I’m patiently waiting for Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) to switch to the Democratic Party. After being “perplexed” at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s unparalleled obstruction, the moderate Republican from Maine decided to take the high road and meet with Merrick Garland, President Obama’s more-than-qualified nominee to succeed Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court.
So, what happened when Collins met with Garland? Let her words speak for itself. Saying she was “more convinced than ever that the process should proceed,” Collins praised Garland as an “impressive” nominee. Talking to reporters on Capitol Hill after the Senate recess, Collins said:
The next step, in my view, should be public hearings before the Judiciary Committee so that the issues that we explored in my office can be publicly aired.
Collins told reporters that Garland’s answers to legal questions were “thorough, impressive responses,” but said it was “premature” to say he had her vote should it go to the Senate floor after hearings (should hearings even happen). After her meeting with the impressive, thorough nominee, Collins issued a warning to the obstructionist Republicans:
It would be ironic if the next president happens to be a Democrat and chooses someone who is far to Judge Garland’s left.
Ironic indeed, but maybe for the better? Perhaps President Obama could fill the vacancy if Senator Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton feel inclined to do so.
Republicans should take note, Senator Collins once again exposed Republicans basing their actions not on what is right and Constitutionally just, but on personal hatred for the president. While Collins said she wouldn’t be “changing minds on the issue” for her action, she did say more Republicans would probably change their minds if they followed her lead and met with Garland himself. Thirteen other GOP senators are expected to meet with Garland, but are only doing so to tell him they will not support his nomination.
It’s as if being a grown up and doing your job gets the ball rolling towards a fair and balanced outcome. Who would have thought?
Featured image via Flickr