Last Saturday the Maine Republican Party convened its first State Committee meeting since their disastrous election this past November. The Committee elected Richard Cebra and Beth O’Conner as State Chair and Vice-Chair respectively. Charles Maharelis was reelected Secretary, while Ben Lombard was voted Treasurer. This rather benign announcement belies the monumental step the Maine Republican Party has taken this past weekend.
This columnist has tried to avoid writing about the Republican Committee. First, as much of their deliberations are tactic oriented and meant to be confidential to the committee, I have made a promise to keep them as such, and I take my promises seriously. Second, the Committee for the past year and half has been in such disarray, filled with so much mudslinging, backbiting, paranoia and narcissism that not much orientation of tactics had been accomplished, which was evident in the polls. Quite frankly, the Maine Republican State Committee was too embarrassing to write about.
The grand wizards of punditry have pontificated ad nauseum to the whys and the wherefores regarding the failures of the Maine Republican Party and its expected demise. There is a straightforward, clear and honest explanation to the GOP failure and it is reflective of the straightforward, clear and honest Maine people that voted them out of power. The Maine Republican Party humiliated the people of their State and the people punished them in the polls.
The Maine Conservative Voice has long held the opinion that Maine residents hold Republicans on a much shorter leash than the Democrats. They know full well the dishonesty and deceit of Democrats and have come to expect no more and no less. But they expect more of Republicans because we stand for more, and then… never deliver.
While Maine Republicans had great accomplishments in these past two years, it was lost in the unbridled zealotry and bickering, which exploded onto the public at the Maine Republican Convention in Augusta. Maine residents prefer to be left to themselves, away from public scrutiny. In short, they don’t like the national spotlight, especially when it comes wrapped in the scorn and ridicule of the nation from the public spectacle, which was the Maine Republican Party.
So now the Republicans emerge painfully from the woodshed, with, hopefully, a new perspective. It seems perhaps they are learning at least one lesson. Maine people prefer to see a tight and tidy ship. A good team presents a better picture of trustworthiness, than a thousand loud and strident voices, all vying for attention.
In the race for State Chair, the campaign seemed bound for more dissent and disaster as threats and insults whirled throughout the Internet. There was even enough deceit and deception to make the Democrats proud. But one leader stepped forward to make a difference. Beth O’Conner stood before the State Committee body this past Saturday, and withdrew her name from contention, imploring her fellow Republicans to be unified for the sake of our beloved State. Then Richard Cebra, in another strong act of leadership, stepped forward to embrace his opponent and continue his own call for unity.
So the question now remains, will the Republicans follow the example of their new leaders? Will they heed the painful reminders in the woodshed on their backsides and give the people what they want? Will they start to become that strong cohesive team that fights for the State of Maine and is not distracted by anything else? Time will tell and we don’t have much of it. So let’s get back to work, as a team, and Set Maine Free!