While I have friends who are deathly afraid that Paul LePage and Donald Trump will be re-elected, respectively, in 2022 and 2024, I am quite sure those two blowhards are history.
In fact, I’m pretty darn sure the entire Republican Party will be DOA on Election Day. The signs are all there for a historic GOP collapse.
As far as LePage – now a carpetbagger from Florida – is concerned, every reasonable person in Maine understands that if that mean-spirited foul-mouthed bully had been governor when COVID-19 hit, Maine would have suffered the fate of many states with Republican governors: death and denial. That’s why the first thing LePage (who gutted public health when he was in office) did when he announced his candidacy was lie about Gov. Janet Mills’ record on COVID.
LePage told his audience of anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers that under Mills, Maine had the highest nursing home infection rate in the county. In fact, Maine under Mills had the fourth-lowest nursing home COVID-19 death rate nationally. He also said Mills had decriminalized deadly fentanyl when she actually opposed legislation that might have done so.
Another sign of the GOP’s fatal illness was U.S. Sen. Susan Collins endorsing LePage. In the wake of putting a sex offender on the U.S. Supreme Court and endangering a woman’s right to choose, Collins has dropped all pretense of being independent-minded. She’s just going to let her Trump freak flag wave over a political party now defined by delusions and dishonesty.
Given the treasonous Big Lie that the new and nasty Trump GOP has embraced, most Maine voters understand that you are unlikely to get anything close to the truth from a Republican candidate.
One clear sign of the wholesale rejection of Trump Republicanism is the bogus “full forensic audit” of the presidential election in Arizona. Not only did the Arizona audit find that Joe Biden won fair and square, but it also resulted in Trump losing votes. Still, we have GOP apparatchiks all over the country, including here in Maine, thumping the tub for “full forensic audits,” including in states like Texas that Trump actually won.
Then there was the California recall election. Judging by the number of fundraising pitches I got online and in the mail, you would have thought even the Democrats in the Golden State thought there was a chance Gov. Gavin Newsome would be recalled and replaced by a conservative radio talk show creep. In fact, California voters rejected the recall by an overwhelming 62 percent. Democrat slam dunk!
The refusal of Trump and his mob to accept the results of the 2020 election amounts to an act of treason. Trump’s Big Lie incited the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection, underscoring what I have said all along: the election of Donald J. Trump was the greatest existential threat to American democracy in my lifetime.
Trump will not be re-elected in large part because the vast majority of Americans realize Trump is a liar and a scoundrel. Improbably there are still Republicans in Congress who do his bidding, shamelessly refusing to support an investigation of the January insurrection.
On Sept. 18, the Trumpsters even held a “Justice for J6” protest rally in Washington, D.C., in support of the violent Capitol rioters. The rally attracted just 200 kooks. That’s how we know the GOP is DOA. If there is ever any real justice for J6, Trump will spend his old age in prison, not in office.
Edgar Allen Beem has been writing The Universal Notebook weekly since 2003, first for The Forecaster and now for the Phoenix. He also writes the Art Seen feature.