Sorry to mix literary metaphors, but last night’s endless session convened for a series of final votes represented a set-back for efforts to construct a more moderate version of the Maine Republican party. The effort to forge a new party center — one which might offer an alternative to the party’s more combative direction under Gov. LePage — has been the subject of public discussion over the last few weeks.
At this critical moment, Sen. Katz, to this point our lodestar for a more moderate and civil version of contemporary Maine Republicanism appears to have lost his fragile caucus beneath the pressure of the effects of upcoming bonds, the divisive budget process, tit-for-tat inter-party snarking, and a series of extremely long nights.
Sen. Katz has certainly working mightily for consensus around a moderate path, but challenging an existing hierarchy is never an easy task. Far less easy when the party has recently – and is likely to continue to have – dedicated supporters of the governor at its helm.
The Bangor Daily News created an excellent video to document the state of affairs at the end of the day. I think it really sums up the disarray and confusion — the repeated failure to come to agreement — evident in yesterday’s voting records. Unless “the centre” gets much stronger, there’s no way for individual legislators to resist the sweet, sweet allure of stickin’ it to the other guy (or gal.)
Sen. Katz, Larry Barnes has some good advice which might be applicable in your situation.
“The birds of prey hunt with him and return to him when he blows a whistle when the hunting is done, because they consider him a good food source and helpful hunter, not a friend.”
Provide the food and they will come.