Thursday, June 26, 2014

And That Makes 57!

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME)
Apparently it's Susan Collins week on the blog.  The senior senator from Maine became the 57th senator to endorse gay marriage, and the fourth Republican to do so (after Rob Portman, Mark Kirk, and Lisa Murkowski).  The timing of this seems quite appropriate on-paper (the Human Rights Campaign had just issued an endorsement of Collins once again this past week), but I have to say I'm a bit stumped as to why Collins didn't endorse much earlier.  While Portman, Kirk, and Murkowski have all had their votes in favor of gay-rights in the past, Collins has been the only Republican in Congress (save perhaps Ileana Ros-Lehtinen) to be a genuine leader on legislation close to the hearts of gay Americans and those that support them.  She was a fervent opponent of DADT and pushed hard to get it overturned, and is a supporter of ENDA.  I welcome her to the fold, but I hope at some point she writes a book and explains what took so long.

With Collins announcement, I'm a bit flummoxed as to who will be next.  I put 57 up top, though perhaps it should be 56 (I never know how to rank Mary Landrieu on this one).  The only two Democrats left are Joe Manchin and Mark Pryor, and neither seem likely to budge, though Pryor theoretically could if he wins reelection.  The sad truth is this number will probably go down before it goes up again.  Pro-gay marriage Sens. John Walsh, Jay Rockefeller, and Tim Johnson will almost assuredly be replaced by anti-gay marriage replacements, meaning that this number will probably deplete until 2016, though Michelle Nunn and Alison Lundergan Grimes have the potential to replace anti-gay marriage senators with pro-gay marriage senators (vote, people!).  About the only senator I could see turning around aside from Pryor (and, depending on how you consider her, Landrieu) would be Kelly Ayotte, the only anti-gay marriage member of Congress left in New England, and one of the few Republicans who represents a state that has legalized gay marriage.  She'd be my guess if I had to pick one anyway.

(Note: I'm aware this has been politics 24/7 for the past week or so-that'll change with the next post as I'll be putting up a few reviews and getting to some more cinematic-posts if that's what your TMROJ cup of tea is).

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