Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) is accustomed to disappointing her conservative constituents with her insistence on being the “anti-Trump” voice in the U.S. Senate. But while Collins has regularly found her way to the nearest microphone over the last four years to take a swipe at the former president, she usually found her way back to reasonable ground by the time the voting began.
This time, she went through with it. After becoming one of only seven Republicans in the Senate to vote for Trump’s conviction in his second impeachment trial, Collins may now have to face the wrath of her hometown GOP, which is reportedly discussing plans to censure the senator for her vote.
From the Bangor Daily News:
The state party issued no statement after the senator’s vote, but Maine GOP Chair Demi Kouzounas told party members in a Saturday email that “many of you are upset after what happened today as are we” and “to be prepared for an emergency state committee meeting in the near future” to discuss the Collins matter.
Collins’ vote irked conservatives who copied reporters on an email string over the weekend calling for a censure or some other form of discipline. Other Republicans who voted with the Maine senator have already faced rebukes. Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana was quickly censured by his state party and Richard Burr of North Carolina faces a similar vote on Monday. Trump was acquitted despite the votes of all Democrats and seven Republicans to convict him.
In a needlessly long speech on the Senate floor on Saturday, Collins explained why she voted with all the Democrats to convict Trump. Insisting that the January 6th riot “was the culmination of a steady stream of provocations by President Trump,” Collins said she had no other choice.
“My vote in this trial stems from my own duty to defend the Constitution of the United States,” she said. “The abuse of power and betrayal of his oath by President Trump meet the constitutional standard of high crimes and misdemeanors.”
What Collins saw as her duty, her voters see as betrayal. Waldo County Republican Chair Katrina Smith told the Bangor Daily News that the party already has all the signatures they need to move forward with censure.
“Based on the responses that I got in Waldo County [after the vote] and the people on my mailing list, I think that the people themselves are demanding that something be done to send a message,” Smith said.
You have to wonder if these “principled conservatives” realize that the Democratic Party will want no part of them once they’ve been chewed up and spat out of the GOP. Maybe they can get on board with Evan McMullin’s proposed NeverTrump Party. We’re sure it will be wildly successful…