Unpacking the Sausage: The way life should be

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On being wrong:

Maine Democratic Party Affairs Director Marc Malon responded to a tweet of my last column with the assertion that I was “wrong, but sure go off.” At the time, I had no way of knowing that my predictions about the Maine Democratic Convention had been thwarted. 

So, while the only news coverage or announcements about convention business seemed insistent that nothing important happened, I am delighted to admit I was wrong in my last column. I was certain that barriers to access would block any charter or platform amendments.

Bre KidmanInstead, the notably unpublicized results showed decisive victories for both team “please stop interfering with primaries” and team “please use gender neutral language in the platform.” No other platform or charter amendments passed.

I look forward to watching the intellectual backbends party officials will undertake in the next cycle to avoid compliance.

(I would really love to be wrong about this, too.)

On being right:

In a hearty “fuck you” to folks who continue to act like COVID-19 is over, hospital admissions are up by over 25 percent in sections of every state (including most of Maine).

As of this writing, more than half of the country is experiencing high levels of community transmission. It’s almost like publicizing cases and community transmission would give us a preview of what hospitalizations will be in a few weeks.

It’s weird how the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention decided we didn’t need that advance notice anymore, huh? They must have it all figured out. Never mind that lingering nerve pain, am I right? There will probably be enough viable organ donors left over after this next variant to keep up with any excess organ failure. Small price to pay to get back to “normal.” 

Portland has responded to the surge by eliminating huge amounts of outdoor dining just as the weather starts to usher tourists in. Many local arts venues have stopped requiring masks or vaccinations. No new precautionary measures from state, local, or federal government in sight.

Man. Are we just going full balls-to-the-wall death cult on this one? Is that the official plan now?

It’s like how other countries have linked increases in childhood hepatitis to COVID-19, but the U.S. doesn’t want to be too hasty. After all, one of our great pharmaceutical companies might come up with an extremely profitable treatment to be pushed through with minimal regulation (and immunity from lawsuit) for kids with liver damage. Wouldn’t want to go public with that kind of thing before Congress has a chance to move their stocks around.

Anyway, I’m sure it’ll be fine. I’m just being dramatic.

On being dramatic:

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins called the cops about a sidewalk chalk drawing asking her to please keep her career-long promises about protecting abortion rights. 

As a candidate for her seat in early 2020, I received a slew of death threats via internet and telephone. On multiple occasions, I came home to find that someone had rifled through my trash and the entryway of my house. When I popped into the lobby to speak with members of several Maine police departments, they each told me there was nothing they could do. 

Which, I guess, is also what the police told Collins.

Maybe the real lesson is that I shouldn’t have let respectability politics fool me into thinking I needed to appear resilient more than I needed to be a headline. At least that’s one trick we can trust Collins not to fall for. 

On being respectable:

I find myself embarrassed to admit I needed a year to recover from burnout after two years of simultaneously managing my own law practice and back-to-back underdog electoral campaigns.

My embarrassment is partly because of society’s love affair with “the grind,” but it’s also a little bit because my mom asked me to be discreet about how being a phone sex operator pays better – and offers better conditions – than carrying out Maine’s Sixth Amendment obligations as an independent contractor. 

She said it would break my grandmother’s heart to hear I’m doing low-risk sex work instead of practicing high-risk law right now, and I imagine several friends, colleagues, and family members will also be surprised to find out. 


The thing is, spending five hours a day on the phone sweet-talking rich people out of their money is a congressional representative’s primary job responsibility. If anything, I’m gaining valuable experience for a potential future in politics by performing the exact task “respectable” politicians do in order to be treated as legitimate contributors to the public discourse.

Go ahead. Tell me I’m wrong.

Bre Kidman is an artist, activist, and attorney (in that order), and the first openly non-binary person in history to run for the U.S. Senate. They would be delighted to hear your thoughts on the political industrial complex at [email protected].

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