Lioness of the Senate

By Phil Erwin

In his later years, Ted Kennedy was known as the “Liberal Lion of the Senate.”

He didn’t exactly live up to the respectability implied by that moniker. But Democrats so revered the Kennedys, they forgave Ted his disgraceful behavior at Chappaquiddick and kept right on re-electing him despite his well-known moral failings.

Liberals get a pretty big pass when they fall short of expectations.

If there’s a current Lion in the Senate, it might well be a Lioness: Senator Dianne Feinstein.

But now it seems there’s a new candidate for the mantle: Susan Collins, the Republican Senator from Maine.

Collins doesn’t seek the limelight, as so many of her political colleagues seem genetically compelled to do. She doesn’t often appear on the nightly news analysis shows, because she’s a Republican (so the “fake news” doesn’t want to hear from her) and she’s not exactly a conversational live-wire, so even on FOX News she’s not the go-to choice for a sound bite that some politicians are. And she inhabits that sparsely-populated center of the political spectrum – a zone that reporters avoid because the quotes aren’t explosive.

Collins also has about the most maddeningly slow verbal delivery you’ll ever see on TV. I’m a patient listener, but it takes effort to stay focused all the way to the end of her sentences.

But I owe the Senator sincere apology for having given her camera moments short shrift in the past.

On Friday, Senator Collins demonstrated brilliantly just what a Senator is supposed to be. She delivered what many veteran politicians and Senate watchers have called the best speech they have ever heard on the floor of the Senate.

Collins explained in a careful, methodical, brilliant analysis, just how we should all analyze the Kavanaugh controversy.

Her speech was a cogent, well-reasoned and quietly impassioned review of the known facts, the issues and the reasonable conclusions that any sensible, fair-minded person must come to:

  • Dr. Ford’s allegations against Judge Kavanaugh are unsupported, unproven and unprovableeven by the FBI – and therefore should not preclude Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Court
  • Judge Kavanaugh’s judicial fitness for the Supreme Court is unparalleled and incontrovertible
  • The Senate’s ruined process of “evaluating” Kavanaugh has been so horribly flawed and completely unfair that any objections to his comportment during that televised character assassination are inherently unfair, unreasonable, untenable.
  • Judge Kavanaugh was denied the presumption of innocence – a bedrock of the American system of jurisprudence, and a fundamental value that distinguishes America from virtually any other nation in history.  This value is encoded in our Bill of Rights as a guarantee of “due process,” the requirement to prove a citizen’s guilt or legal responsibility under the law before abrogating his rights or freedoms.

Elsewhere on the globe, unsupported/unproven charges of misdeeds or unlawfulness may be enough to destroy a person’s life, confiscate his fortune, imprison him – even take his life. In America, those things are never supposed to happen unless and until an accusation is proven beyond any reasonable doubt in a court of Law.

In the case of Judge Kavanaugh, the evaluation happened in the court of Public Opinion, wherein the standard is: Whatever the Media can make stick – an unfair and unacceptable way of evaluating a Supreme Court candidate. Here is how Senator Collins stated this point:

The presumption of innocence is relevant to the advice and consent function when an accusation departs from a nominee’s otherwise exemplary record. I worry that departing from this presumption… would be hugely damaging to the confirmation process… It is when passions are most inflamed that fairness is most in jeopardy… Fairness would dictate that the claims at least should meet a threshold of “more likely than not” …. The facts presented… lead me to conclude that the allegations fail to meet the “more likely than not” standard.

Collins also evaluated the harm done to Kavanaugh’s accuser, Dr. Ford, by the very public outting of her identity:

Christine Ford never sought the spotlight. She indicated that she was terrified to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee… She seemed completely unaware of Chairman Grassley’s offer to allow her to testify confidentially… I could not help but feel that some people who wanted to engineer the defeat of this nomination cared little, if at all, for her well-being. [My emphasis]

The “some people” in Collins’ charge implies Dianne Feinstein’s staff, given that they had Dr. Ford’s letter for weeks before anyone else. It’s also plausible that Dr. Ford’s attorney (recommended by Feinstein!) may have been the source of the leak.

(I highly recommend that all Americans read the full text of Sen. Collins’ remarks, which you can do here. You can watch Collins’ entire 43-minute speech here. It’s well worth your time.)

I used to think that Dianne Feinstein was a model Senator: Smart, sensible, not too tightly bound to the Liberal dogma that so dictates the views of most of her Democrat comrades. Feinstein supported President Bush in some unpopular ways, taking national security seriously. She always seemed well-intentioned and reasonable to me. I considered her one of the few Democrats who could be trusted to analyze all sides of issues carefully and come to reasonable judgements, even though I didn’t always agree with them.

No more.

The fact that Feinstein kept Dr. Ford’s letter hidden for weeks before ever alerting the Republicans to the potential bombshell is an ethical and a moral failing. She had a professional obligation to present the charge to the committee Chairman, and to work with him to determine the best, most expeditious way to evaluate the charge – including referring it to the FBI immediately for a timely and thorough investigation.

Had Feinstein lived up to her responsibility, the entire process could have been completed without Dr. Ford’s identity ever having been divulged to the Press and the public – as Dr. Ford had expressly requested.

But that, of course, was not what Feinstein and the Democrats wanted.

They wanted the circus. Publicly.

Dr. Ford’s wishes – and the Kavanaugh family’s welfare – be damned.

And so they leaked Dr. Ford’s name and charges to the Washington Post – at the 11th hour.

Feinstein insists she maintained that secret to protect the identity of Dr. Ford, but that is either a naïve refrain – Democrats never maintain secrets except in support of a political goal – or an out-and-out lie.

What is clear is that the secret was maintained by the Democrats, not to protect Dr. Ford, but to ensure maximum political advantage. They leaked Dr. Ford’s name and charges at precisely the moment they expected it to do maximum damage to Judge Kavanaugh’s reputation and confirmation. The purpose was to create a political circus – a kangaroo court – within which to damage Kavanaugh’s reputation so completely that no Republican Senator would take the political risk of voting to confirm him.

Senator Feinstein abrogated her ethical and moral responsibility, and in doing so, forfeited any respect to which she was due. She has given up all right to a leadership role. Frankly, I think she has forfeited the privilege of holding her office.

Senator Feinstein, I expected to vote for you. Not now. You don’t belong on the ballot, you don’t belong in the Senate. You sold out Dr. Ford, you violated Judge Kavanaugh’s right to a fair hearing, and in abrogating due process, you damaged the Senate, the Supreme Court, and the country.

All to support the rabid Left’s hatred of Donald Trump, and their ridiculous belief that they should own the U.S. Supreme Court.


You should immediately resign your office, and remove your name from the ballot.

It’s time for you to sit down and shut up.

There’s a new Lioness in the Senate. Her name is Collins.

Phil Erwin is an author, IT administrator and registered Independent living in Newbury Park. He would like to support some Democrat ideals, but he has a visceral hatred for Lies and Damn Lies (and is highly suspicious of Statistics.) That pretty much eliminates supporting most Democrats, and a bunch of Republicans to boot.

Get Headlines free  SUBSCRIPTION. Keep us publishing – DONATE


0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Thomas Schumacher

Excellent, concise and to the point. I can see the effort you made to be objective. I hope you continue with you column.

Naomi Fisher

Well done. Well said, Mr. Erwin!
My wish is for ALL U.S. Citizens to read your column and then Senator Collins speech.
Our whole Country needs to hear these truths!