This is a heartening story in The Nation about the effective activism of Alaskans, who persuaded Senator Lisa Murkowski to oppose DeVos.

They bombarded her with calls, emails, etc.

The question for Senator Murkowski and Senator Collins–who say they will vote against DeVos on the Senate floor–is why they didn’t vote against her in committee. If her nomination had been voted down in committee, it would never have reached the Senate as a whole. She was endorsed by the HELP committee by vote of 12-11. If only one of them had voted no, DeVos would now be history.

But they cannily approved her in committee, then announced they would vote no when their vote no longer was pivotal.

If every Republican votes for DeVos except for these two, the Senate will have a tie, 50-50. Mike Pence will then cast the tiebreaker and DeVos will be confirmed.

DeVos will become the first candidate for a Cabinet position in history to be endorsed by a tie-breaking vote by the Vice President.

I am not ready to offer any awards to Murkowski or Collins. Either one of them could have put an end to her candidacy in committee, and they didn’t. These are not profiles in courage.