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View Diary: Independent Sen. Angus King says he might switch sides and caucus with the GOP (101 comments)

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  •  Dill was a better candidate that we deserved (5+ / 0-)

    There was (and is) a lot to like about Cynthia Dill, and I disagree that she had no chance.  She is not a beginner, she has courage and intelligence, and her progressivism is a net positive.  Charlie Summers, the Republican candidate in that race, has all the charm and ability to relate that Mitt Romney exhibited.  She's from Cape Elizabeth; he's from Scarborough - advantage Dill in a state where parochial Republican leanings favor candidates from north of Augusta and east of Bangor.  In a two way race, she's going to beat him.

    The Maine special interest power players that support Maine Independents like King and Cutler are nominally Democratic, but 3rd way'ers.  Needless to say, a Dill candidacy actually gave Maine voters a chance to not support neoliberal policies and it was otherwise an anathema to those same corporatist Dems.  When their candidates are not going to get through the Democratic Primary, they recruit other, nominally Democratic figures to run as independents and assure them of instant campaign organizations and other elements of a campaign as part of their support.  The lobbying firms and corporate favor seekers become their base and have the sole claim to their loyalty.  I think that is what happened with King.  He quickly bigfooted Dill, and the Democratic Party.  After that, King got the money and attention, Dill got the scraps.  I even had a Democratic canvasser urge me to vote for King.  The results were not Dill's fault.

    I do not think that the conclusion one should draw here is that any of this was inevitable, except insofar as the weak, complacent, and a bit corrupt party structure makes it so.  Despite King's image (which is very likeable), he has always been a candidate representing Democratic business special interests, with the emphasis on the business part.  Traitorous tendencies are baked into that cake, but then King has a lot of company in the Senate Democratic caucus.

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