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Whichever way Collins leans, she pays a price

Susan Collins is one of only three or four US senators whose vote is ever up for grabs, and as such she is one of only three or four senators whose every vote is scrutinized. While 95 or so senators vote strictly along party lines, and so they never have to defend their votes, it’s a select few, including Collins, who often cast the deciding tally. Whichever way they go, they pay a heavy price.

I think there is a lot of value in that kind of independence, and I wish there were more like Collins and her ilk. So, in defense of the Republican from Maine, I would like to point out the hypocrisy in Richard Cherwitz’s Feb. 11 letter (“A tenuous tsk-tsk from Senator Susan Collins”).

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Regarding Collins’s votes during the impeachment trial, he writes, “Her vote to subpoena witnesses and documents meant little given the predetermined outcome.” The fact that she was one of only two Republicans to vote across the aisle apparently did not impress Cherwitz, who goes on to write, “And then she wouldn’t stand with fellow Republican Senator Mitt Romney on the all-important vote to convict the president.” Huh? All-important? The vote not to convict was a far more predetermined outcome than the vote to call witnesses.

Cherwitz concludes, “It’s time for a senator from Maine who has the courage of her convictions.” As it is, Collins is considered the most bipartisan senator we have, so good luck improving on that. If we lose Collins and the select few like her, every vote, on every issue, will be predetermined.

Stephen R. Tarbell

Walpole


She’s one of the few independent voices in Congress

Susan Collins in no way deserves the criticism she has been getting from Yvonne Abraham (“Lessons learned,” Metro, Feb. 6), Kevin Cullen (“Courage on Capitol Hill,” Metro, Feb. 11), and, to a lesser extent, Joan Vennochi (“What will Mitt Romney do?” Opinion, Feb. 4). Senator Collins stuck her neck out before any other Republican senator to say that she would vote in favor of witnesses at the impeachment trial.

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That wasn’t Hamlet-like or “cover” to make her electable; that was conscience. She has voted against Trump before. Your columnists fail to remember that she was one of the few Republicans who voted to save Obamacare when Trump’s centerpiece legislation was to overthrow it. In the tax bill, Collins managed to get the $10,000 deduction for state and local property taxes included, despite Republican opposition.

She has shown strong support for Roe v. Wade, yet too many can only remember that she voted to support Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court, and that alone condemns her.

No, Senator Collins is one of the few independent voices in Congress. I wish there were more like her.

Dick Terry

Arlington


There are Democratic hopefuls outside Mass. who could use a boost

Kevin Cullen’s column “Courage on Capitol Hill” (Metro, Feb. 11) recognized the courage of Doug Jones, Democratic senator from Alabama, for supporting both articles of impeachment despite his upcoming reelection bid in a deeply red state.

In addition to this recognition, those of us who appreciate that courage should put our money where our mouth is — that is, financially support his campaign.

While we’re at it, we might consider supporting Sara Gideon, the likely candidate in Maine to run against Susan Collins, who has not demonstrated any courage whatsoever.

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Mark Rodehaver

Brookline