Now that Paul LePage is no longer present for daily criticism from our local Maine press, Sen. Susan Collins has become their substitute target for angry attention. Sen. Collins, of course, is the same person who has always conducted herself with dignity, diplomacy and respect for her political adversaries. But in today’s hyperpartisan environment, a hyped-up press suddenly has cast her as the worst person imaginable.

I was disappointed – but not surprised – to read Bill Nemitz’s recent column criticizing Sen. Collins for being a responsible legislator (Sept. 26).

Using Nemitz’s dodgeball metaphor, the person who takes the most hits is the person who stands courageously in the center. Rather than vilify her for not rushing to judgment, we all should commend Sen. Collins for being the same person she always has been — thoughtful, deliberative and bipartisan, regardless of who sits in the Oval Office.

Because she works with both sides of the aisle, Sen. Collins accomplishes more for Maine than any party acolyte could. Collins puts a premium on getting the job done – not on scoring political points to please a partisan press.

Take, for example, her response to the battle over the president’s recent Ukraine comments. Susan Collins says we need to pause and learn more before passing judgment. Shocking? Not at all. This is the same standard she would apply (and that ALL of us should apply) to Republican and Democratic presidents alike. Equal justice under the law is not a concept to be ridiculed by the press.

I don’t always agree with Sen. Collins. But I thank Sen. Collins for being an oasis of sanity and fairness in an overly partisan America. And I thank Bill Nemitz for being just the opposite and reminding us how rare it is to have people like Sen. Collins in positions of real authority.

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