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“Expensive Mainer,” a Substack publication revealed by U.S. Rep. Jared Golden, purports to be “a glance underneath the hood on my method to politics, coverage making, and representing you in Congress.” Thus far, he has written for it solely thrice, most not too long ago this Tuesday.
It’s simple to be cynical about one thing like this in a politician. I consider they’re sometimes self-obsessed advertising hounds who’re determined to boost their profile or ingratiate themselves to the voters. Moreover, in a state that has a historical past of snake-oil salesmen, together with a senator peddling a self-created mythology about his personal political independence, I’m at all times on alert for proficient politicians utilizing any means at their disposal to craft their very own narrative.
And but, once you learn Golden’s writing, which very a lot seems to be in his personal hand with out the filter of consultants and communications professionals, it’s laborious to not be left feeling like you might be studying one thing else solely.
Take, for example, his newest entry. Within the piece, titled “Ideas on Reactions to My Scholar Mortgage Forgiveness Assertion,” Golden writes greater than 2,100 phrases in response to a current “controversy” he was dragged into by the Beacon, a publication of the progressive Maine Individuals’s Alliance.
Particularly, he was reacting to the response to his response (sure, severely) to a chunk that ran within the Beacon two weeks in the past. In that submit, the Beacon tried to hyperlink Golden and others within the Blue Canine Coalition with some sort of quid-pro-quo kickback on pupil debt reduction, noting a donation to the coalition from the coed mortgage financing firm Sallie Mae after Golden voted towards President Joe Biden’s pupil mortgage cancellation plan. Golden was considered one of solely two Democrats who supported a decision that sought to cease the plan.
Golden, who represents Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, objected in very strong language that raised some eyebrows. “Sadly, that is what radical leftist elites are studying about ‘democracy’ lately,” he posted on X, “silence and destroy anybody who disagrees along with your views or targets. I stand by my vote and my opposition to forking out $10,000 to individuals who freely selected to attend faculty.” He went on to bemoan the “Twitterati” for demanding handouts, earlier than suggesting they be a part of the Marines, as he did, in the event that they wished taxpayer help for school.
The response to this take was bemused help for his place and his response in conservative circles, and wailing mood tantrums amongst progressives. It was on this context that he determined to put in writing his newest “Expensive Mainer” letter, explaining his use of “radical leftist” language and his place on debt reduction, amongst different issues.
“A radical leftist elitist,” he defined, “is ideologically inflexible and close-minded and demonstrates open hostility or condescension towards anybody who holds differing viewpoints. For these folks, any dissenting opinion should be the results of both dangerous character or ignorance.”
He went on to rail towards ivory tower elites who sneer at working-class Individuals, significantly those that help politicians like Donald Trump.
I used to be greater than a bit shocked by his candor within the letter. Critics of Golden would seemingly accuse him of enjoying to the conservative majority in his district by attacking the unconventional left, within the hopes that he would win a few of the proper’s affection. But whereas this may very well be a method, it’s not the standard sort of factor one does if they’re making an attempt to masquerade as a average centrist.
The safer and extra politically useful means — the technique usually employed by Angus King, for example — is to pay lip service to token conservative causes whereas not antagonizing the extremely influential and highly effective base of his personal occasion. By pushing again so strenuously towards his occasion’s activist base, Golden is demonstrating a good quantity of political independence and bravado that’s worthy of complimenting.
Golden mentioned much more than simply this, and his letter is value studying. He mentioned his perspective on the coed mortgage forgiveness problem, saying that it was a “poorly crafted fiscal coverage” that was “unaccompanied by any significant reforms to place a cease to the ever-escalating value of a school training.”
He additionally mentioned points of sophistication and politics at size. He railed towards massive cash pursuits, assume tanks and snobs who view the navy as a lure or jail for powerless folks. I didn’t agree with every little thing I learn, however I discovered it to be an clever and considerate try to explain his pondering, and I recognize what he was doing.
I hope he continues to do that, and different elected officers be taught from what he’s doing. Like him or not, it is a welcome factor to see.