Franklin Countys First News

Politics & Other Mistakes: Affection affliction

Al Diamon

Let’s review a mildly fictionalized debate among the three Republican candidates for the 2nd Congressional District seat:

“I like Trump better than you.”

“You do not. I’m way more of a Trump fan than you.”

“You’re both wrong. I love Trump. Just love him.”

After reading this transcript, you might conclude the entire campaigns of Dale Crafts, Eric Brakey and Adrienne Bennett boil down to nothing more than trying to prove which one of them is the biggest Trump-humper.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

In addition to kissing the presidential posterior, each of these would-be U.S. representatives has an extensive platform that – by the most amazing of coincidences – exactly aligns with Trump’s positions. Close the borders. Cut welfare. Don’t wear a mask. Bring American troops home so they can invade our cities. Always carry a Bible in case there’s a photo-op.

Nevertheless, there are significant differences among them.

Brakey, a former Auburn state senator and unsuccessful 2018 U.S. Senate candidate, claims on his website to be a “tenth generation Mainer,” even though he was born in Ohio and didn’t move here until 2012. Brakey is all about freedom. By which he means guns. He believes you have a constitutional right to carry firearms wherever you like. But Brakey is no crazed extremist (well, actually, he is). He’s willing to recognize some limits on liberty. Those constraints start with women’s reproductive health care. Just because a female is allowed to tote an AR-15 doesn’t mean she can get an abortion.

Crafts is a former state representative from Lisbon, who’s been endorsed by ex-Gov. Paul LePage. According to Crafts’ website, he favors the free market and low-priced energy because it “keeps us secure in a dangerous world.” When it comes to health care, he’d let that free market take care of that, too. His economic plan calls for doing “everything we can to keep this record-breaking economy moving forward.” (His website could stand a little updating.) Did he mention that LePage endorsement? OK then, how about Jesus? Crafts is an evangelical Christian, who thinks what this country needs are more prayer meetings. Also, more elected officials endorsed by LePage.

Bennett spent seven years as LePage’s press secretary. Before that, she was a TV news reporter in Bangor. After that, she worked briefly in banking and then as a real-estate agent. Bennett became adept at explaining away the ex-governor’s many erroneous – often racist – comments without using such terms as “drunk” or “stupid.” Like LePage, Bennett is fond of pointing out how she grew up poor. From her website: “She saw how welfare dependence sapped the motivation from her household.” She’s all for Trump’s trade policies, which have killed off lobster exports to China and Europe. Maybe folks on the dole can be motivated to buy the surplus.

There hasn’t been any reliable polling in this race, but Brakey appears to be the frontrunner. He’s raised more money. He’s done more advertising. He’s avoiding interviews and debates. And Bennett and Crafts are more likely to attack him than each other. Still, the coronavirus has made it difficult to assess candidates’ support. Their Trumpier-than-thou approaches are based on the assumption that because The Donald carried the 2nd District by a substantial margin in 2016, he’ll do it again this year. Lately though, support for the Narcissist-in-Chief seems to have eroded, calling into question the value of unswerving loyalty.

One of the surest signs of a shift in the district’s attitude was the 2018 election that saw GOP Congressman Bruce Poliquin defeated by Democratic state Rep. Jared Golden. Since then, Golden seems to have squandered much of whatever advantage he had by bumbling his way through his first term, trying to satisfy both sides on issues such as impeachment, economic stimulus and foreign trade.

So, Golden is vulnerable. But so is Trump. In much of the 2nd District, the coattails of the Great Prevaricator are as tattered as his morals.

Come November, that won’t bode well for whichever of his sycophants wins the Republican primary.

Do your opinions trump my opinions? Find out by emailing

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

21 Responses »

  1. Al, you forgot that Ranked Choice Voting will likely decide this race. And Republicans really don't like RCV, ESPECIALLY in the 2nd CD, which, you may recall, voted to get rid of it but was overruled by the 1st CD (actually just greater Portland).

  2. RCV may not determine the outcome this time as the GOP candidates all seem to be farther to the right then their last candidate in 2018.
    The Dems ran a moderate and squeaked by after RCV took almost all the liberal votes from the other two candidates as their second choice was definitely not the GOP candidate. If GOP would pick someone a bit more to the center they would have a much better chance with or without RCV. Live and learn, or not, and just keep fighting RCV.

  3. The GOP primary will be decided by RCV, not the general.

    But there are several independents in the US Senate race, so that may go to RCV as well. If it does, Collins will follow Poliquin with an initial plurality wiped out by lefty second chance votes, which is exactly why progressives support RCV.

  4. "Lately though, support for the Narcissist-in-Chief seems to have eroded, calling into question the value of unswerving loyalty". Guess you haven't seen the report that 1 million people have signed up for tickets to the Trump rally in Oklahoma and I guess you didn't attend the BLM protests when Trump visited Maine where his supporters far outnumbered the protesters. Maybe Al ought to move to Portland where he would be more appreciated.

  5. Doug,
    You make a good point about political parties running less "extreme" candidates.

    Moody was less extreme but a No Go in anyone's books.
    Janet is proving to be "out there" on the shaky progressive limb,,
    Let's see how Paul does this time (Welcome Home Paul).

