The November wave election is done. The Dempocalypse or Demtastrophe or whatever the gleeful GOP pundits are calling it is behind us. The spectacle of our elections was on display. Few notice how little happened in the last two years, with the Congressional highlights being Sen. Rand Paul's filibuster and Sen. Cruz's filibuster that involved the government shutdown that was resolved, but really resolved nothing. Deficits are down thanks to a new stock bubble (cap gains taxes), and no tough decisions have been made about anything. As one commenter here remarked on an earlier post, what high flying industries from pre-2008 have really taken a hit after the 2008 hiccup? Forgetting the lack of bankers in jail or anything to fix structural problems, politics has descended deeper into tribal identification and "just win baby". A really nice display of this tribal identification and stupidity can be seen with a simple review of Maine's gubernatorial candidates.
Maine's Governor LePage (R) won re-election by several percentage points over US Congressman Mike Michaud (D). In the eyes of the progs, Governor LePage is a moronic, evil right wing, pro-business (spit), child hater, aligned with fat cats. Rep. Michaud is a cool guy who could be the first, openly gay governor (squeals). Local papers have been unkind to LePage, who has a habit of being Chris Christie honest combined with older guy blunt deliveries. Please check LePage's Wikipedia page for all the evil things he has said. The Washington Post even piled onto LePage from summer 2010, when he first looked like he'd win (going away). The first blow up was when LePage, campaign on the evils of Obamacare, told people he'd tell President Obama to go to h-e-l-l. Oh no he didn't! Michaud though is a cool guy, like totally cool, but we cannot quite figure out why we think he'd make a good executive. Simply being "R" or "D" is what shaped many people's views, but fortunately for LePage, Maine has enough elastic voters left who were fine with keeping him.
Did any good progressive bother to think of how things would look with parties reversed. Here's their biographies but given the cathedral washing with different party affiliation. Governor LePage (D) was born the poor son of French-Canadians like one fourth of you Mainers. He lived on the streets. At his first debate, he spoke French as part of one answer. Why? Because he is not afraid of his ethnic roots, he is open minded to multiculturalism, and he wanted to talk to the poor Franco-Americans of Maine to let them know, "He's one of them". LePage worked his way up from poor kid to leader of local industries because he had drive and ambition, and someone would not let his lack of English skills get in the way of him seeking an education. He uses colorful language as a charmismatic guy that you would drink a beer with. He is the kind of scrappy poor Mainah done good we need leading our state. Progs would weep. Rep. Michaud (R) is a former mill worker and union guy who went to Washington and turned his back on labor as many blue collar jobs have fled our state due to actions by guys like this evil, old white male. Hey, that Michaud guy never got around to marrying. I wonder if anything is wrong with him. Hey look, his Chief of Staff* loves show tunes and is also not married. What are we going to do, let an old white closet case run this state? Progs would be angry, maybe spit blood. Michaud could only come out as a Democrat; as a Republican he'd have to have a sham marriage (Crist) or stay in the closet. That is just with a switch of parties, because no matter what LePage did for the state, plenty of people went ballistic over anything the media had fun with at his expense. LePage knew who his real enemies were though. As he was at a drone pilot display, they got the governor joking, and he said he wouldn't mind flying a drone with missiles at the Portland Press Herald.
Neither of these guys would fix Maine's problems. Maine has a meh birth rate, and has the oldest average age of any state in America. It is blue infected culturally and suffers from brain drain due to its weak economy. Their manufacturing base is horrible, the environmental groups and Feds chased out much of the paper and lumber industry, and it's a nice quiet little place with long winters and a summer season that caters to wealthy citizens of Canada, New York and Massachusetts. Few people in the state (outside of school administrators) really see the problem, and even fewer see what will happen within the next ten years after mass die offs by their elderly population. Millennials in Portland will enjoy the new fusion cuisine spots in the Old Port. Millennials will work odd jobs related to tourism and then most likely leave the state. They will maybe get around to having, nah, I doubt they'll have time to have one kid. Without tackling any of these problems, Mainers will get a chance each couple of years to hate their political opponents, and follow whatever the papers and TV newscasters tell them about their candidates and opponents. The tribe can live on, as long as its managerial elite is at the helm. Since we can't fix any problems, just get me the win. That gumdrop of win will comfort me. My tribe won.
*Chief of Staff was Peter Chandler. I knew he was gay before I knew what gay meant. Mom was local teacher and politician. For some reason, her son would engage middle school kids 7 years younger than him in debates. No one ever asked about Michaud-Chandler the whole campaign, and Chandler almost ran for Michaud's open seat but decided against it.