Every time I hear the name Joe Manchin, what I really hear is “Susan Collins.”

If we here in Maine had managed to retire Sen. Collins in 2020, Manchin would be just another senator from a coal state and not what he has become: a recalcitrant bully who is grasping desperately at his few months of outsized power. But, like it or not, we have Sen. Collins.

What is particularly galling is the fact that after campaigning as a “centrist” and a “moderate,” Collins cannot even bring herself to support a bare-bones voting rights act or a vastly scaled-back bill that would bring desperately needed aid to poorer Mainers with children – Mainers who need expanded health care, Mainers who hope against hope for a robust response to the climate crisis.

The 2020 election is long past, but there is still time for Mainers to bring pressure to bear on Sen. Collins to actually live out her claim that she is more than a party loyalist in Washington.

The Rev. Dr. James Gertmenian
Cumberland Foreside


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