity to register to vote online, or to update their existing registration records. However, as the map seen here shows, 10 states currently do not allow online registration for the November general election:

Arkansas Maine Mississippi Montana New Hampshire North Carolina Oklahoma (passed by lawmakers but still not fully implemented) South Dakota Texas Wyoming

Collectively, these 10 states account for 17% of the U.S. population, or one in six Americans. Americans must have the option to register safely and securely online when in-person opportunities will be limited for the foreseeable future. Each of these states must immediately enact online voter registration. If they do not, Congress has the power to mandate and fund the shift to online voter registration to ensure the November general elections can still proceed amid this historic global crisis.

Here’s another poll for Susan Collins to be fretting over

Need a mood lightener today? Sen. Susan Collins is 4 points behind her leading potential general election opponent in the latest PPP poll, trailing Sara Gideon 47-43. A year ago when PPP polled a potential Collins-Gideon match up, "Collins led by 18 points at 51-33." Yes, that's a 22-point shift in a year's time. Why such a cratering of support? The PPP polling memo says "that in the wake of opposing impeachment, Collins has lost most of the crossover Democratic support she's relied on for her success over the years."

Her vote for Brett Kavanaugh didn't do her any favors, either. But the double whammy of Kavanaugh and impeachment pretty much seals that deal. In April of 2019, Collins had a 32% approval rating with Mainers who were Hillary Clinton voters, trailing Gideon with them 59-28. Now she has a 9% approval with them, trailing Gideon 81-10. Overall, Collins’ approbate rating is 33%, with a disapproval of 57%. That leaves an undecided or no-opinion of just 10%, not a good look for a four-term senator.

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

Collins' fall from electoral grace is the most stunning this cycle, but she's far from the only Republican incumbent who's going to be having some serious fret over PPP's polling. In polling over the last weeks, it has found Mark Kelly leading Martha McSally 47-42 in Arizona, Cal Cunningham leading Thom Tillis 46-41 in North Carolina, and in Colorado John Hickenlooper over Cory Gardner 51-38.

That's worth kicking in some dough, no?

A note on our fundraising for the Maine Senate seat and others on the slate: this is the escrow fund that will go to the winner of the primary in each state. We're not going to put the official Daily Kos thumb on the scale in primaries where there isn't a crappy incumbent. All the money raised in this effort will go to the Democratic challengers once they're official.

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.