Doing what's right, rather than what's popular or expedient, is getting rarer and rarer these days. But the powerful explanation of Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, of her "Yes" vote to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court is a stellar example of what it means to vote one's conscience.
But there are consequences. In an interview on Saturday, Collins said, “I find it extraordinary that certain groups are now targeting me when I’ve been their advocate here in Washington for 22 years. My voting record clearly shows that.”
By "certain groups," Collins means feminists. As a pro-choice Republican, Collins hasn't faced nearly as much pushback from Democrats as have most Senate Republicans. According to interviewers, Collins was "pained by the notion that her confirmation vote for Kavanaugh means she is abandoning women’s rights issues."
Perhaps Collins underestimated the kind of women she supports. Perhaps she never heard the old adage, "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned."
Earlier this year, Planned Parenthood gave Collins a 72 percent rating. But that was then. Now, they see Collins as the enemy.
Former Obama White House official Jen Psaki has called Collins a “fake” feminist. A new crowdfunding campaign has collected millions of dollars in pledges to defeat Collins in 2020. HuffPost Columnist Robert Kuttner even called Collins a "fraud."
Feminists simply have no use for Susan Collins anymore. She committed the unpardonable sin of thinking for herself, rather than following the feminist herd. And for that, feminists believe she must suffer.
“Senator Collins has made it clear that she can no longer call herself a women’s rights champion,” Planned Parenthood said in a statement. “She has sided with those who disbelieved, disrespected, and even mocked survivors. We deserve better. Women won’t forget.”
Like Kavanaugh, Collins has vociferously denied the charges that have been leveled her way. “I have never disregarded, disrespected or mocked survivors. That is just plain untrue,” Collins told CNN. But, she added, she put herself in Kavanaugh's shoes. “He is coming forth and answering an allegation that includes that he was involved in gang-raping and doping girls. I mean, that is so devastating, and I think he reacted with anger and anguish as a father of two young girls, a 10-year-old and a 13-year-old.”
Kudos to Collins for being able to put herself in Kavanaugh's shoes; it made all the difference. Unfortunately, her feminist friends will never do the same.
That's why they're now her enemies.
Suzanne Venker (@SuzanneVenker) is a contributor to the Washington Examiner's Beltway Confidential blog. She is an author, speaker and cultural critic known as “The Feminist Fixer.” She has authored several books to help women win with men in life and in love. Her most recent, The Alpha Female’s Guide to Men & Marriage, was published in February 2017. Suzanne’s website is www.suzannevenker.com.