A risky move
President Donald Trump is taking quite a risk if he succeeds in putting an anti-pro choice judge on the Supreme Court. He faces the fact that the big majority of women in this country support a woman’s right to choose. Two years from now, he will be up for re-election. Better be careful, Mr. President. Tread carefully.
Snatch Congress from jaws of Trump
“Snatched from the jaws of a cave,” that’s how one journalist described the unfathomable, daring rescue of 12 boys and their soccer coach from a flooded cave in Thailand. How was the mission accomplished? Through patience, bravery, persistence, sacrifice, planning, teamwork and keeping an eye on the prize; not by flightiness, in-fighting or pursuing a bright shiny object of quick “success.”
I immediately thought of the dangerous, seemingly endless journey we are on with Donald Trump as our leader. To conquer this nightmare we need to take a page from the Thai team’s playbook — we need to keep our eye on the prize, which in our country’s case is the 2018 midterm elections. I hate to say it, but there is little we can do about the Supreme Court nominee, and we’re certainly not going to get anywhere by making the termination of Immigration and Customs Enforcement our rallying cry.
By electing responsible, progressive candidates, like Jared Golden in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, we can reshape Congress into a body that actually works together for the benefit of all Americans. It won’t be easy, but it’s doable and it must be done. And, not to milk the metaphor too much further, we can’t lose hope that there is light at the end of this very dark tunnel.
Independent judiciary essential
The Supreme Court is the ultimate arbiter of our most important constitutional rights, which affect every aspect of our lives — the schools we attend, our privacy, whether and when to start a family, religious freedom, access to health care and beyond. That’s why ensuring a fair and independent judiciary is essential.
Sen. Susan Collins has always been a champion of women’s rights and has made it clear that she has a great deal of respect for precedent. Based on Justice Neil Gorsuch’s rulings during the last Supreme Court term, it is clear that promising to respect precedent is not enough. Indeed, Gorsuch’s self-proclaimed respect for precedent didn’t stop him from overturning 40 years of workers’ rights in Janus v. AFSCME.
Our president ran on the premise of overturning Roe v. Wade and used conservative interest groups to suggest potential justices who would “automatically overturn” this landmark case. We must take him at his word. This means that it cannot be enough for Collins to hear Brett Kavanaugh say that he respects precedent. The burden is on him to show that, unlike Gorsuch, he does respect precedent. So far, he hasn’t met that burden.
Women everywhere are looking to Collins for hope. She have the power to stop Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell from rushing this process. The president must find a solid, consensus nominee who isn’t just a puppet to protect him from indictment, as Kavanaugh seems to be. Be on the right side of history. Her decision will impact the courts for generations.
Collins must stand up to Trump
I hope Sen. Susan Collins will do all within her power to stop the assault on our American values that the current administration seems determined to destroy. I understand Collins to be a dedicated public servant rooted in what used to be the Republican Party. As best I can tell, that party no longer exists in a form I recognize.
I had hoped Republicans in Congress would be horrified enough by many of the statements and actions of the president that most would feel compelled to energetically speak out in opposition. So far, that does not appear to be happening. Sadly, from my perspective, it also doesn’t appear likely to happen in the future either.
The upcoming Supreme Court confirmation process is one way for Collins to have a significant impact. I’m making an assumption that the president will nominate people who will be inclined to support his draconian views in those cases that should come before the court. Collins has said she will oppose anyone inclined to reverse Roe v Wade. I hope she will apply that same litmus test for the ways the law in that case can be weakened in less direct ways.
If Collins were to oppose the president’s nominees to the court, she will be guaranteed abuse from him. If that should happen, Collins should wear it as an honor.
Trade war consequences
Maine Republicans who hated minorities, immigrants and gays voted for Donald Trump and Paul LePage. President Trump has instituted tariffs againsts our staunchest allies and trading partners. Gov. LePage has threatened and insulted minorities, legislators and the media. These bullies have hurt Mainers quite badly.
Trump’s trade war has created collateral damage in Maine:
A 25 percent tariff on Maine lobster imports to China means they won’t be able to compete against Canadian lobster that has a lower tariff. A disaster.
Tariffs on maple syrup to Canada — Canada has lots of that, too. A sustainable multimillion dollar industry down the tubes.
These clueless leaders have ruined the Maine economy and turned Maine into a cesspool of racism and xenophobia. Our biggest group of international tourists come from Canada. Because of the bullying, they are boycotting the United States.
By now the light might be coming on, the people they hated so much have very powerful allies: they’re called the rest of the world. They’re made up of many races and backgrounds, possessing a common hatred of bullies. The rest of the world is targeting their tariffs directly at states and regions that support Trump. And they are encouraging their citizens to boycott U.S. products and travel. So much of Maine’s economy is dependent on foreign trade and tourism.
The people of Maine, and the rest of the country, will be hurt, and they should be hurt, by their racist, xenophobic “leaders.” It’s time to change course. Hate has consequences.