Incoherent politicians are as common as criminals. Although not quite as beneficial to society.
Incoherent journalists are somewhat more unusual, their employment opportunities being limited mostly to TV news and the pages of the weekly Original Irregular in Kingfield. But when one of the latter attempts to cover one of the former, the results can be ... uh, well ... I dunno. Maybe I’ll just give you a ... whadayacallit ... y’know, like, an example.
On November 21, Maine newspapers carried a story from the Associated Press announcing that Democratic US Representative Michael Michaud would have opposition in his bid for a fourth term. According to the AP, Republican John Frary was “entering the race for Maine’s 2nd District congressional race.” Whether race will be an issue in the race was not discussed.
What was mentioned in passing were the candidates’ stands on a controversial topic. According to the AP, “Frary said he does agree with Michaud on some issues, such as a woman’s right to have an abortion.” That sentence might lead a casual reader to conclude that both the incumbent and the challenger were pro-choice. Which would be wrong. More or less. Frary is firmly against abortion, while Michaud voted consistently pro-life when he served in the state Legislature, but since moving to DC in 2002 has become ... er ... kinda ... what’s the word?
Oh yeah, incoherent.
If he loses the election, maybe he can get a job at the AP.
I’m not saying the Maine Democratic Party is desperate to find a candidate to run for the state House seat in the East Deering section of Portland, currently represented by Boyd Marley. Well, actually, that’s exactly what I’m saying.
Marley is wrapping up his fourth term in Augusta, which means he can’t run again in 2008, due to the term-limits law. Local Dems, including state representative John Brautigam of neighboring Falmouth, have been brainstorming, trying to come up with a potential replacement, so far without much success. So hopeless has the situation become that Brautigam called Elizabeth Peavey, columnist for The Bollard Web site and author of two books of quirky essays, and asked her if she’d consider running. I guess the Democrats thought she’d appeal to local voters because a couple of years ago, she wrote several columns discussing all the reasons she didn’t want to move to East Deering.
“Just when you think you’ve got no career options left,” said Peavey, “I can feel the ground swelling as we speak.”
For the record, Peavey is an old drinking buddy, and I can reliably report she has less of a grasp of politics than at least two of my dogs. Maybe three. Also, she once flunked the exam to become a notary public.
To her credit, Peavey is occasionally coherent, which is why she turned Brautigam down. “He seemed a little insulted,” she said.
All the lost souls
In November, I wrote a column that actually involved doing some research. Not me doing research, of course. Somebody else did the research, and I just stole it. So, I suppose I can’t complain now that it appears all those facts and figures were wrong.