Saturday, October 6, 2018

The "Wonderfulness" of Susan Collins

The “Wonderfulness” of Susan Collins
Peter Schultz

            All of a sudden the role Susan Collins played in the Kavanaugh nomination hearings came into view. Note first the result of her role. She has replaced, by and large, Christine Ford as the woman at the center of this “drama.” What a neat trick, no? To replace a survivor, a woman who was traumatized by a sexual assault with a woman who played the role of a civics teacher for the nation. No wonder conservatives and even some moderates rallied round Collins. It was a drama worthy of “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.”

            So what was required of Collins to make the star of this drama? Well, first, she had pretend that her mind was not made up, that she had not, until a very late hour, decided to support Kavanaugh. Very un-Trump like. By doing so, Collins underwrote both her alleged “moderation” and her alleged “thoughtfulness.” And, of course, she could also seem to play the role of a lone woman, a brave woman confronting the patriarchy that is the Republican Party.

            Then, when she had allegedly “made up her mind,” based of course on a close inspection of the evidence, Collins had to wrap her decision in the guise of a civics lesson. She was doing what any “civic minded” person would do, even though she might have to pay the ultimate price – losing her Senate seat. As a result, Collins appeared as the woman confronting danger, not Dr. Ford or, by the way, other survivors, and doing so because it was her “civic duty.” So, Dr. Ford’s claim to be doing her civic duty was pushed off stage and, viola, “a star is born,” ala’ that Mr. Smith who went to Washington!

            How wonderful! It is a wonderful life Susan Collins is living – and the rest of us should join in. After all, apparently we only needed civics lessons and we don’t need to worry about sex crimes after all. And isn’t that nice? It isn’t only Catholic priests who turn away from, ignore sex crimes and their perpetrators.

            Of course, quite a few saw through this charade as it unfolded, e.g., John Oliver. I did not although I did see that this whole “drama” was no more real than the alleged attempt by Republicans to impeach and remove Bill Clinton from office. [They had no intention to make Al Gore president. DUH.] But then most of our politics involves smoke and mirrors and the creation of Frank Capra like heroes and heroines. Isn’t it a wonderful life?

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