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In his Nov. 15 Boston Globe OpEd, Sen. Angus King once again sounded the alarm that “a constitutional crisis is unfolding before our eyes.” This was King’s latest urgent appeal for Americans to wake up to the precarious state of our democracy. It follows his October speech on the Senate floor, arguably the best speech of his political career, in which he implored his Republican colleagues to vote in favor of permitting discussion, mind you only discussion, of the Freedom to Vote Act by the full Senate. They didn’t.
King, an independent and moderate, is not known for sensational rhetoric. His cries should not be ignored and cannot be written off as leftist hyperbole. So far, perhaps except for Alaskan Sen. Murkowski, Republican senators are not swayed.
Which brings me to Sen. Susan Collins, who prides herself on respecting the legislative process and reaching across the aisle. When it comes to voting rights, her recent votes say otherwise. Remember when Collins voted to advance Betsy DeVos’ nomination for Education Secretary for a full Senate vote? She didn’t support DeVos but justified advancing her nomination out of respect for the legislative process and to allow all senators to weigh in. Certainly, voting rights are much more worthy of full Senate consideration than a highly questionable cabinet nominee.
It is time for Collins to listen to King and put the future of our democracy ahead of political partisanship. The latter is corroding our politics and eroding our country.