Of Gloating, Stealth, and Maine Politics

 

There has been a lot of gloating and celebrating, both stateside and across the Nation, concerning the dismal poll numbers that Senator Susan Collins is facing should she choose to run for Governor of the state of Maine. I can understand the glee. Collins has thumbed her nose at conservatives in the Republican party, specifically here in Maine, for some time now. The perceived comeuppance is a shot of a heady euphoric to the tortured conservatives of Maine.

If only it were true. You forget, this is Maine. This is the state of browbeaten conservatives with liberals and progressives infiltrated to every facet of our political landscape. Libertarians, Republicans, and Independents are all havens to Maine’s strongest political force, Stealth Democrats and Liberals.

With social and fiscal conservatives shackled to the Republican Party like a battered slave with Stockholm Syndrome meekly rejoicing every election cycle when the GOP gets religion again and tosses out morsels of lies packaged as campaign promises if we will only hold our nose and vote for their candidate to perpetuity, the stealth liberals have been free to move and manipulate throughout every dark corner of Maine’s political spectrum and solidify an unbeatable system to victory. With little to no resistance to call them out, the Party of Stealth is alive and strong. They control everything.

The system is relatively new. It was concocted by Eliot Cutler and Angus King to usher in the King governorship and new passage for liberals to gain political power. It nearly worked for Cutler against Governor LePage. And it will work for Senator Susan Collins.

The plan is very simplistic which is why it is effective. Run as an Independent to exploit the strong independent fabric of Maine voters, in so doing you catapult over the primary mess that is Maine, and you weaken the establishment parties by culling much of their voters out. If Collins runs as a Republican, she is crushed in the primary which is why she won’t.

Susan Collins is a political machine and a veteran. She has played this game for much longer than those who are prematurely celebrating her demise. So here is a dose of reality.

If numbers hold the way they are for a Republican primary with Collins, she will leave the Party and run Independent. She will skirt the damage of a brutal primary. She will then be able to pull from her voting base, Republican liberals, liberal Independents, and a majority of Democrats.

Conservatives, such as I, may be tempted to gloat her dismal poll numbers. The satisfaction of not having to hold your nose to vote for Collins will be a brief heady high. Much to my chagrin, the prediction is an easy one to make. Susan Collins will be the next Governor of Maine but she will not be Republican.

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Double Down Double Standard (Non-Poetic Version)

 

It seems my recent poem has caused many to have an attack of the giggles. Perhaps they think its unmanly to write a poem…or…something. If so, then by all means stay away from such girlish pursuits as The Iliad , Beowulf, or even that silly little National Anthem of ours. We wouldn’t want to clutter your “open” mind. Just keep that wind tunnel of yours wide open and clear of any obstruction between both your ears and behind those vacant eyes.

Once again let me remind people, that my reason for the angst is not the picking of berries blue and red or the foraging of fiddleheads. Uh-oh, did I just rhyme again? Get over it! It’s the lack of respect for private property and ambivalence to the double standard conservatives portray.

Did you know that long before our foraging and hunting traditions here in Maine, our Founding Fathers put a high premium on private property? Yes, so much so they were willing to die for it. They challenged the most powerful Nation in the world at that time, Great Britain, for Life, Liberty, and Private Property.

Oh, I can hear giggles the more. “Idiot! Not only does he write poems but he screwed up the most famous line in American History!”(giggle snort) I am well aware the line reads Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, but do you know that line was originally drafted Life, Liberty, and Private Property.

I’m sure there are different reasons why it was changed. I can imagine they realized that one is not necessarily born endowed with private property, hence, the pursuit. Still, this shows that our Founders placed private property on a very high pedestal, a thing to be protected.

Much of the anger by conservatives here in Maine against landowners who asked for this foraging bill is really seeded in the fact that most of these major landowners are of a liberal persuasion. They have bought up large tracks of land and have begun to block hunting , foraging, and recreation on their land. Yes, it makes me angry, too.

But the fact of the matter remains, they still own the land. Still, the anger remains and the desire to use or block the legislature from defending their rights because they appose our will and our want seems, ahem, poetic justice. The question remains, what of the Constitution?

