Friday, September 26, 2008

Shelved moralities

A Maine newspaper did a story this week on women and voting in the presidential election. The only organized political woman's voice in the State House is the Maine Women's Lobby. They claim to speak for all Maine women. They don't, of course.

They are, however, powerful. They installed their former leader in the Labor Department as Commissioner by hook and by crook. She was unqualified for the job. It was corrupt political payback, plain and simple. Laura Fortman is no more qualified to serve as Labor Commissioner than I am qualified to teach quantum physics. I fear they may have overly influenced the leadership of the Maine Republican Party as well.

The article includes comments by a GOP leader. While I appreciate the fact that he defended Sarah Palin in the news article he didn't tell half the story. He said, "The Palin factor has yet to play out fully in Maine." Fortunately he doesn't stop there. He continues, but stops short of telling the most important part of her story. He continues, "She's quite an outdoorswoman, her husband is a world champion snowmobiler ... I think she really connects with Mainers."

Having enjoyed my fair share of hour long interviews with reporters that end up featuring one sentence I will readily allow that he wasn't fully quoted. However, not mentioning Palin's pro family and pro life credentials is a fine-tuned strategy in the Maine GOP.

Driven less by the facts than by fear of our liberal media the Maine GOP has developed an allergy to conservative Christians. It's a hard thing to be allergic to your base. I hate the summer because my allergies kick up and I become hard to be around. Just ask my wife. My nose runs. My eyes water. I sneeze and have to blow my nose. I'm just not very pleasant.

This reminds me of the Maine GOP for the past few decades. They sniff along making excuses for their base, hoping we'll hide in a closet. They pretend we don't exist. And you know what, as a matter of showing up to lick stamps, put up signs, send money and do basic activism -- we don't exist anymore. Social liberals have effectively run the social conservatives out of the party.

The results of this failed political strategy on the part of Maine's GOP business-minded, low tax crusading leadership is obvious. The Maine GOP is fast becoming irrelevant. Perhaps someone needs to remind the leaders of the GOP that they have completely lost power in the State House, and the prospects for this election season are grim ... to say the least.

Collins and Snowe hold onto power using special interest money. They don't need the Maine GOP base to get reelected. All the special interest money at the state level is moving to the Democrats. We are fast becoming Massachusetts. Some Republicans have their hands out to the growing power in Maine -- gambling. I predict political defeat for any Republican who claims to be pro family while cozying up to the gambling lobby.

Probably the best hope is the Maine Heritage Policy Center. Their strategy is, however, weak because it is cold like money. That's because that is what they are about -- money, lowering taxes. That's good, but it isn't enough. The Maine GOP needs a heart. And the heart of the Republican message today is obviously upholding and defending traditional family values. Defending a common sense sexual ethic.

One GOP leader had the perfect opportunity while defending Palin to offer up a public apologetic along these lines. He didn't. Until we see leaders taking a principled and courageous stand on abortion and homosexuality the Maine GOP is, unfortunately, displaying its dedication to destruction.

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