So yeah, Bill Lee’s running for governor on the Liberty Union ticket. I’ll give him this: he’s the only Vermont gubernatorial candidate to be mentioned on ESPN. He’s also the only candidate with a line of his own on baseball-reference.com. (110 wins, 90 losses, 3.62 ERA)
Otherwise, it’s a nice novelty and nothing more. After all, how’d the rest of that song go?
But now that I am a spaceman
Nobody cares about me
Not that Lee’s candidacy is meant to be taken seriously, but let’s do that for just a moment.
On the one hand, he says Vermont “is a perfect state,” and he wouldn’t do much as governor. On the other hand, his platform includes universal health care, marijuana legalization, abolishing the US/Canada border, turning the Bay of Fundy into a giant hydroelectric power source, and “bring[ing] the Tampa Bay Rays back to Montreal.”
“We’ll call them the X-Rays,” he said.
Long reach for a little joke, especially considering the Rays were never in Montreal. They’ve always been in Tampa. The ex-Expos are now d.b.a. the Washington Nationals. So even his grasp of baseball is a little shaky.
There’s also the little matter of his residency. As VTDigger’s Mark Johnson reported, Lee told Time Magazine he only lives in Vermont three months a year.
Hm. Vermont is “perfect” but he spends most of his time elsewhere?
Okay, another serious question. Why did the Liberty Union Party accept this charming nut as its standard-bearer?
Let’s put it this way. What is the Liberty Union Party’s goal?
It’s not to win. It’s not to be competitive. In real terms, it is simply this: To achieve major-party status, which means gaining five percent of the vote for any statewide office. That gets ‘em on subsequent ballots, and earns ‘em a lectern at candidates’ debates.
They’ve done it in the past, thanks to the Republicans’ repeated failures to field a full ticket. They didn’t do it in 2014, so they’re on the outside looking in.
So, Spaceman. He may be a poor fit for a party that claims high political principle, a party that constantly bitches about not being taken seriously, and indeed a party that takes itself all too seriously in a characteristically lefty way, but his name recognition and novelty value is likely to win him a few thousand votes. And that’s good enough for the Diamondstones.
There’s one more question. If his residency survives scrutiny, will the Secretary of State allow him to use “Spaceman” on the ballot? If not, will anyone recognize plain ol’ Bill Lee?
Around and around and around and around is just a lot of lunacy