With all the ink being spilled about the defense authorization bill, and its repeal of the military's 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' policy, it's instructive to set out, in plain English, what Sen. Collins is up to here.
Namely: At this hour, it appears that Collins is planning to work to block even an up or down vote on a bill that she's already voted for in committee.
It's that simple.
As usual, she's cloaking her obstructionism with complaints about procedure. But the pure partisanship of the move--turning around and blocking a bill she's already voted for--is audacious, even for the junior senator. It's hard not to almost admire that kind of gall.
Meanwhile, will the move help the junior senator shore up her credentials with the tea party folks? Andrew Ian Dodge of the Maine Tea Party Patriots doesn't seem to think so. Via e-mail:
I have never heard any tea party types mention ['Don't Ask Don't Tell'].This isn't even about fending off a challenge from the right. It's about partisan loyalty. And it's vintage Susan Collins.