Back˚ in September 2015 I posted a blog after reading an otherwise forgettable item in Maine newspapers about a lecture delivered by Senator Collins at the University of Maine at Presque Isle. This was an inaugural Distinguished Lecture filled with the usual self-congratulatory rhetoric of Collins’ saintly bi-partisanship. Collins’ brother Sam still chairs the University of Maine System Board of Trustees, as did their mother years ago. So Collins’ selection as Lecturer was not exactly a coincidence.
But what dismayed me was her praise of Congress in earlier times for passing important bi-partisan laws from the 1862 Morrill Act through the Civil Rights legislation of the 1960’s. She relegated the crucial roles of Presidents Abraham Lincoln through Lyndon Johnson to the sidelines. Any student of mine who wrote such historical nonsense would fail that exam question.
But this puts Senator Collins’ passionate support of fellow Republican Senator Jeff Sessions in a broader context. How could she not mention Sessions’ racist and anti-immigrant rhetoric over the years? If, I realized, she could distort the basic facts of 1960’s Civil Rights legislation, so she could whitewash Sessions’ prejudices.
Most Maine voters will have forgotten this the next time Collins runs for the Senate.