Should a Pro-Pot, Anti-NSA Democrat Unseat Sen. Susan Collins (RINO-Maine)?


Updated at 4:00 P.M. E.T: Go here to read "Would Maine Democrat Shenna Bellows Really Look Forward to Working with 'Nutcase' Rand Paul on Civil Liberties?"

The Daily Beast introduces readers to Shenna Bellows, Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate who is taking on Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) in the Vacationland State.

The thrust of her pitch is about a government that is doing too much, or that is at least doing the wrong things. Not repairing roads and bridges so much as spying on its citizens and collecting their data. She is calling for a full repeal of the Patriot Act and massive curbs on the National Security Agency's surveillance  programs. She wants marijuana legalized—not just decriminalized or used for medical purposes—and calls for full marriage equality in every state.

"What is new, what politicians haven't done in the past is campaigned on marijuana legalization and stopping NSA spying," she says, tugging awkwardly at the hem of her blue skirt suit. 

Bellows, 39, is a former leader of the ACLU, and says she is "really excited to work on issues of civil liberties with Republicans like Rand Paul and Justin Amash."

The incumbent Collins is one of the last "moderate" Republicans around, meaning that she is constantly assailed by conseratives as a RINO (Republican in Name Only). Imagine that: a Democrat who is objectively against the NSA and says, "we need to limit government intrusion into people's lives, absolutely." Bellows is also pro-pot, abortion, and marriage equality, all of which appeal to libertarians, right?

As always, there's a catch.

"I was honored to be called the Elizabeth Warren of civil liberties,"… Bellows is sounding all the Warrenesque Democratic populist notes on economic fairness, talking up student-loan debt, and her own backstory—growing up in a house without indoor plumbing or electricity to a father who was a carpenter and a mother who was a home health aide and working herself as "Subway Sandwich Artist" to help pay her way through college. She talks a lot about climate change, too.

Read the whole story here.

Exit question: If you're in Maine and you're a libertarian (note the lower-case L) or a member of the Libertarian Party (which is not running a candidate), who would you vote for?

Collins is generally terrible on most things from a small government perspective (she likes increased spending and was one of three Republicans to vote for Obama's stimulus; she doesn't have a problem with state surveillance, etc.). Bellows is great on at least a few things and awful-sounding on government spending. From a libertarian or Libertarian perspective, are ringing endorsements of civil liberties, drug legalization, and marriage equality enough to vote Democratic?

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  1. Being called “The Elizabeth Warren [insert noun]” is generally not a good thing.

    -Capt. Obvious

  2. Yeah, I’d hit Shenna Bellows. The other one? Naw.

    Wait, what were we talking about…??

    /Jimmuh Carter

    1. Yeah, I’d hit Shenna Bellows.

      Well, she is the Elizabeth Warren of fellatio.

        1. *narrows gaze*

          mumblemumblemumble….saw what you did…

      1. Well, she is the Elizabeth Warren of fellatio.

        She didn’t blow that?

  3. As always, there’s a catch.

    “I was honored to be called the Elizabeth Warren of civil liberties,”.

    That’s a pretty big one.

    1. Fatal. Besides, given how horrific the Dems in Congress have been, coupled with years left on the worst administration since the last worst administration. . .nah.

      1. How will her efforts of always trying to catch Major Nelson at his highjinks, going to affect her ability to govern?

  4. So, Giant Douche or Turd Sandwich?

    1. The punch line is that you get a giant turd sandwich douche anyway.

  5. New England is home the two dumbest members of Congress: Warren and Sanders.

    1. Sheila Jackson Lee will fight to the death to bring that dubious honor home to Texas.

      1. What about the Guam tipping over guy?

        I thought that was just a joke playing up a gaffe for a long time, but after seeing the video of the exchange about Guam, I think that guy might actually be retarded.

      2. Boxer and Feinstein might have something to say about that title.

        1. While Stabenow and Levin draw breath, it’s at least a contest…

          1. You know, congress really is loaded up with idiots. It’s hard to narrow it down to just a few.

  6. I can live with Warren-esque comparisons if she’ll commit to keeping taxpayer money at home, and not giving it away to such undeserving entities as the current Kiev regime.