According to the Constitution, private property rights trump all including the Bill of Rights. For example, when I was campaigning during the Q3 referendum if a homeowner took exception to what I was saying they could order me off their property. I had to go and exercise my 1st Amendment rights elsewhere. If a homeowner objects to my sidearm on their property and demands I remove myself, I need to remove myself and exercise my 2nd Amendment rights elsewhere. The rights of the private landowner overrule our rights to hunting, foraging, and recreating. So take your various pursuits of happiness and pursue them elsewhere.

Sadly, it seems we are willing to preach the Constitution when it works in our favor but trample it when it doesn’t. The issue is more than foraging and hunting traditions, berries and fiddleheads. The question should be asked: Is the Constitution the foundation of the Republic for all citizens or just a weapon to wield against our opponents to win elections?

Whenever I write against this double standard among so-called conservatives, the immediate retaliation is, “No! We are going to teach them a lesson!” or “Now, they can know what it feels like!” I have been a conservative all my life but this double standard on so many issues, not just this, is not conservatism. It’s something I don’t recognize. The politics of retaliation and me first, the future be dammed. It seems we are not interested in winning elections to make the Republic stronger but simply to gain the power to inflict our double standard on our opponents, payback. And faster the pendulum swings…

Bad For Thee, Good For Me

 

I have made the public statement that I daily hope and pray that President-Elect Donald Trump will continue to prove me wrong. To this point, the overarching consensus from the TMCV (The Maine Conservative Voice) is that the future President has done the just that. I use the word “overarching” so the reader can assume the caveats implied.

For example, General Mattis is a fantastic pick for defense. He brings back the sense of a disciplined, tempered, steely, ferocity in our military that Americans are desperately needing to see in the forces that protect this Nation in the face of the unspeakable horrors that surround us. In contrast, if not just slightly, I think the jury is out on Betsy DeVos, for education. Much depends, sadly, on whether she was lying when she said she opposed common core or lying when she supported it.

This brings me to my final thought for today. A critique of not only of the President-Elect, but of Conservatives also. Let’s just call it, if I may fall back on some lingo from my birth state of Arizona, a burr or a bullhead in my saddle.

Under the file of “Bad for Thee,But not for Me”, the Carrier deal is crony capitalism plain and simple. You can’t slap Republican on something and somehow think it makes it right. That’s called hypocrisy….plain and simple. We railed against liberals for this. But now we celebrate it because it’s “our side” screwing with Free Market? It was wrong for Solyndra, it was wrong for GM, and it’s wrong for Carrier.

Again the pendulum swings and we are not trying to stop it. This is the burr in my saddle. We have always as Conservatives preached against the “end justifies the means” approach of liberals, yet much to my chagrin (I speak for myself), it seems many Conservatives had no problem employing said approach this election cycle.

The response I consistently hear as of late is “Hey, we won!” While I feel increasingly in the minority among those who profess to be my conservative allies, I still contend that, for me, social and fiscal conservatism is not a campaign tactic, but rather, a reflection of my core convictions. Perhaps I am a relic of the past that deserves to be kicked to the curb as some assert, but a quick perusal of history will confirm that the “end justifies the means” ascent to power only assures a destructive exposition in the end, of this I am certain.

I understand give and take. I understand compromise is essential to effective statesmanship. I probably break with many fellow conservatives when I say I think Mitt Romney would make an excellent Secretary of State. His calm, measured demeanor is sorely needed on the world stage. Yes, I am fully aware that he certainly lacks in his conservatism.

I differ with many of my learned and far more talented contemporaries, such as Matt Gagnon, when I say Sarah Palin would be a great pick for the VA. I think we have forgotten what propelled her to the Governorship. Remember, her dogged investigation of the corruption in the oil companies in Alaska?

This I say simply to point out that I understand the give and take among the conservative ranks. What I cannot fathom however is how some so easily abandon their professed convictions for “Hey,we won!” Yes, I am aware one former Governor of Alaska certainly was the first to seemingly toss conviction to the wind for “the win”.

So there is contention within the conservative ranks that must be resolved. Can a candidate be a person of conviction and be successful? Or must the candidate simply profess conviction as tactics to be removed and reinstated as political atmospheres dictate? Is there really a right or wrong? Or does it have to be the present cycle of “bad for thee but not for me”? I foresee some soul-searching in my horizon. Is soul-searching allowed in politics?