Just as Hurricane Ida brought home the need to deal vigorously with climate change, perhaps Maine women who voted for Sen. Collins last November now more fully understand the implications of re-electing a senator instrumental in putting Justice Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court. Just say “Texas.” Women’s abilities to control their bodies have suffered a critical blow.

The potential for anti-woman mischief by generously named “moderates” like Collins and our 2nd District Democratic congressman, Jared Golden, does not end there. They and other so-called centrists have enthusiastically endorsed the traditional infrastructure bill, destined for early enactment. That measure mostly benefits male-dominated industries like construction. Republican and other “moderate” backing for President Biden’s “Families Plan” proposal is more contained.

Besides much-needed elements to combat climate change, Biden’s bill has possibly transformative components of benefit to American women, if ones long in place in other democratic countries. Women most often have primary responsibility for child and elder care, and a host of other commitments and complexities that go with that. The “centrists,” abetting Republican orthodoxy, appear more concerned with supposed dangers of inflation and excessive spending than with women’s welfare.

Sen. Collins’ record is that of someone who goes off the Republican reservation mostly when it doesn’t count. On economics, she is a reliable anti-tax and anti-government GOP vote. One hopes for better from Rep. Golden, but he is under pressure to oppose alleged “socialist” enactments. This is nonsense; he and Sen. Collins need to hear other views.

There may also be an element of systemic racism and class antagonism to all this. Those who would benefit most from the families agenda are young, poor and minority. Is it an accident that members of Congress with mostly white constituents would be most drawn to “moderation” as witnessed in this case?

 

Ed McCarthy

Vienna

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