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Susan Collins, Not Pelosi, Is the True Profile in Courage

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Unread 05.17.19, 08:19 AM
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Susan Collins, Not Pelosi, Is the True Profile in Courage

On 05.16.19 02:14 PM posted by Peter Parisi

The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation is set to present its 2019Profile in Courage Award on May 19 to … drumroll … House Speaker NancyPelosi.

It’s not clear what the California Democrat did to deserve the annualaward, which claims to recognize public officials whose actions “demonstratethe qualities of politically courageous leadership” and fetes politicians andothers “who [risk] their careers by embracing unpopular positions for thegreater good.”

It might qualify as “politically courageous” if Pelosi tookconservative stances in her ultraliberal San Francisco district, and it’sunclear how she has risked her career as the leader of a far-left House Democraticcaucus that largely agrees with her.

The selection of Pelosi for the award is all the more perplexingbecause there was a more obvious—and far more deserving—candidate for thisyear’s Profile in Courage honor.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, was subjected to threats of sexualassault and even death ahead of the Senate’s vote in early October on thenomination of federal Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

“There were protests at my home for six weeks in a row, protests at my home here in Washington, death threats, threats of sexual assault against me and my staff,” Collins told Fox News’ Martha MacCallum weeks later in a Dec. 20 interview.

Collins recounted how a staffer answering a phone call in herWashington office was told by the caller that “if I voted ‘yes’ for JusticeKavanaugh that he hoped she would be raped and impregnated.”

The four-term senator—a centrist targeted by Kavanaugh’s liberalopponents as a possible “no” vote—likewise recalled being confronted outsideher Washington home by a man who shone a flashlight in her face and beganvideotaping the confrontation.

On another occasion, Collins reported receiving in the mail at her Washington office a “3-foot-long cardboard cutout of male genitalia.”

Despite the extreme harassment, on Oct. 5, Collins provided acrucial vote to advance the Kavanaugh nomination on a 51-49 vote and to confirmhim the following day on a 50-48 tally.

“The easier vote politically clearly would have been for me to vote ‘no,’” Collins told MacCallum. “But that would not have been the right vote … . I really won’t ever be intimidated. I have to do what I think is right, and I’ll let the chips fall where they may.”

Collins said she ultimately voted for Kavanaugh because theaccusations leveled against him of sexual assault dating back to his highschool days were entirely uncorroborated. She said that to have done otherwisewould have been to “throw overboard the presumption of innocence” and to“dispense with fairness, the rule of law, and due process.”

As a postscript to the story, the day after the JFK Library Foundation’sApril 7 announcement of Pelosi’s selection for its award, a Burlington, Maine,woman appeared in federal court to face charges of mailing a threatening letterto Collins over her vote.

The Associated Press reported that an affidavit filed in U.S. District Court says that Suzanne Muscara, 37, sent starch to Collins’ Bangor home, along with a letter reading “anthrax!!! HA HA HA!!!” Muscara accused Collins of having “betrayed the people of Maine.” She pleaded not guilty on April 25 to one count of mailing threatening communications, according to the Bangor Daily News.

So, what is there in Pelosi’s long career in Congress—32 years, asof June 2—that comes even remotely close to being subjected to that kind of extremeabuse?

What actions did Pelosi take that the Profile in Courage AwardCommittee decided was more deserving of the honor than standing up to thevicious hatred and threats of physical violence from the unhinged left thatCollins faced?

Pelosi, the committee explained, “will be recognized for puttingthe national interest above her party’s interest to expand access to healthcare.”

That’s a curious choice, not least because the award iseffectively for something that occurred nearly a decade ago, during Pelosi’sfirst stint as speaker—the 2010 passage of Obamacare and the resulting backlashby voters in that year’s midterm elections that swept Pelosi and her party outof control of the House.

Perhaps recognizing the absurdity of feting Pelosi for forcing thecastor oil of Obamacare down the throats of the American people—and nine yearsafter the fact, to boot—the committee added a second (and equally specious)reason.

Caroline Kennedy and her son, Jack Schlossberg, declared thatPelosi was also chosen for “leading the effort to retake the majority and electthe most diverse Congress in our nation’s history” and for doing so “against awave of political attacks.”

What Kennedy’s daughter and grandson were in effect saying is that waging the standard congressional campaign—something that occurs every two years—now somehow qualifies as a meritorious “profile in courage.”

The dubious selection of Pelosi—“the most important woman in American political history,” according to Kennedy—as this year’s recipient of the JFK Library Foundation’s Profile in Courage Award shouldn’t really come as a surprise, though.

That’s because the award, named after the late president’s 1957 bookof the same name, has a long history of being given mostlyto Democrats and liberals, and for supporting liberal causes, dating back to itsinception nearly 30 years ago in 1990.

The 2018 award, for example, went to then-New Orleans Mayor MitchLandrieu, a Democrat, for taking down four Confederate statues. In 2017, itwent to former President Barack Obama for his presidency as a whole. In 2016,the recipient was then-Gov. Dannel Malloy, D-Conn., for his willingness toresettle Syrian refugees in his state.

On those rare occasions that the award has gone to a Republican,it was for surrendering on conservative principles, such as former Rep. BobInglis, R-S.C., for flip-flopping to the liberal position on the issue ofclimate change and supporting a carbon tax (2015); President George H.W. Bushfor reneging on his pledge not to raise taxes (2014); and Sen. John McCain forchampioning his signature campaign-finance reform bill (1999).

The 2019 award will be presented to Pelosi at aceremony May 19 at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum inBoston.

In the final analysis, it’s the JFK Library Foundation’s award,and it can bestow the award upon whomever it wants—but in light of the snub ofCollins and in the interest of truth in advertising, the award should be renamedthe Profile in Liberal Courage Award.

The post Susan Collins, Not Pelosi, Is the True Profile in Courage appeared first on The Daily Signal.

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