After making the absurd claim that the president learned a “pretty big lesson” to try and justify her decision to acquit, Senator Susan Collins was forced to walk back her remark after Trump himself insisted he did nothing wrong. Her decision not to hold the president accountable continues to come under scrutiny as Mainers and the public call out her excuses. Here’s a look:
In a round of interviews with Maine and national outlets on Wednesday, Collins conceded that she should have used the word “hope” instead of “believe.” “It’s more aspirational on my part,” she told Fox News on Wednesday night. “It’s more that I hope that he’s listened to the many voices in the Senate who have pointed out that the call was very problematic.”
Portland Press Herald: Our View: Collins, Republicans vote to enable Trump
Trump said he would not apologize, as Collins had suggested he should, because he had done nothing wrong, repeating the refrain: “It was a perfect call.” But, as Collins knows, it was not a perfect call. And the only lesson that this president is likely to learn from this experience is that he can count on Republican senators to make excuses for him whenever he gets caught abusing his power, even if he is doing so in order to cheat in an election. Collins will have to answer for every future act of the president that she has voted to enable.
Maine Beacon: Sen. Collins becomes Trump’s latest dignity wraith
With Trump immediately giving lie to her ridiculous rationale for acquitting him and Sen. Mitt Romney showing a more principled path, Sen. Susan Collins surrendered her last scrap of public dignity this week. It’s the same fate to which many of Trump’s sycophants and defenders have already succumbed.
Portland Press Herald: Letter: Trump’s impeachment lesson isn’t what Collins says it is
When Sen. Susan Collins said that President Trump “has learned” from his impeachment, she was right, but, of course, dead wrong about what he learned. What he’s learned (once again) is that there is nothing he can’t do and that whatever outrages he routinely engages in will continue to be tolerated, enabled and often applauded by Collins and the rest of the Republican stay-in-liners who have decided Trump can do no wrong no matter how egregiously wrong it so often is.
Mount Desert Islander: Letter to the Editor: An open letter to Susan Collins
Senator Collins, your own statement clarifying your position on the impeachment proceedings only makes clear that you are approaching the impeachment trial of Trump in the Senate as politics as usual, assuming the normal functioning of our constitutional democracy. [...] Let go of your delusion that many of your Senate colleagues will allow the processes of justice to function. Speak out for Truth over Lies, for Justice over Corruption, for Good over Evil. Or, risk not only your legacy, but your humanity.
Bangor Daily News: Letter: A naive hope that Trump would change
Collins even went so far as to say that she hoped that President Trump was chastened by this experience and would act differently in the future. How naive is that? What was it in his behavior over the last 20 years that drove her to this erroneous assumption? As matter of fact, shortly after her statement, Trump and his allies were active on Twitter. They wasted no time bashing Democrats, impugning Mitt Romney, and vowing to investigate Hunter Biden. It is clear to me that her many years in Washington have rendered Collins immune to real life behavior and morals outside the beltway.
Portland Press Herald: Letter: Collins should prepare script for Trump’s next outrage
Sen. Susan Collins says that President Trump has learned a “pretty big lesson” from his impeachment and “will be much more cautious in the future.” Assuming against evidence that he does in fact, learn things, surely the lesson here is that a Republican-led Senate will never impose any consequences whatsoever on his behavior. I suggest Sen. Collins start preparing remarks about her “disappointment” and “concern,” for when the president’s next abuse of power surfaces.
New York Times (Opinion): Susan Collins saying Trump learned his lesson was the worst moment from his impeachment trial
Still, for the worst impeachment moment, I’m going with Susan Collins. The idea that Donald Trump had learned any lesson is ridiculous. Collins knows — the whole world knows — that Trump is a man with a learning curve that resembles a garter snake. [...] Of course, the witness thing failed. Some dark minds believe that Collins’ moment of independence came only because McConnell knew he had enough votes to kill the proposal without her. Collins is heading toward a tough reelection in Maine this fall, and she needs bipartisan support. Perhaps, people of Maine, you haven’t noticed that your senator’s political independence tends to work best when the matter at hand is meaningless. Could be worse. At least she respects you enough to pander.
Boston Globe (Opinion): I’m Susan Collins, and I approve this message
Clearly, the president understands what he did is terribly, terribly wrong. It only looks like he hasn’t learned a single lesson in his 73 years, let alone in the last three, in which he has smashed every vestige of the decorum that is extremely important to me whenever I think Democrats violate it. Yes, within hours of my comments, reporters told Trump about my faith in him, asking if he really had learned his lesson. His reply: Nope. “It was a perfect call,” he said. And on Thursday he plans to “discuss our Country’s VICTORY in the Impeachment Hoax!”
When Trump was asked to comment on Collins’ assertion, he once again declared he’d done nothing wrong: “It was a perfect call,” he said of his conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. On Wednesday, Collins told a reporter from Maine outlet WGME-TV that she used the wrong verb when discussing the potential impact of impeachment on the president. A better word, she decided, would have been “hopes.”
Some are likely to see this and think, "Well, sure, of course he blamed everyone but himself." But let's not forget that a variety of Senate Republicans, trying to help justify their "not guilty" votes, publicly made case that the president would never again abuse his power because, as Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) put it the other day, he'd "learned from this case" and "will be much more cautious in the future." [...] To borrow Collins' phrasing, what Trump seems to have "learned from this case" is how impressive his awesomeness is, and how easy it is to get away with wrongdoing, thanks to GOP allies who are willing to overlook his guilt.
Roll Call (Opinion): Senators try to punt their way out of trouble and Trump’s line of fire
Yet that’s the route Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins ran when she laughably suggested that impeachment itself was enough to scare Trump into walking the straight and narrow from now on. “I believe that he will be much more cautious in the future,” Collins, who is up for reelection this year, told CBS News. Has she ever met this president? Even he reportedly brushed away that rationale.