In what can only be described as a whirlwind 48 hours, Farmington’s John Frary has succumbed to political pressure and decided not to run for the Senate District 17 seat currently held by Republican Tom Saviello, of Wilton. Saviello, in turn, has agreed to remain a Republican.
According to sources within the Republican Party and State House, the stir yesterday was tornado-like when the plan to run tea party favorite Frary against moderate Republican Saviello was exposed. From the governor’s office, to top officials in the Republican Party, to associates of Mary Adams, damage control was in full swing. Calls were made, letters were drafted, and emails were sent, all assuring various parties that they weren’t behind the effort.
Apparently, what no one expected when the original plan was hatched was that Saviello would actually bolt. I am not sure why, since my understanding is that Saviello has made clear to Republicans from the beginning that this was the case. It appears it wasn’t until they saw it in writing that they realized the error of their ways.
So, for Republicans, perhaps all’s well that ends well. And maybe now they will stop giving the tea party so much power.
That said, the fact that they had to spend the day dealing with this turmoil did have one positive outcome for Maine. In this distracted state, they did vote to overturn a LePage veto so that kids can get food during the summer, and they passed a restoration of revenue sharing that will make sure more teachers and firefighters don’t get laid off.
Maybe we should distract them more often…
On a side note, Frary takes a number of potshots at Saviello in his piece today in the Maine Wire. Here’s a sample; “He [Saviello] regards a political principle like a cobra regards a mongoose. He doesn’t know quite what it is, but it fills him with dread.” Sadly, Frary simply reaffirms the intolerance of some tea partiers in regard to a reasonable Republican like Saviello who cares more about providing health care for his constituents than the blind ideology of a small minority. But, as I said above, hopefully yesterday’s slap down of the tea party will last more than 24 hours.
Frary also takes some fun potshots at my politics in his piece (I am apparently an “Egregiously evil … blood-thirsty Bolshevik”!), which I will refrain from entertaining with a response. However there is one paragraph that must be noted:
“At its deepest level this odd episode [the controversy surrounding his candidacy for Senate District 17] reflects the difference between those who believe in building a political party from its foundations up, or from a weathervane down. I prefer the latter…”
While I suspect the good professor meant “I prefer the former,” there could be no more accurate Freudian slip than a tea partier’s belief that the Republican Party should be built based on which way the wind blows.
Posted by Ethan Strimling.
(Thanks to www.dirigoblue.com for pointing out the “weathervane” slip.)