There’s much to hate about Lindsey Graham and the submissive puppet to Donald Trump that he has become since McCain’s death. Yet at the very least, he is honest about the kind of person he’s become. He no longer pretends to be a moderate or a “principled” conservative.

Susan Collins is a rightwing hack who masquerades as a “moderate” in order to keep her job in a blue state. Sure, she may vote against the worst impulses of her party—usually during an election year—but here’s the key: only if her vote won’t make the difference.

Harry Reid put it best on Susan Collins: “She’s always there when you don’t need her vote.” Despite having numerous opportunities, Collins always passes at being the deciding vote against her party, no matter what. It’s this grift that makes Trump blush, and it’s why the hardliners love how she plays her constituents for fools.

The most recent example was just this past Thursday, at the SenateAppropriations Committee meeting. Collins has repeatedly and forcefully claimed that she is opposed to Trump stealing money from our military community to build a wall that Mexico was supposed to pay for.

Just one day before her vote, the Bangor Daily News touted her supposed dedication to stopping Trump’s power grab with the headline: “Susan Collins joins another effort to stop Trump’ border emergency declaration.” The glowing article quoted her fiercely stating that she defended the “system of checks and balances that is central to the structure of our government”.

Yet the very next day, an amendment authored by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) was proposed to do just that: stop  Donald Trump from raiding funds from the military and military families to pay for Trump’s wall.

It fell one vote short. Susan Collins instantly fell in line when she realized that she’d be the deciding factor, and voted it down.

“Unfortunately, this is another instance of Senator Collins telling Mainers one thing and then doing another in Washington,” Kathleen Marra, Maine Democratic Party chair, said in a statement.

By the way, the construction at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Maine—valued at $200 million— was slated to have its funds taken for Trump’s vanity wall. A few days before her key vote on Thursday, Collins announced that all the projects slated for Maine were safe. Lucky that.

This isn’t the first time Susan fell in line when her vote would have made the difference. Just a few examples:

  • In 2017, she said she opposed the reckless tax package for the uber-wealthy because it would irreparably damage the Affordable Healthcare Act that so many Mainers depended on by repealing the mandate. When it came down to the wire and it looked like she would be the deciding vote, Collins told her constituents that she was given a promise from Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to pass fixes aimed at offsetting the policy impact.  Obviously, that never happened.
  • Susan Collins cast the deciding vote on a Trump nominee who viciously separated families, 50-49. Collins expressed concern in the hearing, but again, since the vote came down to her she fell in line.
  • Susan Collins voted against just one of Trump’s radical judges, Wendy Vitter, only because her vote wouldn’t have made the difference. She said her opposition was due to her not affirming support for Brown v. Board of Education. Yet amazingly that doesn’t explain why she voted for three other judges who also refused to affirm that landmark case.
  • One judge, Michael Truncale, who was so racist that even Romney decided to vote against him. Collins, fearing she’d be the deciding vote, cast her vote to confirm him.
  • Two words: Brett Kavanaugh. She was the deciding vote to put the alleged rapist on the Supreme Court after days of pretending to wring her hands over it. She also said Kavanaugh “personally” pinky promised her not to go after reproductive rights which he immediately disregarded when he got on the bench.

The latest allegations about Kavanaugh from last week just exploded, and paint a vivid picture of Kavanaugh as the serial sexual predator we all knew him to be. Collins previously stated that she is proud of her vote for Kavanaugh.

Someone else who is proud is the head of the Federalist Society, Leonard Leo. This is the man responsible for us having Kavanaugh and all of those other extremist judges that Collins expresses concerns about, yet always votes in favor of. Leo loves Collins so much that he reportedly even held a fundraiser for her at his house.

And just in case you had any doubt of the appreciation from Trump extremists, the owners of Breitbart have donated more money to Susan Collins in one fundraising quarter than all the money she’s received from Maine voters combined.

Susan Collins is every bit as much a puppet as Lindsey Graham. She just lies about it.

Thankfully, Mainers can replace her next year with someone they can actually be proud of. Sara Gideon is the Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives and is challenging Collins as the Democratic opponent. No one can ever call her a puppet.

When someone tries to get in the way, or get me to back down, I stand up to them.

-Sara Gideon

Wow, what a refreshing change that would be.