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Susan Collins Got Torched For Calling Jan. 6 Commission ‘Partisan’ And Trying To Defend Jim Jordan

Susan Collins has long been the Neville Chamberlain of the so-called moderate right. The Maine senator has always pitched herself as a rare Republican who will reach across the aisle, and while she sometimes breaks rank — she was one of too few Rs who voted for Trump’s second impeachment, which didn’t clear the Senate — but more often she doesn’t. She infamously okayed Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court, and after Trump’s first impeachment — which she didn’t vote for — she bizarrely claimed he’d “learned his lesson.” (Spoiler: He didn’t.)

So naturally Collins poo-poohed the ongoing Jan. 6 committee. On Sunday she went on CNN, where she said she was “very disappointed” that the probe into the Capitol siege wasn’t as bipartisan as it could have been. Did that mean she was angry with Republicans, who shot such a committee down a number of weeks back? Nope. She put the blame on Democrats. “We should have had a 9/11-style commission, to fully look at what happened.”

Tapper didn’t let her argument slide. “Mitch McConnell opposed it, that’s why it didn’t happen,” he reminded her. He also pointed out that, despite her calling it a “partisan” committee, there are two Republicans on it: representatives Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney.

“I respect both of them, but I do not think it was right for the speaker to decide which Republicans should be on the committee,” Collins replied, referring to Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s picks, including Jim Banks and Jim Jordan, both of whom Pelosi deemed unfit.

But Tapper didn’t let that slide either. He reminded her that both Banks and McCarthy are “election liars,” and that Jordan — who recently confessed that he spoke with Trump on Jan. 6, though he seemed to pretend that he couldn’t remember when — is possibly a material witness. But Collins tried to downplay that.

“There were many communications with President Trump that day,” she replied. She did clear a very low bar indeed, which is that those who stormed the Capitol were clearly inspired by the former president’s words.

While the rioters are primarily responsible for what happened, there’s no doubt in my mind that President Trump helped instigate and motivate the rioters,” she allowed.

What Tapper didn’t come and say is that she’d fallen right into McCarthy’s hands. No doubt that, by stocking his portion of the committee with lawmakers who believe the election was stolen — and who would turn it into a circus — he was hoping Pelosi would deny their involvement. And then someone like Collins would go on a place like CNN and claim that Pelosi, not McCarthy, was in the wrong for not being more bipartisan.

Collins’ words weren’t surprising. After all, some on social media pointed out, she almost always falls for what those on her side of the aisle claim.

Some dwelled on her curious defense of Jim Jordan, which wasn’t quite the rebuttal she was hoping for.

Speaking of learning lessons, some drudged up her defense of Donald J. Trump.

And her support for Kavanaugh.

And her other faults.

Some refused to believe she was even a true moderate.

We’re still a ways away from the committee concluding its fact-finding mission, but the odds are good that whatever they turn up, Collins will claim the day’s perpetrators will learn some valuable lessons.