06 Dec 2017

susan collins with capital dome
A couple days ago, centrists were disappointed to hear that center-right Republican Susan Collins ended up voting for the atrocious tax bill Republicans have been pushing for weeks. The reason she gave for voting that way has been shown to be an empty promise, so will she change her vote? Susan Collins' Disappointing, but Not Surprising, Tax Vote For weeks before the vote in question, Susan Collins had been publicly on the fence. One can never really know what a politician is secretly thinking, but - perhaps feeling pressure from her party after voting against them so much recently - it seemed as though she was looking for reasons to vote for this bill. Disappointing as her vote was, especially given conflicting stances she's taken in the past about the national debt and deficit spending, this is going to happen sometimes with moderates who lean one way or the other (and illustrates why we need more than a few centrists for the fulcrum strate...

02 Dec 2017

centrist republican Susan Collins
The idea that a few independent centrists in the US Senate could block the worst hyper-partisan legislation is a great medium-term goal, and should work sometimes. Ultimately though, we need more than just a few votes - especially if we want it to do more than just stonewall the worst legislation or be a 'caucus of no'. The Centrist Fulcrum Strategy - Our Medium Term Goal I'd heard of the concept now called the 'fulcrum strategy' before, but Charles Wheelan's book 'The Centrist Manifesto', subsequent writing and media appearances, as well as The Centrist Project (dark money group that supports independents running for office) organization he launched have definitely done more to convince people of its merits than everyone else put together (and then some). There is nothing faulty about the concept itself, and the core concept it sound. A few centrist votes in the US Senate could block either side from a majority, block them from pushing throu...

16 Oct 2017

quote of centrist Republican Susan Collins on why she decided to stay in the Senate
The last decade has been an unmitigated disaster for centrists and moderates on both sides. For every Angus King, Susan Collins and Joe Manchin, there has been a dozen Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz'. As the two major parties abandoned us and created a vacuum, the political center in the U.S. has been in disarray. With a fraction of a percent of the funding the two major parties have at their disposal, having to start from close to scratch, without an organizational infrastructure or army of trained staff like we used to have when we were still welcome under major party tents - even though conditions are better than ever for a centrist movement to be sparked, we're still seeing very little electoral progress. While there are miles of electoral hurdles the two major parties have put up to make it harder for independents (centrist or otherwise) to participate equally in our increasingly undemocratic democratic republic, by far the biggest thing holdi...

16 Mar 2011

Floating around the blogosphere the last couple days - apparently the TSA was giving the public rose tinted information about the radiation levels people who were being scanned with those full body devices were actually being exposed to. Susan Collins, rightfully, got up in their faces about it at a hearing a few days ago. From The Hill: Collins, ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee, said it was admirable that TSA was posting the radiation data, but stressed that it is important that the agency get the numbers right. "[The TSA chief] and I have discussed at length the full-body scanners, and TSA has repeatedly assured me that the machines that emit radiation do not pose a health risk,” she said in a statement. “Nonetheless, if TSA contractors reporting on the radiation levels have done such a poor job, how can airline passengers and crew have confidence in the data used by the TSA to reassure the p...

10 Dec 2010

I posted recently about five former Republican secretaries of state who were decrying the absurdity of the GOP digging in their heels over the nuclear START treaty recently, and it looks like the stalemate is showing some signs of breaking, with two moderate Republican senators breaking ranks and saying they're going to support an update of the treaty that would reduce the number of warheads between the U.S. and Russia. From Politico: Momentum for the START Treaty is building, with Republican Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine throwing their support behind it on Friday. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Friday that he thinks the Senate is “very close” to a deal. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid must muster 67 votes to get it passed. Reid and Obama have said it’s a priority for the lame-duck session. Collins said a letter from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates alleviated her outst...