I don’t want to talk about Brett Kavanaugh much anymore, because apparently ignoring sexual assault survivors to own the libs has driven up GOP enthusiasm ahead of the midterms, and I’d rather talk about things like … oh, I dunno: Donald Trump’s taxes, the fact that he made up his entire backstory, and that much of his wealth came from committing massive fraud. Or maybe the fact that Nikki Haley resigned unexpectedly before the midterms, which is strange regardless of what kind of happy face she puts on it.
But I do wanna take a quick second to single out Susan Collins once again for making the mistake of singling herself out in the Kavanaugh vote. I mean: Look, you wouldn’t know it based on Collins or our Tea Party Governor, but Maine is a pretty progressive state. We were the first state in the nation to legalize gay marriage by referendum; the first state in the country to legalize marijuana by referendum; and the first state to vote in state-wide ranked-choice voting. Twice. The state also overwhelmingly passed the Medicaid expansion by referendum, but we have a Governor who refuses to let it go ahead. Unfortunately, Maine’s problems are similar to the rest of the country’s, which is to say: The GOP has no problem rallying around its candidates, no matter how bad they are, but Democrats here have a tendency to split between their moderate and progressive candidates. We’re like a 60/40 state, Democrat vs. Republican, but the 60 percent gets distracted by shiny pennies, like Green Party candidates or Independents (which is why ranked-choice voting should help us immensely).
At the Senate level, we have a fiery, amazing Independent in Angus King, and then we have Susan Collins who — like Olympia Snowe, who preceded Angus King — were supposed to be Massachusetts Republicans (and Olympia Snowe definitely was), which is to say: Socially progressive, fiscally conservative Republicans.
And Collins, see: She still wants everyone to think that’s who she is, so she hijacks the close votes and makes it all about her, and this is really just another problem with the way the Senate is designed, because one person who represents an entire state with the population of San Diego can make this all about her.
The thing is, if Susan Collins had just voted like a goddamn Republican from the beginning instead of dragging all of this out and making a big show of feeling torn about this, she might have been better off, and the state sure as hell would have been. But by making herself the center of attention, she’s also made Maine the center of attention, and now the whole country has mentally associated Maine with Susan Collins.
And this is actually a problem. People are now boycotting Maine because of this vote.
Dear Susan Collins - I really struggled with this but my tourist $ just voted against ever visiting Maine while you remain in office,” actor and comedian John Fugelsang tweeted out to his 413,000 followers - a megaphone in the shouts and murmurs of the Twitterverse.
Since his tweet posted Friday, it’s been liked 22,000 times and retweeted another 5,000. Fugelsang, who had movie roles in “The Girl on the Train” and “Coyote Ugly,” hosts a daily call-in show on SiriusXM satellite radio called “Tell Me Everything.”
Hundreds of people said in the comments that they were behind the boycott, including one person who canceled a $2,200 reservation at Point Sebago resort and a Texas chef with multiple restaurants who vowed to boycott all Maine seafood. Others discussed shifting their travel plans to New Hampshire or Vermont.
One Maine lobster dealer says he has lost a few customers over the issue.
John Tesar, who owns six restaurants in Texas and is opening a seafood restaurant in Laguna Beach, California, said he’ll re-source the “hundreds of thousands of dollars” worth of Maine seafood - including lobster, fluke, sea urchin and scallops - that he buys every year.
This is not a small thing in Maine, where our state is driven by tourism and seafood. And yet, no one is boycotting Pennsylvania, where Republican Pat Toomey voted for Kavanaugh, and the guy with six restaurants in Texas — home of Ted Cruz and Johny Cornyn — is boycotting Maine, home of legal weed and the best craft beer in the country.
And yet, I completely understand why. Because they want us to vote Collins out, really bad. Bad enough to raise $3 million for an unknown opponent. And boycotting Maine in this manner might even work, because we’re such a small state, and small boycotts can make big waves.
But Collins: She brought this on herself, and on Maine, and it’s not entirely because she voted to confirm. It’s also because she made a big show of it; she hijacked the hopes of not just a ton of Mainers, but those around the entire country. And she did so in such an appallingly dishonest way, because if you saw her speech, there was never a real question about how she was going to vote here. She teased us and dragged us along, and then turned her back on us to give Mitch McConnell a big old hug. Then she had the audacity to say this:
SEN. SUSAN COLLINS: "The one silver lining that I hope will come from this is that more women will press charges now, when they are assaulted," the Maine Republican tells @FaceTheNation https://t.co/R4zYPa9XoO— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) October 7, 2018
As truly fantastic as Maine is (from May to October, anyway), I’d boycott Maine, too. And that’s what pisses me off so much. Somehow, Susan Collins has made us look worse nationally than Paul “D-D-Money, Smoothie, Shifty” LePage regularly makes us look.
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