Sen. Susan Collins meets with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. (Zach Gibson/Getty Images)
BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- You know the old cliché: “You can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar.”
You would think folks from Maine, where most of May and June are devoted to battling the invasion of the black flies, would understand the meaning of that phrase.
But apparently the activists lobbying Republican Maine Sen. Susan Collins to vote against confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court are so upset about his nomination that they’ve lost touch with their own local folk wisdom. Instead of using honey or other persuasive arts, a coalition of anti-Kavanaugh activists are threatening Collins with the mother’s milk of politics--money. They’ve raised more than a million dollars in pledges that will be returned to the donors if Collins votes against Kavanaugh but donated to her opponent in the next election if she votes yes.
“We will get you out of office,” they promise.
Unsurprisingly, this doesn’t seem to sit well with Collins. And while her spokeswoman says “threats or other attempts to bully her will not play a factor in her decision making,” would it surprise you to find out later that it helped push her toward approval of the nominee?
People don’t like to be threatened. It’s the quickest way to get someone’s back up. Democrats re-learned this the hard way when they forced people who didn’t want it to buy Obamacare or face a tax penalty. President Trump reaps the bitter harvest of his threats against the press every day.
People have a right to decide Sen. Collins lacks spine and needs a push. But as the Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho once put it: “Only a fool makes threats, and only another fool feels threatened.”
You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. Listen to his previous podcasts on iHeartRadio.
Listen to Jon's commentary: