Monday, February 6, 2017

Will Susan Collins Save the Republic?

For those concerned about President Donald Trump's authoritarian behavior and personal stability, there's a lot of hope being placed in the U.S. system of checks and balances. They only work, people are beginning to realize, if someone acts to do so. With partisan tribalism at perhaps an all-time high and Trump's party in control of all branches of government and chambers of Congress, that actor isn't quite so clear.

Aside from the federal courts, the most obvious countervailing force in time of constitutional curses would be "country-before-party" Republican members of the Senate and -- statistically speaking -- the most likely member to challenge their caucus would be Maine's own Susan Collins.

With that in mind, I spoke to more than a dozen observers of the Senate and American politics, including Collins herself, about if and how she might act. The result is this magazine-like piece in this week's Maine Sunday Telegram. I hope you find it informative.

I've been covering the federal-Maine interface since the election, including these stories looking at Collins' full-throated support of Jeff Sessions, Trump's controversial Attorney General pick and her rejection-but-voting-for-her-in-committee of education secretary nominee Betsy DeVos, and how a DeVos administration might effect schools in Maine (not that much, it seems.)

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