Noth­ing cow­ardly about it

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While I ex­pected a vig­or­ous re­sponse to Sen. Su­san Collins’s (R-Maine) speech be­fore her vote to con­firm Judge Brett M. Ka­vanaugh to the Supreme Court, I did not ex­pect Dana Mil­bank’s Oct. 7 Sun­day Opin­ion col­umn, “Collins’s Dec­la­ra­tion of Cow­ardice.”

Re­gard­less of whether you agree with Ms. Collins, her ac­tions were not cow­ardly. In­deed, in de­fy­ing the many per­sonal threats and hys­ter­i­cal mobs in and out­side the Capi­tol, she was brave and coura­geous to refuse to cower be­fore such an on­slaught. To in­fer that to avoid the la­bel of cow­ard, she must re­nounce Pres­i­dent Trump and all his works smacks of an au­thor­i­tar­ian mind-set that is sadly the norm for to­day’s po­lit­i­cal left, a move­ment un­wor­thy in­deed to bear the word “lib­eral.” Nowhere in his col­umn did Mr. Mil­bank men­tion due process, one of our most pre­cious rights and about which Ms. Collins spoke as a prin­ci­pal rea­son for her vote.

I write as a woman born in the 1940s, old enough to re­mem­ber both Mar­garet Chase Smith, the first woman to serve in both houses of Congress, and the time be­fore the Roe v. Wade de­ci­sion when abor­tion was il­le­gal and ef­fec­tive con­tra­cep­tion was dif­fi­cult to ob­tain and of­ten il­le­gal, too. I’ve been a staunch sup­porter of Planned Par­ent­hood and have decades of con­tri­bu­tions to prove it. It sad­dens me to see this wor­thy or­ga­ni­za­tion as­so­ci­ate it­self with the hate­spew­ing ex­trem­ism on dis­play re­cently.

Al­li­son Lewis, Vir­ginia Beach

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