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Impeachment: Why the LePage Attempt Failed

Maine just experienced the nation’s latest try at impeaching the executive head of government. The matter went nowhere, because the move looked too much like politics. Federal and state governments have shown just how hard it is to remove a chief executive. Few governors have been impeached and fewer yet removed from office. The main […]

Federal courts legislate, public confidence wanes

Federal courts have become a key part of the legislative process. At the same time, polls report falling public confidence in the courts. When it comes to the U.S. Supreme Court, that’s hardly news. Many know that the Court is now composed of four conservatives, four liberals (perhaps calling them non-conservatives would be more accurate) […]

Fear-mongering ignores facts: the case of a top newsman

Terrorism breeds fear-mongering. So does the presidential campaign. Instilling fear in voters by attacking government actions, even without providing practical alternatives, seems to be good politics. Candidates may threaten to seal off the country by immigration bans or walls. They engage in saber-rattling and suggest personal freedoms should be curtailed. The media sometimes helps spread […]

Pundits must soon give way to real voters

This is not the beginning of the end. But it is the end of the beginning. This paraphrase of a statement by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill during the Second World War seems to fit today’s American political scene. The 2016 presidential campaign will soon arrive at the moment when speculation gives way to voting. […]

Candidates pushing promises based on faulty economics

This is a campaign year, full of political promises. The economy will be an issue, though it’s loaded with common, though dubious, beliefs. To start, it is true that the economy is better than during the recession. Employment has largely recovered. In Maine, the Portland/South Portland jobless rate is 3.1 percent, an impressive level in […]

Political moderates fade as extremes gain support

Where have all the moderates gone? A recent survey, from a reputable source during a time of doubtful polls, found that 35 percent of voters consider themselves moderate. Some lean toward each major party, while 19 percent say they are truly independent. Who is a moderate? There’s clearly no moderate political philosophy. Instead, a moderate […]