Gestures toward victory

I happened to catch the end of last night's debate between the various GOP candidates vying for the party's nomination in the Maine gubernatorial race. It offered some interesting insights, one of which was that a distressing number would advocate for the teaching of creationism in schools.

What was really interesting to me, however, was the answer to the question about same-sex marriage. Most of the candidates were opposed to legalizing same-sex marriage, which comes as no surprise. But only one or two (and there are, I think, eight in the running) explicitly disavowed legal recognition for same-sex couples. Almost all said that same-sex couples deserve some (or equal) protection under the law, even without calling it marriage. One advocated for equal legal status for all couples, and having marriage be an exclusively religious designation, which suits me just fine. And we'll get to Peter Mills in a second.

I found this remarkable. Admittedly, this is leftist Maine we're talking about, but these are the GOP candidates for governor. And almost all advocated for legal recognition of same-sex couples. While we're obviously a long way from full equality, and I think it'll be a while before the state gets anywhere near another attempt at marriage equality, I can't help but be encouraged.

And on that note, I'd like to specifically call out Peter Mills. He was, if I recall correctly, the only Republican in the state Senate to vote in favor of marriage equality, a stance he reiterated without hesitation last night. (He also unequivocally repudiated teaching creationism in schools.) If he gets the GOP nomination (which I think is a long shot, at best), I will have a hard time deciding who to vote for (particular if certain Democrats end up running against him). I kind of enjoy the hilarious hubris of endorsing a candidate, so here is the First Official Bleakonomy Political Endorsement of All Time -- Peter Mills for the Maine GOP nomination.

Someone alert Mark Halperin.


  1. government recognition of civil unions for everyone, and letting marriage be a strictly religious notion, irrelevant to public policy, strikes me as a very sane idea. So sane, in fact, that I believe I have suggested it here in the past. 8^)

    OTOH, I do believe in teaching Creationism in schools... but contrasting it to Evolution as well. Sorta kinda like teaching Flat Earthism, and then demonstrating why Spherical Earthism is a much better explanation. Showing why Science rejects Flat Earthism/Creationism is a great use of classroom time.

  2. Ditto on civil unions. Regarding creationism (or "intelligent design"), I have a feeling that you were being sarcastic GJ, but obviously (IMVHO) it should be kept far, far away from any science classroom.

  3. Just so you know -
    As a Maine GOP member, "marriage equality" is the 33rd thing I look for in a candidate. I happen to be straight - but if I were not straight it might move to 30th! This state is 47th in job creation/economic growth...our tax structure does not support private enterprise...As soon as my candidate mentions "marriage equality" as a "top issue" - he is going to move down my list. Hey - before you decide to yell at me...I voted No on One (but it was as important to me as voting for a law that mandated that I wear a yellow shirt on the 15th of every month)! Why don't you celebrate your rights that you have as couples NOT to marry (the right to deduct interest on two primary properties for instance) - for the love of all that is holy (mortgage interest I mean)!


  4. Hello, Dart. I see you've dropped the quotation marks from your name.

    I'm delighted you voted No on 1. Good for you. Why that should be in any way dispositive when it comes to whom I would support is unclear to me. Further, support for marriage equality may not necessarily be a deciding factor for me, but it certainly indicates a willingness to distance himself from the more disturbing socially conservative elements in the party.

  5. It's getting down to the wire. After reading "Gestures," I took a second look at Peter Mills, was moving toward support of Bleakonomy's possible endorsement until I heard him say that he could work with Democrats - if (paraphrase) he absolutely had to, if a situation became such that working with them was absolutely, no-alternative, unavoidable. I'm back at "No thanks, Peter, I cannot accept this token."