Call Her Senator Misled
Concerned no more, Senator Collins is now dismayed that she was misled.
Via the NYT: Kavanaugh Gave Private Assurances. Collins Says He ‘Misled’ Her.
During a two-hour meeting in her Senate office with the Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh on Aug. 21, 2018, Senator Susan Collins of Maine pressed him hard on why she should trust him not to overturn Roe v. Wade if she backed his confirmation.
Judge Kavanaugh worked vigorously to reassure her that he was no threat to the landmark abortion rights ruling.
“I feel misled,” Ms. Collins said in an interview, adding that the decision was in stark contrast to the assurances she had received privately from Justice Kavanaugh, who had made similar, if less exhaustive, pronouncements at his public hearing.
Who could have seen this coming?
Apparently not Joe Manchin:
“I trusted Justice Gorsuch and Justice Kavanaugh when they testified under oath that they also believed Roe v. Wade was settled legal precedent and I am alarmed they chose to reject the stability the ruling has provided for two generations of Americans,” said Mr. Manchin, who himself is anti-abortion.
But the senators’ sense of betrayal has only highlighted the Kabuki theater that surrounds the Supreme Court confirmation process on Capitol Hill, in which lawmakers pose questions they know prospective justices are unlikely to fully answer and nominees offer comforting code words without committing to any particular position.
In fact, in many ways, all of this just underscores the absurdity of the confirmation process as it currently functions. We know the general philosophical and ideological predisposition of the nominees before they answer any questions. And, further, we know their bios and work histories.
We know that it is likely that Democratic nominees will behave one way and Republican ones another. And while there have been some exceptions to that general rule, the hearings don’t tell you who might be the ones who will deviate. Indeed, if presidents and their advisers could figure out who might deviate, they wouldn’t appoint them in the first place. Moreover, the Republicans via the Federalist Society have worked for decades to make darn sure they know exactly what they are getting.
Of course, what this really underscores to me is that Susan Collins remains either one of the most gullible members of the US Senator or, more likely, one of the most cynical. (Manchin, of course, it right up there on that metric as well).
It seems really important to some people that we maintain the fiction that the SCOTUS judges are impartial interpreters of the law but we need to give that up. They are political figures. It is their ideological beliefs that will influence their most important decisions.
The only amazing thing about Collins and Manchin’s assertion that they were misled is that they manage to do it with a straight face. Liars.
Not Senator Misled. Senator ‘Didn’t Give a Rat’s Ass’ and perfectly willing to say anything necessary to stay in office. If she were a knight she’d be Brave Sir Robin.
Hopefully to become, Senator Last Term.
Yeah I doubt she was misled. I doubt you can become a U.S. Senator and be that gullible. More likely she was doing the same thing that K was doing — say what you need to say to get over the next hill.
Sure, American women are stripped of a constitutional right to bodily autonomy, but Senator Collins had her feelings hurt. Suffering all around.
It’s ok, I’m sure Collins and Manchin will now support eliminating the filibuster to correct the error that they made.
SCOTUS should be referred to as the “illegitimate Supreme Court” by all dems from here on out.
But here’s the deal: the Court in place was legitimately put into place. I think were need to focus on that fact. The problem is not that the current Court is illegitimate, as that suggests that they came to power via problematic, if not illegal means. But they didn’t.
People need to understand that this current circumstance is not some aberration. It is the direct result of the EC and the nature of the Senate.
Calling it “illegitimate” makes it seem like it was a mistake. It wasn’t.
@Steven L. Taylor:
How do you explain away McConnell’s refusal to consider an open SCOTUS seat during the last 10 months of Obama’s second term then?
Further, how do you explain Justice Kennedy’s timely decision to retire and the funny business going on within his family related to President Trump?
The only “legitimate” member of Trump’s nominees is, arguably, Barrett, who was rushed through at the last minute – betraying McConnell’s problematic argument of 2016.
I personally think “problematic” is very generous.
@Steven L. Taylor: How about calling SCOUTS members political actors? No more Delphic Oracle deference. Just criticize away as one would an elected official.
SCOTUS, darn it.
Well, “misled” is at least a change from being “concerned,” I guess.
@Argon: Collins doesn’t run again until 2026. At 69 right now, unless she decides to retire (or has a horrible car-pedestrian accident), by the time she runs again (and my guess would be that she will) this will be “settled law” again and off most people’s radar.
@Steven L. Taylor:
Good point (and good treatment of the question in the OP while I’m here). But as we can see from some of the following (and preceding) comments, signing on to your observation is fraught with difficulty. I think that the problem is that to sign on, one has to admit that our system is broken (and may not be able to be fixed without trauma–political or real). I don’t have a problem with the sign on, but I concluded that the system was broken a couple of decades back and realize in retrospect (wasn’t this wise as a younger person) that it may well have been broken most of my adult life.
The people of Maine are the stupidest fvcks imaginable to have been buying her shtick for years and keep rewarding her with re-election.
I can see some of the attraction of Trump — he makes it seem ok to be as awful a human being as you are — but Collins is just a weak minded, dottering fool or pretending to be one. Why is that appealing to anyone?
If either of them were telling the truth, then they’d be working on legislation to legalize abortion.
