Two separate pieces, the second an official editorial for the Washington Examiner. Links to full pieces are embedded in the headlines for each.

Maine’s Susan Collins is a superb public servant (Oct. 28): For the good of the whole country, the most important reelection campaign in the U.S. Senate is that of Republican Susan Collins of Maine. Collins is even more important for the good of Maine.

Collins faces a tough, strangely well-funded challenger this year in liberal Democrat Sara Gideon, the speaker of Maine’s House of Representatives. Gideon is running what, by official measure of the Wesleyan Media Project, is one of the nation’s most negative Senate campaigns, with 49.7% of her ads being of the “pure attack” variety. It’s a departure from Maine’s tradition of less-nasty politics — and bizarre against Collins, whose 24-year career has made her the epitome of old-fashioned, bipartisan graciousness.

To be clear, Collins is not at all as conservative as are many of us who have 40+-year records as Republican Reaganites. If conservative ideological purity were all that mattered, her race would barely register on the radar. There is a difference between ideological purity and consistency of principles, and Collins fully embodies the latter. Some officeholders are “moderate” because they are weak enough to be blown by the prevailing political winds, but those such as Collins act on sincerely moderate convictions, with a readily discernible intellectual consistency.

That’s why Collins is so valuable to the entire American political system: In an era of awful polarization, she’s the North Star of reasoned, trustworthy centrism that helps forge consensus….

Editorial: McConnell does well in confirming conservative judges (Oct. 29): …Against leftist Democratic obstructionism (and, oft-times, smears), it is quite an accomplishment for Majority Leader McConnell to have held his focus and his colleagues together to confirm 220 federal judges, including Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court….


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