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Susan Collins Reminds Us She Is Hardly a Moderate

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In days of old, when moderate (and even liberal) Republicans walked the earth in numbers, they could get away with taking party loyalty for granted as they trod their “independent” path, basking in the adulation of pundits and op-ed writers and banking the support of those plenteous swing voters. That may still be true in places where the GOP is so incredibly weak that tolerating regular ideological heresy from a Phil Scott or a Charlie Baker is the best of bad options.

But Susan Collins, one of the last Republican senators anyone could describe as “moderate,” is from Maine, which has a real, viable, and lately very Trumpy Republican Party. So while she can spend much of her time in Washington proclaiming her high-minded freedom from the party line (not a big lift in a Congress where her GOP colleagues grind away like cicadas at the most predictable conservative talking points), she does have to cover her right flank back home now and then. That........

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