    1. Explain to me how this “commit” thing works with someone not contractually obligated to honor campaign promises.

  7. Someone tell her all about Venezuela.

    1. That’s only because the right people weren’t in charge. And also because of the hoarders, wreckers, and kulaks.

  8. It’s so cute!

    Thinking that voting for the lesser of two evils matters!

    1. It does.

      1. Its tinkering at the margins. Its the equivalent of using fix-a-flat on the titanic. Its a band-aid where a tourniquet is needed. Its a lobody where decapitation is called for.

        1. It’s something, and doing something pisses off the emo-tarians around here.

          Scott Brown’s election forced Obamacare to be passed without certain legislation that assures that repealing part of it won’t kill all of it. We may yet have our day thanks to him, awful as he was on other issues.

          1. Fair enough. I almost always vote for shitty republicans for state assembly and senate in my thoroughly blue district of California. I’m aware that there are circumstances where the derp is so strong that any progress must be made at the margins.

            1. Hey, I do that too! Small world.

      1. Trick question: The lesser evil is the one who is getting labeled as evil from both sides.

  9. I’d vote Bellows. The Dems are a Borg collective at this point with almost no gaps. More gaps means they can evolve to something less shitty. Also, Collins is awful so it would help get rid of her.

    1. Yeah, fuck collins. Thanks to her, we get this wonderful fubar’d program called Obamacare. She had the power to stop it, and she didn’t use it.

      1. I seriously doubt that Dr. Bellows would have voted any differently.

      2. Hunh? Obamacare passed without any Republican support. From Wikipedia:

        “Collins opposed President Barack Obama’s health reform legislation; she voted against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in December 2009,[37] and she voted against the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.[38]”

    2. Yeah, but they’ll close that gap by whipping her into line, not be making any meaningful efforts towards her position.

      1. You don’t know that. That hasn’t been the case with Wyden and I don’t think it’s the case with Brooker.

        Pro-freedom advocates have to play whatever they have in The Two Parties. Doing so could even give the TP a new lease on life.

        1. I don’t know, Ron Wyden and Mark Udall are still making noise against the NSA spying, and so far Di-Fi hasn’t busted out the whips and chains on them. Also Jared Polis in the house isn’t too bad about the NSA stuff and favors MJ legalization, but I don’t think Pelosi has taken him down to her punishment dungeon yet either.

          Let those two mental images soak in a bit…

          1. That was supposed to be a reply to Sudden. Fucking squirrels.

            1. What is an appropriate reply to sudden fucking squirrels, anyway?

    3. The Dems are a Borg collective

      It’s not so much that as that they are good at convincing their voters that Republicans are pure evil. There is a broader diversity of political views in the D party than the Rs, I’d say. They are just better at the Team shit.

      1. There is a broader diversity of political views in the D party than the Rs, I’d say.

        I would say the opposite. They have pure Borg for years and only now are we starting to see some cracks.

        1. Yes and no. The present a good unified front, but think about the major constituencies of the party. Unions aren’t necessarily very socially liberal or gay or minority friendly. Black people tend to be more opposed to gay marriage and such than the general population. Views on gun restrictions are a lot more varied than many seem to believe.
          There are a lot of similar rifts and conflicts in the Republican party too, but to my eyes the base constituencies are much less in opposition ideologically.

    4. economic fairness == injustice

      No thank you.

  10. I’d go with Bellows. If the incumbent isn’t good, then toss them out and maybe their party changes course next election cycle.

  11. She’d be another vote for Harry Reid, that’s all that counts.

    1. Or Collins ends up another vote for Mitch McConnell. Its poison all the way down.

  12. She’s a former director at the ACLU and then slams the Supreme Court’s McCutcheon ruling??

    She studied economics and is a command/control leftist??

    No. Fuck no. Sorry.

  13. Bellows is also pro-pot, abortion, and marriage equality, all of which appeal to libertarians, right?

    Also, I didn’t realize we were trying to start a 500+ comment abortion thread….

    1. Well it is a Friday.

    2. The real question is where does she stand on deep dish vs. thin crust pizza?

      1. And don’t forget circumcision.

      2. No the real question here is “How old do you think the earth is”

    3. Is she pro-prostitution? The more trolls that claim up from under their bridges, the better.

      1. Climb* up to claim welfare

  14. I dunno. I voted for Two Term Collins for her third term. Not voting for her fourth. Not voting for anyone who supports social justice either.

