Ethan: I realize that around this Thanksgiving time I probably have much more to be politically thankful for than you, but how about we dedicate our column to reflection and appreciation. First, let me say thanks to Gov. Paul LePage for always giving us so much fodder to write about. I tell you, the guy is “good for business,” as they say in our world.
Phil: His ability to earn the support of both parties in passing five budgets has been good for Maine, too. I sure hope he will be more diplomatic in expressing his sense of urgency. I’m thankful, too, that a product of the welfare system in Maine grew up to become our governor. What a tremendous accomplishment. An inspiration for all of us.
Ethan: I can tell that you are taking this way too seriously. I will try to get some humor out of that stuffy Yarmouth head of yours before this column is over. Another thing I am thankful for? Charlie Webster. If he weren’t so open about his brand of crazy, no one would know exactly how out-of-touch the base of the Republican Party can be.
Phil: I’m thankful that comedians like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert raised millions for Super-PACs to influence voters, while at the same time decrying big money in campaigns. They allow me to constantly point out the hypocrisy of your crazy lefties.
Ethan: Speaking of raising money for Super-PACs, I am very grateful for Karl Rove and all that billionaire money he spent. Not only did he help Maine’s economy, maybe these billionaires have finally started realizing that politics should be influenced by big ideas, not big bank accounts.
Phil: Then you must be thankful that the Supreme Court upheld the Citizens United decision empowering unions to spend unlimited money on elections.
Ethan: Speaking of the Supreme Court, I am very thankful that Justice John Roberts found his inner liberal and upheld ObamaCare while striking down Arizona’s immigration law. Hopefully, he will continue this rationality into 2013 when they will decide cases about affirmative action and gay rights.
Phil: While we are in this mood, I’m thankful for Sen. Olympia Snowe. Her legacy of service over self, representing Maine with class and grace for more than 35 years beginning in the Maine House and culminating as Maine’s senior U.S. senator, has been remarkable in every way. She never lost touch with her humble upbringing, yet she had the confidence and conviction to stand up and speak up to anyone, even the president of her own party.
Ethan: Now you’re starting to get all sappy on me. Pretty soon you’re going to start talking about how thankful you are that our founders created a democracy where we don’t shoot each other after Election Day.
Phil: That does get me a little misty eyed every time.
Ethan: Let me also say how thankful I am that the Catholic Church agreed to finally recognize the separation between church and state. The church’s willingness to let the people of Maine decide whether we have equal marriage for gays and lesbians was a godsend.
Phil: Yes, and perhaps we can move on to keeping personal and religious decisions out of the legislative arena and back between your doctor and your church, where they belong.
Ethan: Hallelujah to that!
Phil: And you should also be thankful for me — for making you look so good and making you think twice before you really upset the reader with your irrational exuberance.
Ethan: Irrational exuberance! There is nothing irrational in my exuberance!! Did you see the Election Day scoreboard!!! That reminds me. I am also thankful that you so graciously paid me that dollar on statewide TV after losing our wagers on who would win on election night.
Phil: And here I thought you were getting all humble on me.
Ethan: Not a chance. Truth be told, let me say how thankful I am for you. As about the only rational Republican on the planet these days, I am quite sure I wouldn’t be able to stand writing these weekly columns with anyone else.
Phil: Right back at you. As one of the few reasonable Democrats I know, I am grateful that you are willing to hang with a conservative Yankee like myself.