Politics & Other Mistakes: Into the inferno

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If there’s a hell for Republicans, it probably looks a lot like Maine’s 1st Congressional District.

Asylum seekers. Transgendered bathrooms. Abortion clinics. Needle-exchange programs. Biased media. Pricey artisanal coffee. Even pricier artisanal beer. And herds of liberal voters.

Stand in Portland’s Monument Square and listen carefully. You can almost hear Satan chuckling. Or maybe that’s Democratic U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree. If you’re GOP, it’s the same difference.

Pingree has good reason to chortle. She’s wrapping up her sixth term in the U.S. House of Representatives, and there’s nothing to suggest that with her solid progressive reputation she can’t hold that seat as long as she desires. She’s an ideal fit for the southern part of the state, where all birds fly lopsided because they only have left wings.

Given that situation, it’s no surprise that any Republicans with sharper political instincts than lobster bisque would refuse to subject themselves to the preordained humiliation of being clobbered by Pingree in a landslide. Better to run for a seat on the local sewer district.

Nevertheless, somebody has to be sacrificed to Beelzebub, and lobster bisque has politely declined the honor. So, this time around, the Devil has selected a hapless newcomer named Jay Allen of New Harbor to be cast into the pit of fire and brimstone.

To put the situation in the best possible light, Allen, a family physician and U.S. Army veteran, starts with a few disadvantages. He’s only lived in Maine since 2016. He has no name recognition and no money. He has no political experience. He doesn’t appear to have any kind of campaign organization. He shaved off his beard shortly after having his campaign photos taken, and it wasn’t an improvement (I may be prejudiced on that one). And, most importantly, his ideology is distinctly at odds with those of the vast majority of his potential constituents.

In a story in the Lincoln County News (the only publicity the would-be congressman has thus far managed to generate), Allen said he was inspired to run to counter “all the socialists in Congress and all the socialists in the Democratic primary.”

Allen skews heavily toward libertarianism. He’s against virtually all government spending, except for the military (his two decades-plus in uniform convinced him the armed services are understaffed). He wants to cut taxes (“every dollar they take is a little piece of your freedom”). He wants the private sector or maybe the states to handle health care. And if he’s concerned about climate change, he somehow forgot to make any mention of that on his website.

Allen is less reticent when addressing gun control. He’s against it (“the real purpose of the Second Amendment is to protect Americans from our own government”). A careful search of his Facebook page reveals he’s also opposed to abortion and requiring children to be vaccinated before attending school.

Oddly enough for a Republican, Allen has virtually nothing to say about President Trump. While all three GOP candidates for the 2nd District seat have been effusive in their praise of just about everything the Big Orange Loogie has ever done, Allen’s only reference to Putin’s best bud is a Facebook mention that he’d be attending a local pro-Trump rally.

To no one’s surprise, Pingree has ignored Allen, except to mention in a fundraising email that she now had “an opponent” and so her need for donations was urgent. Given the many daunting obstacles Allen faces in making this a competitive race, that seems unlikely.

But Lucifer in his malevolence has condemned him in 2020 to run through the fiery Republican hell that is the 1st District.

Top campaign purchasing priority: fireproof boxer shorts.

Like a phoenix rising from the flames (I can’t imagine why that simile came to mind), I’m burning with desire to read your comments emailed to [email protected].

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