It’s not often people are genuinely surprising in politics, but Friday saw one of the most shocking and amazing displays of heroism in recent memory. It wasn’t just spectacular because of what was done, but because of who did it and how brilliantly it was done.
Maine Senator Susan Collins is one of those Republicans that drives conservatives crazy – a moderate from a purple state who is always a question mark when the chips are down. More often than not, you don’t want to find yourself in a position where you need her vote. But everything, all past transgression and irritations were wiped clean when, at 3:00, Senator Collins did what no one expected her to do and may well have saved the republic.
You might think that last part is a bit much, a little over the top. It’s really not.
Collins gave a speech not only announcing her support for the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, she also eviscerated the entire liberal smear machine that had been mobilized against a good in a way only someone in her position could.
Kavanaugh’s “sin” was existing wrong; disagreeing with a “progressive” view of the Constitution where our founding document could mean whatever a liberal wants it to mean. For this, and the threat his reverence for original intent poses to people who want a government that can impose their will on a whim, he had to be destroyed.
Lacking any rational argument against Kavanaugh, leftists went personal. They weren’t about to let the truth stand in their way, so innuendo and rumor were the weapons of choice. Unfounded, unproven, unsupported, and insane stories of sexual assault and gang rape were presented as fact. If they’d thought blaming him for the murder of the Lindberg baby of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman would’ve helped, they would’ve been tossed in the mix too.
The liberal mob sopped it up like it was the last bit of gravy on their plate at Thanksgiving. Every story, no matter how absurd, was reported and discussed as if there were videotape showing Kavanaugh confessing to each of them. The Democratic establishment went all in and the last vestiges of journalistic skepticism and ethics were sacrificed like a Mayan virgin during an eclipse.
Not only was the nomination in jeopardy, so was the very livelihood of a man whose true crime was to not be a member of the social justice mob.
Kavanaugh stood up for himself, as did the Trump administration and the usual suspects in the media and elected office. What was missing was anyone with credibility outside the usual suspects, on either side, as moderate Republicans played it coy and moderate Democrats hid.
It seemed as though no one would dare cross over no-man’s-land, that everyone was dug in and the Kavanaugh nomination and the man himself were going to be sacrificed on the altar of progressive politics.
Then came 3:00 on Friday.
No one knew what Collins was going to say, which way she would vote. In the end, her speech not only announced her support, it drove a spike through the heart of whole enterprise.
If any other Republican had delivered that speech it would have been easily dismissed as exactly what you’d expect from Senator so-and-so. But this was Susan Collins, and Susan Collins has, for the past 2 decades, been elevated to hero status and a voice of reason by the very power structure she was denouncing. Only Nixon could go to China, and only Susan Collins could disembowel the liberal outrage machine because she was always the example they used for what they thought a Republican should be.
She left no stone unturned, no smear was safe – she deconstructed them all. Most importantly, Collins chastised the left for their rejection of the fundamentally American ideal of a person being innocent until proven guilty.
There, on the floor of the Senate, stood this person whom they’d all praised for years telling them they’d crossed the line, a big line, and she would have none of it. Her vote was secondary, her words stuck deeper than any vote could. Susan Collins had stood up to a yelling, chanting, stalking, death threat spewing angry liberal mob that was prepared to erect statues in her honor had she sided with them and said “enough.”
Giving into a temper-tantrum throwing child only ensures more temper-tantrums, and giving into a mob only encourages it. People who’d never side with the mob telling them no is what is expected. But someone they thought was gettable, maybe even with them, rejecting them with passion and facts was something for which they were completely unprepared.
The reaction from the left was a predictable fury, Collins was called a “rape apologist,” and worse. But she held her ground. Principles mattered.
In a just world, an unquestioningly qualified nominee like Brett Kavanaugh would be confirmed unanimously, but we don’t live in a just world, we live in the real world. Thanks to Susan Collins’ vote, and perhaps more importantly her speech, the liberal mob was defeated and the real world moved a little bit closer to the just one. As imperfect beings, that’s all we can hope for.
A bit of personal news: As I mentioned in Thursday’s column, my wife was ready to burst with our second child, and burst she did Friday morning. Just before noon Friday we welcomed Bailey Shannon Anne Hunter to the world. To those of you who’ve send congratulations, thank you. Mother and baby are doing great, and big sister Quinn is handling it all well. With an extra mouth to feed, I have to plug my podcast (Friday’s video version of the show I sat down with good friend David Limbaugh, which was a blast and features a cameo by Kurt Schlichter, then Monday Kurt gets his own show), subscribe on iTunes. And pick up a copy of my book, “Outrage, INC.: How the Liberal Mob Ruined Science, Journalism, and Hollywood.” Thank you.