WASHINGTON – Three weeks ago, Maine Republican Susan Collins was the darling of those opposing Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation.
USA Today reported back then: “Kavanaugh’s opponents have identified Collins, along with Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, as Senate Republicans who could potentially vote against Trump’s Supreme Court pick. The opposition is largely driven by abortion-rights activists’ fear that Kavanaugh could be the justice whose vote overturns the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.”
Flash forward to Saturday, when Collins stunned the left with her right hook.
Today, the senator’s office has reported receiving threatening calls and letters as well as more than 3,000 wire coat hangers in grim a reference to the unsafe, illegal abortions that abortion-rights defenders say would follow the end of Roe v. Wade. And a controversial crowdfunding campaign has raised more than $1.1 million to give to a future Collins opponent if she votes to confirm Kavanaugh.
Collins told the Wall Street Journal that she finds “the out-of-state voicemails being left on the answering machines of my state offices” to be “incredibly offensive.”
“In one case – and we are going to turn this over to the police, but unfortunately, of course, the person didn’t leave a name or number – but they actually threatened to rape one of my young female staffers,” she said.
One incensed voter left a voicemail for Collins in which he repeatedly screamed insults while wondering how Collins could accept Kavanaugh’s statement that he considers Roe v. Wade to be “settled law” when he was “handpicked by the Federalist Society specifically to overturn” that decision.
“You will go down in history as the most naive person ever to be in Congress you (expletive), (expletive), feckless, naive woman!” the caller yelled.
“If you care at all about women’s choice, vote no Kavanaugh. Don’t be a dumb b—h,” another male caller said.
A letter sent to Collins’ office warned that if she votes to confirm Kavanaugh “EVERY waitress who serves you is going to spit in your food, and that’s if you’re lucky you (expletive).”
Collins said she considers the crowdfunding campaign raising money for whoever might challenge her in 2020 to be an attempt at bribery. More than 40,000 donors have contributed to the effort, which pledges they won’t be charged if Collins votes against Kavanaugh.
“I consider this quid pro quo fundraising to be the equivalent of an attempt to bribe me to vote against Judge Kavanaugh,” she said.
Collins and her staff have said the aggressive tactics to sway her vote are a wasted effort.
“Bribery will not work on Senator Collins,” Collins’ spokeswoman said “Senator Collins will make up her mind based on the merits of the nomination. Threats or other attempts to bully her will not play a factor in her decision making whatsoever.”
Collins said: “I’m going to do what I think is right. I am going to cast my vote – as I have done on all of the other Supreme Court nominees that I’ve been called upon to consider – based on his qualifications, his character and integrity, judicial temperament, his record, and his respect for the rule of law and fidelity to the Constitution.”
A day after the confirmation vote was cast, the political buzz was Susan Collins might be challenged for re-election by Susan Rice, Barack Obama’s former national security adviser.