LePage, Poliquin, Democratic turmoil: What we’re thankful for this year

Phil: Last year about this time, we wrote a column about all that we were thankful for in politics in 2012.

Ethan: Yes. As I recall, I was thankful for all the fodder Gov. Paul LePage gave us to talk about and that I worked with the likes of you, perhaps the last rational Republican on the planet. Fortunately, both those appreciations appear to still stand.

Phil: Well, if you got to know a few of us better, you might recognize there are a few more like me. But, I appreciate the compliment.

Ethan: Any of your appreciations from 2012 that you would repeat in 2013?

Phil: Well, I am still thankful that a man trapped in our welfare system was elected governor through hard work and perseverance. It is a remarkable demonstration of the American dream.

Ethan: Nothing else from last year that you would repeat?

Phil: My praise of Olympia Snowe? Sure, but that’s kind of old news.

Ethan: Yes, that is old news. And no, that was not what I was referring to. Hello, standing right here!

Phil: Oh, you mean you. Well, yes, of course I am thankful for you. I wouldn’t look so good every week if it weren’t you I was debating.

Ethan: I take back what I said about you being rational.

Phil: OK, so what else are you thankful for from the past year?

Ethan: Well, I’ll tell you what I am not thankful for. Last year at this time Charlie Webster was your party chair. I was very thankful for him, as he was just the right brand of crazy to ensure Democrats won on Election Day. Now you have Rick Bennett. Way too reasonable and level-headed.

Phil: And why I am very thankful for his stewardship in the coming election year.

Ethan: Speaking of the right brand of crazy, I am very thankful for Bruce Poliquin! Poliquin is a daily reminder for Democrats to do all we can to keep that seat in Democratic hands. Please, please, please let him win the primary against Kevin Raye so we can keep it blue!

Phil: To that end, I am equally thankful for the turmoil in your party’s rank and file on whether to choose Mike Michaud or Eliot Cutler as best to defeat LePage. Watching you squirm for the next year will be the road to victory for four more years of Paul.

Ethan: You being thankful for my pain is not particularly becoming.

Phil: Sorry, but it is so much fun to watch, especially after all those years of Republicans snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

Ethan: A few federal things I am thankful for: Harry Reid finally breaking the filibuster in the Senate; President Barack Obama standing firm and pushing ahead with health care for 30 million while also cutting our deficit in half; and Republicans shutting down government to show just how manic they are.

Phil: You’re thankful Obama, Biden and Reid changed the very rules they so vehemently defended when Republicans ran the Senate? In the spirit of Thanksgiving, that’s a little selfish don’t you think?

Ethan: “Selfish” to Mitch McConnell? Perhaps. “Giving” to the rest of America who will finally see the U.S. Senate accomplish something? Definitely.

Phil: Be that as it may, I’m now actually thankful Republicans didn’t have enough time to read Obamacare before the vote. They might have been scared to death! Hopefully we the people will exercise our rights to make changes before more chaos unfolds.

Ethan: And hopefully, a year from now, I will be thankful that none of the changes your side wants actually get implemented.

Phil: President Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday. I’m pretty sure he didn’t envision giving thanks for a government which now appears incapable of honoring “a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Ethan: Wow, providing health care for 30 million now equates to our government possibly perishing from the earth. I guess another thing I am thankful for is the hysteria you Republicans ascribe to every Obama accomplishment. It makes you look so out of step.

Phil: You mean Obamacare?  Benghazi? Solyndra? Libya? Shovel-ready? Summer of recovery? Syria? Deficits? $17.2 trillion in debt? Those accomplishments?

Ethan: Sigh, yes, that hysteria. Maybe we should both be thankful, in advance, for a little less hysteria in the coming year?

Phil: Less hysteria? In an election year? C’mon on now. You and I would then have nothing to analyze.

Ethan: Oh yeah. Good point. Well, anyway. I hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving. You didn’t get any gravy on that pocket square of yours did you?

Phil: The pocket square only appears when I want to irritate you. I also hope you had a happy day and that you didn’t add any additional pounds to the 10 the TV cameras produce.

Ethan: Suffice it to say, I’ll be thankful if I can make it to gym a couple of days.

Phil: You and me both.