Conservative elites apparently enjoyed a private chuckle about how easy it was to get “pro-choice ;)” senator Susan Collins to vote to overrule Roe v. Wade:
When the Supreme Court’s draft decision to overturn Roe v. Wade leaked, Sen. Susan Collins said she was flabbergasted, deeply troubled, even shocked. After all, soon-to-be-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh had promised her in 2018 that Roe was a matter of settled law — despite his deeply conservative track record on abortion.
Turns out, Collins wasn’t just wrong about Kavanaugh. She was deliberately manipulated by Trump administration officials — and a future Supreme Court Justice — who viewed her as an easy mark.
Two former senior Trump White House officials tell Rolling Stone that the pro-choice Collins wasn’t even considered a serious threat to the devoutly conservative Kavanaugh. Instead, the team predicted she’d need only a vague assurance that the nominee would uphold the half-century-old ruling defending abortion rights.
And they were right.
“The thinking from Trump … and everybody else who worked to make this happen was that, as long as his nominees didn’t say anything stupid [on abortion] and let the Susan Collins-es of the world think what they needed to think and hear what they needed to hear, then it would get done,” said one of the ex-officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the team’s hearing preparations.
I think the framing here, though, isn’t quite right. The mark being targeted by the “Roe v. Wade is indeed a previous decision issued by the Supreme Court which as of now is good law” bullshit is not Collins, it’s the marginal voter in Maine. Collins knew what she was doing and what she was getting; the kayfabe is for Clinton/Biden-Collins voters who needed to be reassured that Roe was safe. It worked! And when Collins’s brow goes into full furrow later this month, well some people have to play their little games.