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

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

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

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

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

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, was subjected to threats of sexual
assault and even death ahead of the Senate’s vote in early October on the
nomination 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 her
Washington office was told by the caller that “if I voted ‘yes’ for Justice
Kavanaugh that he hoped she would be raped and impregnated.”

The four-term senator—a centrist targeted by Kavanaugh’s liberal
opponents as a possible “no” vote—likewise recalled being confronted outside
her Washington home by a man who shone a flashlight in her face and began
videotaping 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 a
crucial vote to advance the Kavanaugh nomination on a 51-49 vote and to confirm
him 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 the
accusations leveled against him of sexual assault dating back to his high
school days were entirely uncorroborated. She said that to have done otherwise
would 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’s
April 7 announcement of Pelosi’s selection for its award, a Burlington, Maine,
woman appeared in federal court to face charges of mailing a threatening letter
to 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, per the local paper.

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

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

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

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

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

Caroline Kennedy and her son, Jack Schlossberg, declared that
Pelosi was also chosen for “leading the effort to retake the majority and elect
the most diverse Congress in our nation’s history” and for doing so “against a
wave 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 book
of the same name, has a long history of being given mostly
to Democrats and liberals, and for supporting liberal causes, dating back to its
inception nearly 30 years ago in 1990.

The 2018 award, for example, went to then-New Orleans Mayor Mitch
Landrieu, a Democrat, for taking down four Confederate statues. In 2017, it
went 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 to
resettle 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. Bob
Inglis, R-S.C., for flip-flopping to the liberal position on the issue of
climate change and supporting a carbon tax (2015); President George H.W. Bush
for reneging on his pledge not to raise taxes (2014); and Sen. John McCain for
championing his signature campaign-finance reform bill (1999).

The 2019 award will be presented to Pelosi at a
ceremony May 19 at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in
Boston.

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 of
Collins and in the interest of truth in advertising, the award should be renamed
the Profile in Liberal Courage Award.

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