  15. If her father was a carpenter, why couldn’t he hook up indoor plumbing or electricity?

    Does stupid run in the family?

    1. carpenter != plumber

      carpenter != electrician

      Does stupid run in your family?

      1. While that is true, most of the carpenters I know can do basic plumbing and electric. They don’t do it much for pay because that is illegal, but they can.

    2. I wonder if by carpenter, she means he was a hippy artisan that made tables. If he did framing and knew some tradesmen, then he could’ve pulled something together at his house.

      1. Or maybe he was just a drunk.

        1. There are carpenters that aren’t?

          1. Some are other things too.

    3. Because the services cost money even if you can run the pipes?

      1. If you are in rural Maine, there aren’t no services for your pipes. You need to dig a well and install a septic system, which isn’t cheap either.

        1. The town hall in my Maine town is on a well and septic.

          Tell you one thing, if I ever move I’m going to miss the water. Best dang tap water I’ve ever tasted.

          1. Believe it or not, NYC also has good tap water, because it comes from reservoirs in the Catskills.

  16. I think we are better off with Republicans gaining control of the Senate even if it means re-electing a RINO.

    But yeah my head pretty much just exploded.

    1. That’s the trouble. Even though there are RINOs & DINOs, there are enough party line votes, and the Republicans’ party line votes are usually so much better than the Democrats’, that it makes a RINO better than a DINO. Still, it would be nicer to have this Bellows in committees than Collins. Hard to evaluate unless you’re an expert.

  17. Imagine that: a Democrat who is objectively against the NSA and says, “we need to limit government intrusion into people’s lives, absolutely.”

    I seem to recall another Democrat who said stuff like that, until he got elected President and apparently had some of his more damning emails and phone calls shown to him by the NSA, who said tow the lion or else.

    Or so I surmise.

    I’m sure she SAYS she’s for this stuff, before the Majority (perhaps Minority after this election cycle) Whip tells her to tow the lion or else.

    1. Udall and Wyden are still knocking the NSA. One is not a trend and she’s not running for president.

      1. If all Democrats were more like Wyden, I could see a stronger case for voting D.

        Most are terrible on most if not all issues.

    2. Pretty much this. Her lips were moving when she said all that, right?

    3. I will bet everything I own that there is a catch. I’m guessing she would love to further intrude on my economic life, take even more of my income to give to people she considers more important.

      Freedom is freedom – I’ll not get excited about a Dem paying lip-service to civil-liberties while hating economic freedom. She’s just a Fascist who likes dope.

  18. She can’t be worse than Collins, except for one thing; she will vote for Harry Reid as majority leader. All things being equal, I would love to see Collins go down. Indeed, if I knew, the Republicans were taking the Senate anyway, I would be happy to see this woman win. I don’t see how she is enough of an improvement, however, to justify keeping Reid in charge of the Senate.

    1. I would love to see Collins go down.

      Barfman says “Barf!”

    2. But Collins will vote for Bitch McConnel!

  19. Rated one of the least likely seats to flip:…..4FIXED.php

  20. I guess “RINO” means “consistent.” If you’re a TRUE Republican, you only vote for big government when you’re in the majority.

  21. It’s a tough call. We need more pro civil liberties votes in Congress (both houses) if we ever want to begin to reverse the government’s encroachments in those areas. But I’d also be worried if there are too many “full progtards” to push through economic idiocy.

    IOW, I’d be inclined to support her if there were also a way to limit the number of economic ingnoramuses (ignorami?) in congress. That way she could “work on issues of civil liberties with Republicans like Rand Paul and Justin Amash,” while not being in a position to do much damage to the economy with her command/ control idiocy.

    1. I think that the coming GOP wave will stop us from going full progtard on economics in the immediate future. We’ll need civil libertarians to counter the trogs in Team Red and boost its bright lights.

  22. …and calls for full marriage equality in every state.

    Why not leave the word marriage out of it and just call for good ol’ fashion equality for everyone? Real equality doesn’t provide special privileges for one class of people over another, despite all the lofty rhetoric from gays who don’t want equality so much as a piece of the special privileges pie.

