The Maine delegation to the Republican National Convention next week is a hot mess.
For those of you who haven’t been paying attention to this evolving soap opera – and trust me I don’t blame you for not – an internal fight within the Republican Party has emerged over who is going to Tampa to represent the state.
As more time passes in the race to fill the U.S. Senate seat currently occupied by Senator Olympia Snowe, one thing is becoming abundantly clear: Cynthia Dill is the only hope Mainers have of defeating Angus King.
Not because she is a threat to win, of course. I’ve noted since the beginning that Dill will be coming in last in this race, and by a rather substantial margin.
I have a confession to make. The Constitution compels me to rip out what remains of my hair.
Not for what it is, of course. As a conservative, I have a well established love of the document, what it means and what it represents. I think that for all its flaws, it and particularly the Bill of Rights, is an ingenious and invaluable advancement in self-government and personal liberty for the world.
For longer than anyone alive can remember, the culture of Maine politics has been one of collaboration, deference, respect, pleasantness and accommodation. Republicans and Democrats, while philosophically opposed, always seemed to get along well, work together and keep the poisonous political ankle-biting to a minimum.
Politics is replete with sports metaphors. A great debate performance can be a “home run” for a candidate, causing his opponent to be up “against the ropes,” before he is delivered a “knockout blow” by a great commercial. In 2008, Mitt Romney became famous for talking about first, second and third place primary showings as “gold, silver and bronze,” a nod to his own Olympic back story.
It was December of 2010, and Congress was in a protracted battle over a host of issues, including an extension of expiring tax cuts, the Defense Authorization bill which included a contentious repeal of the so-called Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) policy, and the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.
On the evening of May 1, 2011, I was settled in for a quiet night. My cellphone was dead, nothing was on television, and I was half asleep on my couch ready to go to bed.
Suddenly, as I continued to slip in and out of consciousness, I started seeing pictures of the White House on my screen. I read the text below the pictures, which said that we were awaiting a major announcement from the president.
Say what you want about Paul LePage, the man is doing exactly what he told you he was going to do when he was running for office. You may not like what he does, but in an age where all too often silver-tongue, polished, over-consulted, wishy-washy, power-hungry politicians say one thing and then do another once elected, it is at least refreshing to know what to expect from the person in charge.