Last night on MSNBC’s The Beat with Ari Melber, writer and journalism professor Jelani Cobb laid into Senator Susan Collins’ strategy of refusing to answer questions about whether she’s voting for Donald Trump. As Cobb pointed out, Collins’ cowardice has only increased skepticism of her ability to hold Trump accountable, and compared it to “trying to put out a grease fire by dumping water on it. You only spread the fire by continuing to refuse to actually talk about the moral issues at stake.”
SEN. COLLINS (WMTW CLIP): As I said, I'm not getting involved in presidential politics.
ARI MELBER: Jelani, is that a good enough answer?
JELANI COBB: I'm going to go out on a limb and say no. If you look—I mean, it's a kind of absurd spectacle and it’s also kind of odd strategically because the thing that worked for her for so long is that people who were Democrats who might have been opposed to Republicans could live with Susan Collins because they thought she was fair and they thought she was different or would push back on the things they really dislike about the Republican party or about its agenda and particularly about the strain of the Republican party that was exemplified by Donald Trump, which we all knew about years before Trump ever emerged. And in the face of that, she's proven none of that was true. So you can't now, it only exacerbates the problem, like trying to put out a grease fire by dumping water on it, you only spread the fire. By continuing to refuse to actually talk about the moral issues at stake or to say we know, we recognize that separating children from their parents and putting them in cages is fund mentally wrong, immoral and we cannot proceed with an administration that did those things. Her inability to say that only furthers people's belief she wasn't the right person to lead at that particular point in time then. She may not be concerned about the presidential campaign but the people voting in the presidential campaign are very much concerned about her.