Because, y’know. They’re SENATORS.
It is pretty straightforward: he had the majority and didn’t have to act. The Constitution does not require action upon a vacancy.
I don’t like the process, but it is the legal, constitutional order.
I think people miss my point. It is actually worse that the current Court came to power by legitimate means.
Blaming McConnell or corruption or illegitimacy lets the system itself off the hook.
@DAllenABQ: They are quite clearly political actors. No argument from me there at all.
Well, perhaps so, but quibbling over descriptors really isn’t the point.
I would be willing to call what McConnell did political in the most negative sense of the word. I would call it a power play. I would call it cynical. I would even call it galling and disingenuous (among any number of other terms).
It wasn’t illegal.
It wasn’t unconstitutional.
As such, it wasn’t “illegitimate.”
But, again, the reason I harp on this is that goal is not just to express my dislike for the outcome, but rather to note where the real problem is.
@Just nutha ignint cracker: Until we come to terms with what is broken (or, at least that things do not function in the mythical way we tell ourselves) then they will remain broken.
@Steven L. Taylor: Ayup. That’s the problem.
Steve, for her to be misled would be to assume that an experienced politician was fooled by obvious lies in the service of her party’s main long-term goals.
She is a liar, pure and simple, and everybody who plays games with this is serving those lies.
@Steven L. Taylor: “The problem is not that the current Court is illegitimate, as that suggests that they came to power via problematic, if not illegal means.”
I understand what you are saying and can’t disagree with it.
And yet… to me, this court is illegitimate because they have stopped issuing rulings based on the law and the constitution and started making them based solely on their own political opinions. And that’s not just my opinion — read the decisions. Read Alito citing the words of a 16th century witch burner. Read Thomas explaining that the gun ruling is based on history, but then eliminating everything in history that disagrees with his chosen position. Read Alito laying out how it doesn’t matter if the people of the United States violently disagree with his Roe ruling because these six voices are all that matters, their effect on the country is entirely unimportant.
Donald Trump was legitimately elected president. But his efforts to stage a coup to overthrow the government of the United States has made him an illegitimate one.
The same goes for this court. It doesn’t matter how they got there. They have gone rogue. And the fact is, the adorable puppy you bring home to your children may be legitimately their best friend for years, but once it comes down with rabies, it’s no longer a housepet, it’s a menace to everyone.
There are many different types of legitimacy.
A corrupt court of hypocritical, extremist, radical right liars placed by presidents who lost the popular vote is illegitimate.
Legal and technical legitimacy? Sure. Point granted.
Popular legitimacy? No. And that is not insignificant in a representative democracy.
Intellectual legitimacy? No.
Ethical legitimacy? No.
An illegitimate Apartheid Supreme Court. And Democrats should say so every day.
This. Susan Collins is not a moderate, not pro-choice, and she supports forced birth. Once you understand she’s lying about that, then you understand that she’s lying about being misled.
It’s not complicated. She’s just a liar and thus a garden variety Rethuglikkklan politician. Maine voters have been manipulated and confused by her constant lies.
Interesting. I can remember hearing this same argument made about decisions in 1954 and 1973 (among others). I even made the arguments myself at the time. It seems like a one-size-fits-all.
“I’m shocked, shocked I tell you, to find out lying goes on in here!”
She is so misled that she will do exactly nothing about it.
If she wants to be remembered positively, she’ll switch parties and intentionally ram through legislation that R’s didn’t like – and tell them to suck it.
Ultimately, is that not the way it has always been? It is just an issue of whether one agrees with their decisions and how well they explain their reasoning to make it sound more “constitutional” than ideological?
@DK: If one’s goal is express disapproval, then one is entitled to whatever adjectives (and expletives!) one wants.
If we want to ever fix any of this, more precise language and understanding are warranted.
If we conflate the two then legitimate criticisms simply end up sounding like expressions of disapproval.
Interesting that Manchin says Gorsuch and Kavanaugh lied under oath. I hadn’t heard that before.
So, I think that if you want to enact policy that you think is God’s will, but you feel you have to lie to be able to do it, your faith in your God is a bit suspect….
As I said yesterday, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh are filthy liars. They do not deserve a seat on any court as a judge, let alone the highest in the land.
The focus on these particular judges and whether scotching Kavanaugh would have made a difference is misguided. If Kavanaugh had been nixed, the GOP would have just taken the next judge off the Fedsoc list — Barrett — and put her in. The die on Roe was cast when Trump was elected. The deal with the devil was that they’d support Trump and he’d appoint judges who would kill Roe v. Wade.
@Hal_10000: I think you are correct in your strategic assessment. I don’t share the conclusion, though that we should just nevermind about individual failings.
Kavanaugh lied about something under oath, in order to be confirmed. He probably lied about more than one something.
I’m still a guy who thinks that matters in and of itself. I don’t think we should shut up about it. I think he should be dragged for it constantly for the next 20 years.
Remember how relentless Republicans were about Teddy Kennedy and Chappaquiddick? Yeah, like that.
The lamebrain from Maine had better ‘splain to the pain (she has helped cause). Because it is evident by George, she hasn’t got it!