A significant part of our federal government was shut for 35 days. Federal employees were furloughed and their absence endangered lives and commerce. Civil servants, forced to work, went without pay. And, borrowing a term from the military, federal contractors and businesses dependent on a federal workforce suffered financial “collateral damage.”

Even though legislation was enacted to reimburse federal employees for lost wages, they will never be made whole. And what about the damage inflicted on those contractors and dependent businesses? They will never recover fully. Where was Susan Collins during the 35 days of the shutdown? Days in which she didn’t go without her pay.

On Jan. 27, she said on “Face the Nation” that absolutely nothing was accomplished by partially shutting down the government. “Shutdowns are never good policy, ever,” she said. “They are never to be used as a means to achieve any kind of goal, no matter how important that goal may seem to be.”

She voiced these absolute truisms after the fact, of course. But, as one who could have helped avert or shorten the shutdown, she remained devoted to both our irresponsible and incompetent president and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Party before country. We see through her facade, and it isn’t pretty.

Len Freeman