Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Of Two Minds

New York Times, January 20, 2013:

"I'm going to support the limitation on the size of the clips," said Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine.
Portland Press Herald, April 17, 2013:
King voted to ban large-capacity ammunition magazines while Collins opposed the measure.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Quote of the Day

Dennis Bailey:

She was “furious” that the article portrayed her as an “insensitive demon” (her words). So she did the political equivalent of drunk dialing an old flame after a nasty break up: she called Politico reporter Mike Allen on his cell phone and let him have it. Both barrels.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Courting the 10%

In what looks like a hastily-mounted effort to head off controversy over strange, tone-deaf remarks that came across as a complaint about how the Newtown families forced her to miss the first course at a White House dinner, Sen. Susan Collins backed the bipartisan compromise to expand background checks on gun purchases on Saturday.

Welcome news, and kudos to Collins for doing the sensible thing--even if the decision seemed an attempt to change the subject.

But one piece of her explanation deserves special attention:

Collins described the Manchin-Toomey effort as "a responsible break through from two people who have far better NRA rankings than I have." Both Sens. Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia and Pat Toomey, Republican of Pennsylvania, hold "A" ratings from the National Rifle Association. Collins added she knows her yes vote and support is "not a popular thing in my state." (Emphasis mine.)
This is a rather remarkable statement given that support for universal background checks in Maine, far from being unpopular, clocks in at about 90%.

Is Collins simply uninformed? Or is she just conflating the views of Mainers generally with the very narrow slice of the population that makes up the Republican primary electorate?

It's impossible to know. But in either case it's clear that Collins's policy vision is being cramped by a fixation with how proposals play with a very small minority of the population.

Of course, that's a risk Mainers accepted when they elected Collins as senator.

But for anyone uncomfortable withe the idea of the John Birch Society and their fringe brethren having a veto on national public policy, it's an unfortunate reality.

Quote of the Day

Sen. Susan Collins:

"The Newtown families were VERY late for their meeting with me. I felt a moral obligation to talk with them. I kept the president of the United States waiting. I mean, how rude is that of me? But I explained to him later that the reason I was 45 minutes late for his dinner was the Newtown families were late--very late--getting to my office, and I just could not leave without talking to them. And he was very gracious about it. He said, ‘Right call. I understand.’"

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

What Does This Paragraph Mean?

From a Collins press release:

One issue Senator Collins has raised it [sic] that the Administration's complex legal brief filed earlier this year calls for the invalidation of California's ban on same-sex marriages. It would have implications for several other states, but the brief curiously does not challenge the prohibition on same-sex marriages in some 30 states that do not recognize domestic partnerships.
Set aside the obvious distinction between supporting same-sex marriage and believing that banning such marriages is unconstitutional.

The real question is: What exactly is Collins driving at here? Is the subtext supposed to be that President Obama is "soft" on gay marriage, too?