Here are two examples of “Profiles in Courage” from two of Maine’s illustrious list of famous and distinguished senators.

In 1864 Abraham Lincoln won a second term as president. His vice president was Andrew Johnson of Tennessee. After Lincoln’s assassination, Johnson became president. He was more liberal than the Radical Republicans, who wanted to punish the South for causing the Civil War. Since the Radical Republicans controlled the House of Representatives, they easily passed Articles of Impeachment against Johnson. It was now up to the Senate to sit as a court in judgment.

In 1868, William Pitt Fessenden, a Republican from Maine, was one of seven Republicans who voted to acquit President Johnson. Their votes made the vote for acquittal fail by just one vote; it required a two-third vote to convict.

Another famous senator, Margaret Chase Smith, in a speech in the Senate on June 1, 1950, challenged Joseph McCarthy. This speech is called “Declaration of Conscience.” Sen. McCarthy, who was a Republican, was bent on destroying the reputation of liberals and communists in the Red Scare.

It is important to note that both Fessenden and Smith were defeated in their bid for reelection. They both voted what was right at the cost of their political careers.

Sen. Susan Collins can continue to be a “roll-call senator.” She can accept NRA money and support Bath Iron Works contracts to run her reelections. Or she can join Margaret Chase Smith and Olympia Snowe as models of outstanding Republican senators and she can vote for what is right. If she does not, she will be destined to the ash heap of history.”

Women’s rights are what is right. Collins should vote for what is right, not someone who will repeal Roe v. Wade like Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

Stan Mathieu

Winslow


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