Friday, September 03, 2021


Now that the Supreme Court has refused to block a Texas law that empowers bounty hunters to enforce a 6-week abortion ban, I'm seeing a lot of headlines about Susan Collins.
* HuffPost: "Critics Rip Sen. Susan Collins On How Wrong She Was About Kavanaugh On Abortion Rights."

* Washington Post: "Sen. Collins Repeatedly Asserted That Kavanaugh Considered Abortion Rights Settled Law. The Justice’s Decision on Texas’s Restrictive Law Suggests Otherwise."

* MSNBC: "Abortion Order Creates Awkward Questions for Maine's Susan Collins."

* Forbes: "Susan Collins – Blamed For Supreme Court’s Conservative Tilt – Opposes Ruling On ‘Harmful’ Texas Abortion Law."
Here's my unpopular opinion: Getting angry at Susan Collins now is a waste of time.

Okay, sure, get angry. But don't fight the last war. We had a chance to defeat Collins in 2020, and we blew it, badly. She won by 9 points. She's not up for reelection for another five years.

Maybe pay a little more attention to the state just west of Maine. New Hampshire will have Senate election in 2022, and Democratic incumbent Maggie Hassan is in trouble. A recent Saint Anselm poll shows the state's Republican governor, Chris Sununu, beating Hassan by 8 points. This comes after Sununu signed a bill in late June that bans abortions in the state after 24 weeks. The ban has no exceptions for rape or incest, and the bill adds a requirement that anyone seeking an abortion in the state must be shown an ultrasound of the fetus.

Sununu says he's pro-choice -- as Collins does -- but these provisions were contained in a budget bill, and Sununu told the media he didn't want to veto the budget, so he accepted the anti-abortion provisions.

So if there's a Republican president after 20204, how would Sununu vote in the Senate on a future Kavanaugh or Barrett? And prior to that, what would he do if he became part of a Senate Republican majority after the midterms and Mitch McConnell announced that he intended to prevent President Biden from appointing a replacement for a deceased or retiring justice?

We should be focused on Sununu, not Collins -- on Sununu and on the likely Republican nominees for other toss-up Senate seats: Sean Parnell in Pennsylvania, Adam Laxalt in Nevada, Herschel Walker in Georgia. Start making the case now that pro-choice swing-state voters need to turn out to keep Republicans out of the Senate.

Focus on the future, not the past. Democrats fell short in several winnable Senate contests in 2020, including the one in Maine. They can't afford to do the same in 2022.

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