Phil Harriman (left) and Ethan Strimling (right). Credit: Gabor Degre / BDN

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Phil Harriman, a former town councilor and state senator from Yarmouth, is the founding partner of Lebel & Harriman, a financial services firm. Ethan Strimling, a former mayor and state senator from Portland, is the president of Swing Hard. Turn Left, which promotes progressive policy at the local, state and national levels.

Ethan: Shall we use this opportunity to make this a “giving thanks” column?

Phil: Yes! But let’s do it with our usual tongue in cheek.

Ethan: I’m thankful that former Gov. Paul LePage has decided to run for governor in 2022, because it will turn out Democrats as only former President Donald Trump could.

Phil: I expect he will turn out Republicans in the 2nd Congressional District even better than Trump, which reminds me why I am so thankful for U.S. Rep. Jared Golden. 

Ethan: Please pass the cranberry sauce, first.

Phil: Because he voted “no” on the Build Back Better plan before he will likely vote “yes”. Can you imagine how much joy I will get calling him the “John ‘I voted for it before I voted against it’ Kerry” of Maine?

Ethan: Well, I prefer the flip-flop version, since he will get it right at least once. But have I told you why I am thankful that Central Maine Power Co. has sued to continue to build the corridor that Maine people voted to stop?

Phil: I feel a turkey-induced-tryptophan-coma coming.

Ethan: Because the more they sue, the more people hate them. And the more people hate them, the more likely it is that we will turn them into a consumer-owned utility in 2022.

Phil: Well, at least they stopped the cutting after Gov. Janet Mills asked them nicely.

Ethan: She must have read my column showing how bad it was politically for her to be siding with CMP all the time.

Phil: Speaking of Mills, may I say a few words of why I am so thankful for the Queen of Maine?

Ethan: Of course, but I think I may need more mashed potatoes. 

Phil: Without her executive power-grabs and mandates slowing down the economy and forcing health care workers to leave their jobs, Mainers may never have realized just how committed Democrats are to taking away our freedoms.

Ethan: Yes, we are committed to taking away your freedom to spread the plague and take up all our hospital beds. Now, might I offer some appreciation for U.S. Sen. Senator Collins?

Phil: These yams are about to give me a stomachache.

Ethan: Ed Muskie once said, “Do not speak unless you can improve the silence.” I want to thank Collins for her silence regarding the role she played as the Supreme Court appears prepared to overturn Roe v. Wade. A simple apology for voting for Justice Brett Kavanaugh might actually make people believe being pro-choice is important to her, but probably not at this point.

Phil: As a pro-choice Republican, I would advise you that a litmus test has no place in the nomination process. And, by the way, this court has not actually ruled yet. Since you have praised Collins, may I offer some words for U.S. Sen. Angus King?

Ethan: Sure, but please put a little ice cream on my apple pie.

Phil: When he was governor, he was able to obscure his liberal leanings. Since caucusing with the Democrats in Congress, his progressive agenda has been revealed. I am thankful because voters will finally know it should he seek re-election. 

Ethan: I expect they already knew it when he won by 20 points in 2018.

Phil: I suppose before this column is done, I should offer thanks for our respectful dialogues. I know it pains you to have to act so reasonable in response to my pontifications every week, but I do appreciate it and so do our readers.

Ethan: And I offer you the same. I know hanging out with me fills your inbox each week with fire-spewing emails from your party faithful.

Phil: Happy Thanksgiving, my friend.

Ethan: Happy Thanksgiving.