Addicted to distraction

Mad political science
By AL DIAMON  |  August 26, 2010

I have just finished conducting extensive scientific experiments that required me to wear a white lab coat, to order my deformed assistant to dig up corpses from fresh graves, and to combine common household chemicals in plastic soda bottles (which I inadvertently stored in my neighbors' mailboxes, where police later reported numerous explosions causing considerable damage to several L.L. Bean catalogs — unfortunate accidents I was in no way responsible for).

Nevertheless, the results of my tests are indisputable.

According to my calculations, when it comes to the future economic well-being of the state of Maine, the following topics are of absolutely no importance:

Whether to teach creationism in public schools.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Libby Mitchell's age.

Whether Democrats are planning to run attack ads against independent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler.

Whether Republicans are following the aforementioned Cutler around with a video camera.

Whether GOP gubernatorial candidate Paul LePage shows up for all the early debates.

Anything said by independent gubernatorial candidates Shawn Moody and Kevin Scott.

Whether the FBI ought to be called in to investigate the mailbox bombings.

Instead of devoting all their attention to these frivolous matters, the voters should be concentrating on the central issue in the race for the Blaine House. Which is:

Are all the candidates complete friggin' idiots?

"Yes," said LePage, whose campaign later issued a clarification, indicating he actually meant "No," or possibly, "Maybe."

I then might have asked LePage if he was in favor of combining common household chemicals in plastic soda bottles and leaving them in people's mailboxes.

"No," he said, although his campaign later issued a clarification indicating he actually meant to say, "Libby Mitchell is too old to be governor," or, possibly, "Yes."

LePage wasn't the only candidate I pretended to grill with penetrating questions. There was also this tense exchange with Mitchell:

ME You told the Associated Press, "I'm someone who understands government, who makes sure the cuts are strategic and the investments are strategic, rather than just saying we're going to cut state government. I don't even know what that means." To me, that quote — which, unlike all the others in this column, is real — sounds like you're saying you're going to raise taxes. Are you?

MITCHELL "LePage is going to raise taxes, too, to pay for creationist courses in public schools." Her campaign later issued a clarification indicating that the candidate might have misspoken because she's a senior citizen and a little ditzy. The Mitchell people then suggested I go out and shake my mailbox real hard before looking inside.

ME Is it true you're planning to run ads claiming that during the two years Eliot Cutler spent in China, he had a microchip implanted in his head that compelled him to return to America intent on destroying democracy and capitalism?

MITCHELL "No, but we are giving away copies of the poster for the movie The Manchurian Candidate with Cutler's face Photoshopped in." Her campaign later issued a clarification indicating the posters weren't from the 1962 original version of the film, but from the dreadful 2004 remake. Cutler's campaign then issued a statement pointing out that he wasn't even in China in 2004 and did not have a microchip implanted until "sometime in 2007 or 2008."

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