To understand the boycott of Maine destinations and products that is building steam in the aftermath of Sen. Susan Collins’ vote in favor of Brett Kavanaugh, the senator might want to watch a rerun of her speech last Friday.

I disagreed with Sen. Collins’ decision. But I accepted her full right to make it. What I cannot accept – and must condemn – is the way she chose to lay out her position.

In making her lengthy speech on national television, she did not have to condemn, so righteously, the Supreme Court confirmation process as ugly and embarrassing – and then lay all the blame on the Democrats, while completely ignoring the behavior of Senate and Judiciary Committee leadership and – sadly – the president of the United States.

She did not have to try to prove her credentials as an empathetic supporter of the #MeToo movement and its women victims – and then take down Christine Blasey Ford with comments that veered very close to the mockery that President Trump has displayed.

She did not have to attack and impugn the character and motives of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who had to make some difficult choices that may not have worked out in hindsight.

She did not have to tease the nation for weeks about how difficult this was for her, and how she was waiting for all the evidence, and then roll out a 45-minute nationally televised speech … apparently long in preparation, hardened by the certainty of the party-line position and acknowledging none of the complexity or the fragility of the moment.

Sen. Collins revealed much of herself in this telling half-hour, and it was not pretty. Even with her “aye” vote, she could have contributed to a needed healing. She did the opposite.

Marcia Sharp


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