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Our Respectable Senate Moderates will kill us all


Senate elections have become almost fully nationalized, which was how Republicans were able to add Senate seats during a blue wave and get a sixth justice crammed onto the Supreme Court. But because there is either no God or a deeply twisted and malevolent one, there is apparently one critical exception: Susan Collins, who somehow ran 8 points ahead of Trump in a presidential election year, winning re-election.

The collapse of the polling industry makes it hard to know what happens, but this would seem to be another chaotic result of RBG’s tragic decision not to retire in 2013. Collins being given a (meaningless) Golden Ticket seems to have restored the independent cred she lost when she voted for Kavanaugh. And greatly assisting here was Dianne Feinstein, who insisted on treating these deeply non-normative hearings as friendly bipartisan business as usual, even giving Brett Kavanaugh’s most spittle-flecked defender a nice hug at the end. The fact that this 87-year-old who has been a far-below-replacement-level senator for decades (Evan Bayh, for Chrissakes, voted against Bush’s tax cuts, but not the senior senator from California!) refuses to quit and let someone more up to the job take over is one reason we are where we are.

But let us reserve the most of our ire here for Susan Collins, who has decided that her top priority in life should now be to ensure that nobody gets any relief during a historic pandemic and depression. And while her vote against ACA repeal was the one usual thing she’s ever done, by allowing Republicans to hold the Senate she both makes it more likely that the Supreme Court will strike it down and ensures that Congress won’t be able to do anything about it if it does. What a horrible person.

In somewhat better news, Biden has won Wisconsin and has pulled ahead in Michigan, so he’ll will probably win by an above-ratfuck-zone margin. We’ll see what he and his collection of acting secretaries can do.

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