Scholars who study the U.S. Senate have observed that there are two kinds of senators: showhorses, whose principal work is to display their virtuous intentions, and workhorses, who put their heads down, day in and day out, doing the hard, slogging work of attending to our nation’s laws. Maine has one of each.

Never has this been more on display than in Sen. Susan Collins’ superb speech explaining her vote on the Brett Kavanaugh nomination. Obviously the result of many hours of research, looking carefully at all sides of the matter, her 43-minute presentation demonstrated her conscientious approach to this highly charged question. It was balanced, thoughtful and compelling. As a result – and whether you agree with her or not – we have a clear understanding of why she decided as she did.

Sen. Collins well knew that her decision would be met with rancor and threats of retaliation. (As an example: the spiteful, ill-tempered remarks of one Jennifer Rubin, a Washington Post opinion writer you chose to publish Oct. 6.) But Susan Collins stands in the Maine tradition of fairness and moderation, as typified by Margaret Chase Smith: conscience before calculation of interest, courage in the face of bullying and intolerant, ideology-driven fanaticism.

Thank you, Sen. Collins, and God bless you.

James Roberts

Portland