Andrew Ian Dodge

Andrew Ian Dodge

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, back before she became senior in Maine’s U.S. Senate delegation, was seen as not as bad as Sen. Snowe. She never managed to invoke the ire of conservatives and nonmoderates as much as Snowe, her viscerally loathed comrade in RINO-ism. Snowe took all the ire and practically reveled in it, churning up the angst whenever it died down in almost regular fashion.

Collins seems to see her new role as to be the new bane of conservatism everywhere. She has, since November, done her best to poke the coiled up snake on a yellow background as much as she can.

By banding together with Senate colleagues, she waded waistdeep into the gun control debate, invoking the ire of gun owners everywhere. Maine gun owners have quickly come to realize she can’t be trusted with the 2nd Amendment, and that she is keen to introduce legislation to limit access to guns.

By co-sponsoring a gun control measure in the Senate with several Democrats, Collins stuck a RINO horn into a rattlesnakes’ nest and riled up the coiled snake in the grass. She has struck on the one issue that unites constitutionalists, tea partiers, libertarians and conservatives.

These groups have been a bit distant from each other in the light of the implosion of the Maine Republican Party, the awful results from 2012 and their post-election cull of nonloyalists.

Needless to say, the real tea party event in Augusta this year was full of pleas for the defense of the 2nd Amendment. All speakers spoke under a sign which made clear it was a 2nd Amendment-supporting event.

Collins has sent her minions round the state to attend local Republican committee meetings in an effort to stop them from passing nonbinding resolutions on retention of 2nd Amendment rights. She seems to believe ordinary Republicans expressing their support for the 2nd Amendment as an affront to her. One has to wonder whether her special adviser pottering around the state to quell this revolt is on taxpayers’ time while doing his bit for his boss.

Or as conservative blogger Chris Dixon stated to me:

“Susan Collins’ staffers have been going to county meetings, including in Kennebec, to derail these 2nd Amendment resolutions. Why are staff members, who are being paid with taxpayer dollars, being sent around the state to shut down nonbinding internal party resolutions?”

It is not just the 2nd Amendment side of conservatives Collins has angered.

She doesn’t seem to understand their whole “taxed enough already” meme and decided that raising taxes in a poor economy is a good idea.

She not only voted for the euphemistically named Marketplace Fairness Act, she co-sponsored the darn thing! She no doubt buys the tripe that raising taxes on one type of business actually benefits others.

Where was her concern for rural residents of Maine who have to buy many things from the Internet due to the high price of gas and the lack of local choice?

Does she think raising costs for rural Mainers is a good idea in the poor economy? Her lack of understanding of basic economics should work everyone up not just tea party types, libertarians and conservatives.

And it is not just bad for your pocketbook it is bad for your privacy, too.

According to the Cato Institute: “It means that your personal and financial details will be collected and stored in a database that will be a magnet for criminals and hackers from all over the world.

“To be blunt, a sales tax cartel is bad news for tax policy and bad news for privacy. Let’s limit the power of state governments so they can only screw up things inside their own borders.”

You would think that Collins, considering she is up for re-election in 2014, would be doing her best to make nice with Republican activists of all types in the state.

Does she really want to have to put down a rebellion in the ranks or a possible primary challenge?

While she won last time around, it wasn’t on the same scale as Snowe’s various victories.

It is doubtful a primary challenge could defeat Collins, unless it is very generously funded, but she could be “winged” enough to lose to one of the Pingrees.

Collins is not a safe pair of hands for your 2nd Amendment rights, wallet or Internet privacy. So what exactly is Maine’s senior senator good for?

ANDREW IAN DODGE is a libertarian former U.S. Senate candidate and writer who lives in Harpswell.

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