    1. Because it’s not true love unless it’s recognized by the government.

    2. despite all the lofty rhetoric from gays who don’t want equality so much as a piece of the special privileges pie.

      But you don’t understand, one of those special priveledges is the ability to force “homophobic” bakers and florists to serve you over their religious objections. What’s the point of having the state recognize your relationship if you can’t also force some bigot to cater your reception party?

  23. Bellows is also pro-pot, abortion, and marriage equality, all of which appeal to libertarians, right?

    Jesus, Nick, trolling your own blog post?

  24. From a libertarian or Libertarian perspective, are ringing endorsements of civil liberties

    uhhhhhhhhh not exactly, Nick…

    “Today the Supreme Court ruled yet again in favor of big money in politics, further undermining our democracy,” said Bellows.

    1. Hey, she’s almost 20% less shitty than the other candidate!

  25. Rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic, all of it. If you enjoy that, great. You wanna yell at me for not voting? Great. None of it amounts to anything.

    You don’t believe that? Do what you want. Me, I’m not wasting time trying to save a nation that’s already brain dead, and just waiting for the heart to stop pumping.

    You wanna talk Article V convention? Now I’m interested…

    1. You wanna talk Article V convention? Now I’m interested…

      And risk the proggies “fixing” the second amendment, or the first? No thanks.

      1. A new country, or none at all. This one’s done. I’m willing to take aa chance one Art V. Anything else is just Titanic Rescue Theater.

    2. I want to talk about General Order 24.



  27. “I was honored to be called the Elizabeth Warren of civil liberties,”

    Well, if it gets the authoritatrian Social Justice suckers to unwittingly vote for a liberaltarian, what the heck.

    Somebody should ask her if she would call 911 if she saw her neighbor’s kid building a tree house.

  28. I wouldn’t vote for either one. Bellows is definitely the better of the two on civil liberties.

  29. As long as she can be used as a cudgel to beat the RNC with, I’m fine with it. It’s not like losing Collins would cause the world to end.

  30. Doesn’t really matter. As a Maine resident I can confidently say that the seat belongs to Collins until she chooses to give it up. No way she’ll lose.

  31. As a Maine resident I can confidently say that the seat belongs to Collins until she chooses to give it up. No way she’ll lose.

    Incumbency has its advantages.

    1. So does bringing home the bacon.


    Dems are going to come out of the woodwork promoting ‘libertarian’ themes, WHILE denouncing libertarians ‘sexism and racism’ and insist that they were against the Patriot Act and the NSA like, ALL ALONG?

    And Tulpa will send in Bo to ask us, “But why do you not love these new and improved politicians? Are they not what you want? It is because you are all SoCons, I presume?”


  33. Notice that the Civil Liberties she claims to support don’t include the Second Amendment? You only get the freedoms she approves of.

    That alone would probably cost her the election in Maine.

  34. WTF does the hem tug have to do with anything? Why would the original author think that was relevant?

    1. Because it “puts us there, on the scene”. Frustrated novelist, maybe?

      I’m proofreading & copy editing a friend’s instructional materials and fantasy & sci-fi novels & stories. He’s a control freak over the readers, thinks it’s a problem that Tolkien readers can argue over whether hobbits have pointy ears because the author didn’t specify.

  35. D = mark of the beast.

  36. On the chance that Susan Collins will be the 51st Repub Senator, then I say Vote for the RINO!

    Republican control of the Senate will cause conniptions for the Obama regime, from investigations, repeal bills no longer dying lost and alone, and (most important) appointments.

  37. Nope, as soon as she’s elected she will be made to tow the party line, and not a goosestep off beat.

    1. She might go all Ron Wyden on them, but I would not hold my breath for anyone who praises Elizabeth Warren.

  38. Not that Collins isn’t horrendous, but the Dems have a track record of outright lying. While Bellows has worked for the ACLU, which has been refreshingly fair about many issues during the Obama reign, it does seem like she tows the Democrat party line except on issues that are resonating with voters.

    As soon as she gets in, it’s a sure thing she will switch tacks right away and be against drug legalization and privacy rights. She’s just saying that because those are some of the main issues that voters are veering away from Democrats for.

    It’s basically known, if honest, monster versus a lying monster who may help Harry Reid, a monster even worse than both Collins and Bellows.

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