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Susan Collins, Brett Kavanaugh and the myth of the brave, principled Republican

Susan Collins, Brett Kavanaugh and the myth of the brave, principled Republican
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) speaks on Friday to the Senate about her decision to vote for Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Supreme Court. (Associated Press)

To the editor: Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) relinquished her moment to be a hero.

She had the weight of the nation on her shoulders, and I cannot imagine the pressure she felt. She had the eyes and ears of the entire country on her and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to stand up and tell the truth: that despite whether or not she believed Christine Blasey Ford, it is indisputable that Brett Kavenaugh proved himself to be wholly biased and temperamentally unqualified for his appointment to the Supreme Court.

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But instead, she put party before country and threw away the moment that would have solidified her bravery and political integrity for the rest of her life. This is a sad time for women and a tragic moment for our democracy.

Yvette Roman Davis, Los Angeles

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To the editor: Sens. Collins, Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) are profiles in courage and comity.

By voting to confirm Kavanaugh — a singular example of forthrightness, impartiality and judicial temperament — they showed that we cannot allow “the mob,” which some might mistakenly call “the people,” to influence our representatives. Congress should listen to the true people, corporations, which wield their influence tastefully, with money.

By voting yes, they let the mob know that a male nominee may get emotional, but not the clearly gullible and confused women who dared protest his appointment.

By voting yes, they went out on a lonely limb to embolden officeholders to courageously dismiss women who have the gall to demand that they be taken seriously.

By voting yes, they have stepped out of Flake’s elevator and into Sen. Orrin Hatch’s (R-Utah). Bravo.

Linda Cordeiro, Los Angeles

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To the editor: Democrats upset by Kavanaugh’s confirmation have only themselves to blame.

In 2013, the then-Democratic majority in the Senate invoked the “nuclear option” to eliminate the 60-vote threshold for ending debate on judicial confirmations except for the Supreme Court. Republicans thus felt justified in exercising the same option in 2017 to get Neil Gorsuch onto the Supreme Court.

If 60 votes had been required in the Gorsuch nomination, perhaps Judge Merrick Garland would have been seen as an ideal compromise candidate by both political parties. Certainly, under a similar scenario, Kavanaugh would have had no chance of being confirmed.

Talk about being hoisted by one’s own petard.

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Michael Thorpe, Oxnard

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To the editor: I feel sick with sadness and despair. I am 71.

As a young woman I grew up in a time when abortion wasn’t legal. Getting pregnant was the end, if not of your life, of all opportunity to become something. It meant forced marriage, dropping out of school, being shipped off to have the baby somewhere else so you didn’t shame your family, or getting a back-alley abortion. It meant shame.

I did not think it was fair to bring up allegations from high school. People hopefully mature and become responsible adults. For me, this confirmation hearing was about Kavanaugh’s stance on the right to an abortion.

For generations we have been fighting for reproductive freedom. It is an underpinning of autonomy for women. I feel sick over what Kavanaugh’s confirmation means for women in the future.

Gale Jaffe, Los Angeles

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To the editor: Prove us wrong, Justice Kavanaugh.

Show us what an ultra-thin majority of the Senate sees in you that most of my fellow citizens do not. Show us that the sniveling, partisan, self-victimizing bully we witnessed during the recent hearings does not reflect your true judicial self.

If the nation assumes you were displaying your better self (as one usually would in a job interview), we should all be worried. Prove us wrong.

Fred Lynch, Westminster

Follow the Opinion section on Twitter @latimesopinion and Facebook.

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