Well, folks: another week, another contentious Senate debate drawing nigh, and another lady senator from Maine interjecting herself at the 11th hour to gum up the works. Prior to the holiday, it was Senator Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) dilly-dallying on her tax cuts decision, explaining how she felt she needed to "consider the totality" of a decision that she should have spent many months considering. This week, we have the START treaty and Snowe's colleague, Susan Collins (R-Maine), looking for someone to help her figure out what to do. Brian Beutler reports:
Today in outrageous new benchmarks for bipartisanship, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) says she'd be more likely to vote to ratify the START Treaty if former Presidents, George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush were to speak out in support of it.
"It would be wonderful if President [George H.W.] Bush would come out for the treaty. That would be so powerful and definitely help," Collins told the Washington Post.
It's almost comical at this point. The typical Beltway cant on Ms. Collins is that her long political career is due to her propensity for being a gutsy, independent thinker. What are her independent thoughts on the START treaty? Well, she'd really love it if someone who occupied the top spot in a Bush administration would do her a solid and tell her what's she's supposed to think about it.
Beutler includes the long litany of Bush administration figures who have urged the ratification of the START treaty. I guess none of them are quite good enough to square away Collins's opinion. Nor does she seem ready to heed the words of former Senator John C. Danforth (R-Mo.), who said over the weekend: "If [START-supporter] Dick Lugar...having served five terms in the U.S. Senate and being the most respected person in the Senate and the leading authority on foreign policy, is seriously challenged by anybody in the Republican Party, we have gone so far overboard that we are beyond redemption."
Someone please remind the honorable senator from Maine that she has a duty to discharge, maybe?
Collins: The Bushes Should Green Light START Treaty [TPMDC]