    You would think that the Dems would also learn the same lesson nationally.
    But I suppose to "that party", Hillary and now Biden are more centered than the many extremists that they silently support.
    And sure to go down in defeat. Again.

    Politics is not a proven science.

    Everything Is Beautiful.

  6. To Old Maniac......Over 1000 Trump protesters gathered at the Bangor airport instead of at Guilford. This was in response to the advice from town authorities and law enforcement,, perhaps with consideration for the postings on the internet threatening protestors to stay away from Guilford.
    In regards to the upcoming Trump rallies….now attendees have to sign a waiver saying that they agree not to sue Trump if they catch the virus at the rally. What president other than Donald Trump would even consider holding such an event during an epidemic where a lot of people could contract a serious disease and even die? Do you suppose it's because he is desperate now that he has dropped so much in the polls and is worried about November? And, apparently he doesn 't care if people get sick...only that they might sue him.
    .A million tickets sold for Oklahoma? The venue has room for fewer than 20,000. Guess Trump is willing to take his fan's money....too bad most won't even be able to get in.
    ..... Oh wait....Trump is the one saying a million tickets have been all has become clear....

  7. I will take the worst right wing conservative over the best left wing nutjob any day. We have seen what the left has been up to in recent months.


    Lindy, what was clear leading up to the 2016 Presidential Election???
    What Actually happened?

    And the "media" and it's Dem Party is at it "again"....(or still at it I should say).

    What's clear is that people are sick of swamp monsters protecting lawless thugs.

    The change is a process,,, well under way and completely un reported by the media.

  9. P. Planet.......What is clear is that Trump announced the number (of tickets sold) and based on his track record of telling falsehoods, it should be considered highly suspect until proven otherwise. Who even cares how many tickets are sold except Trump himself trying to inflate his own image. And if he is telling the truth..... how can he justify creating and selling tickets in numbers so far exceeding the capacity of the venue? Doesn't seem like a very nice thing to do to your devoted followers.

  10. Al, In a state that kills unborn children, there are no morals to be worried about. Call it what you will, murder is still murder in anyone’s book.

  11. Planet,
    Any progress is impossible without an un-censored Dialog. The Dawg is pulling the liberal card and censoring the views of real Mainers. It keeps your owner happy but it increases your tears when you lose. Discuss the issues openly or suffer the inevitable loss when you turn a deaf ear. Unborn lives matter, don’t forget that.

  12. Peter ... You are not "pro-life'' if you would force rape victims to carry to term, You are pro-rape. What a woman does with her own body is NONE of Your business!!! Also, zygotes are Not babies.

  13. zaphod
    What a Woman does with her own body is absolutely none of my business, that is true,,

    What a woman (or anyone else) does with a living human baby,
    Well,, don't you think a defenseless human baby should have someone going to bat for them?

    Using your logic, about a person's body..
    Is it murder if a woman uses "Their own body (hands)",, to Choke Someone To Death?
    Our would you say again, that she can do whatever she wants with "her own body"?

    Sorry but Science has proven that a Human Baby "LIVING"in the womb,,, is exactly that.
    Be honest about what it is....
    Pro Murder.

    How's that?

    Everything Is Beautiful.

  14. I have become more conservative as the years have gone by but there are still stumbling blocks. I cant say I am a religious man and I try to keep my nose out of other peoples business so when the republicans preach about abortion and in their usual gutless manner run back to their holes leaving the great-granpappy of all unfunded mandates for the tax-payers to deal with it just pisses me off. I was seventeen the last time women rose up and said "keep your nose out of my personal business." It was not pretty and turns politics on its head. Until your wallet says more then your mouth or you walk on water I am going to have to agree.

  15. @oldmaineiac, sounds like you didn't attend those BLM protests either by the story you're spinning.

    If folks could just stop pulling numbers out of their butts while arguing online, that'd be great.

  16. Private Planet - "swamp monsters" ?? What or whom is that exactly?

  17. Private Planet ....
    ''A living human baby'' is, by definition, a living human baby and most certainly needs to be protected.

    I reiterate, zygotes are Not babies. I believe women have the right autonomy regarding their own bodies, and their decisions regarding that are theirs and No one else's.

    Don't like abortions? Don't have one. But keep your ideology and religious superstitions out of women's personal lives.

  18. zaphod,,zaphod, zaphod,
    You make it too easy,

    You can call the baby anything you want ..(zygote/zyborg/Chewbacca/mess on a napkin/fetus/on and on...)
    But if it looks like a baby,,
    And acts like a baby,
    It's a,," Baby".

    I mention science biological facts, and you go religious..
    Now there's a leap..
    It's been many years since the medical community stopped with the "it about a baby thing".
    Because it is.
    Catch Up ...

    In "Life",
    Everything Is Beautiful.

  19. Huh?...Had a doctors appointment that day or would have gone. Didn't pull numbers from anywhere. Watching news reports is all I had to do.

  20. "He’s willing to recognize some limits on liberty. Those constraints start with women’s reproductive health care. Just because a female is allowed to tote an AR-15 doesn’t mean she can get an abortion."

    You made my day. Thank you.

  21. Cheers for the awesome post, enjoyed it once again, Ill give this a