AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 12/16/2004 10:33:00 PM ----- BODY: Shut Up, Susan - Maine Senator (sigh - sorry guys) Susan Collins has joined the chorus criticizing Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Collins, it seems, has realized there's an opportunity here for the moderates and media who...uh...hogs to teach President Bush a lesson. Look for more of this from the RINOs. They were just as shocked as Democrats by how the country responded to the conservative message of the president, and can feel their power waning within the party. Collins, Hagel and especially McCain understand the ability they have to command media attention by criticizing their own party. There's no story the media loves more than Republicans "breaking ranks" with the president. As with the intelligence bill, Collins is trying to vaingloriously recreate the days when Maine had influential senators like Margaret Chase Smith, Edmund Muskie, George Mitchell and William Cohen. What Collins doesn't seem to realize is that by electing her, Maine voters have already lowered their standards for what makes a good senator. Collins benefitted in the primary from infighting in the impotent Maine Republican party and a weak Democrat candidate who people were tired of seeing on the ballot. In her first re-election campaign, she had a laughably weak opponent. In other words, she has not yet earned the status of a Muskie or a Smith. Judging by her weak performance in the senate thus far and her total abandonment of Republican issues in favor of media adulation, she never will. I can promise my out-of-state readers that when Collins runs again, we'll try to put up a primary candidate to run against her. It's the least we can do for making the rest of you put up with her nonsense. --------