On Tuesday, September 21st, the Senate will vote on whether or not to take up the issue of repealing the military's anti-gay policy of "Don't Ask Don't Tell." It is expected to be a close call, with Republicans holding a solid front - even GOP opponents of DADT, Maine Senators Olympia Snow and Susan Collins look like they won't stray from their party.
Kevin Kelley, Collins' spokesman, indicated that the Senator had no intentions of voting against the measure despite opposing it - the Republicans seem to be upset because Democratic leaders seem unwilling to allow GOP amendments. "She [Collins] would like the Senate to proceed to a full and open debate on the Defense Authorization bill, with members able to offer amendments on all relevant issues," said Kelley.
Snowe and Collins are not up for reelection until 2012 and 2014, respectively, and I presume they are deciding to side with their party to help their party's performance at the polls this fall. They don't have to worry about angering the base this close to the election but they do have to worry about being shunned by their party, and presuming the GOP picks up some seats this cycle, come 2012 and 2014, the GOP will not have to depend as heavily on the two senators and could take a gamble on some upstart politicians or teabaggers (assuming the tea parties are still around in a couple years).
It will be shameful should the two from Maine choose to side with the GOP...