Mirror, mirror, on the wall. Who’s the smartest of them all?

Phil: Do you think viewers liked the new segment we started called “Smart or Not Smart” on our Sunday morning show on WCSH 6 and WLBZ 2, “The Political Brew”?

Ethan: I think we should have named it “Wicked Smart or Wicked Not Smart?” But yes, I hope viewers found it to be a fun way for us to quickly run down the issues/policies of the week and declare the political intelligence quotient behind each decision.

Phil: I thought it might fun to share “Smart or Not Smart” with our readers who don’t have their televisions turned on early Sunday morning.

Ethan: For a stodgy Republican, sometimes you make me laugh. Let’s start.

Bruce Poliquin recently voted against the repeal of ObamaCare after saying he would do just the opposite during his campaign. Smart or not smart?

Phil: Smart because the Supreme Court is poised to dismantle some of it this June on constitutional grounds. Congress should stop wasting time on these symbolic votes and craft amendments that can be implemented should the Supreme Court rule against ObamaCare. Then Poliquin will be seen as making things happen that make a difference.

Ethan: If the supremes dismantle the ACA in June, it will be the worst case of judicial overreach since they refused to allow Florida to count its own ballots. But that aside, I agree that Poliquin was smart on the policy since the ACA has insured tens of thousands in Maine and reduced costs for tens of thousands more. However, not smart on the politics. Never a good idea to start out your first term in elected office as a hypocrite. Telling your base you will do one thing and then doing something entirely different is what people hate about politicians. It might inflame a primary challenge and/or cause another conservative to run in the general.

Phil: ACA may be working for those who get subsidies, but for those who don’t, costs are rising. Be that as it may, Poliquin is well aware that campaigns for House members never stop, and his resolute approach to looking beyond the headlines of the day will serve him well in the year ahead.

City Councilor Joe Baldacci proposed raising the minimum wage for the city of Bangor. Smart or not smart?

Ethan: Smart policy. Smart politics. Smart policy because wages are stagnant in Maine and our income gap is getting wider by the minute. Smart politics because I suspect he is going to run for Congress next year and this will help him in a primary.

Phil: On this one I say not smart. Beyond the constitutional problems, we cannot have a piecemeal approach to raising the minimum wage. If the wage is going to be raised, let’s do nationally so we don’t pit states against each other. Or, at a minimum, it should be done statewide. But creating a town-by-town patchwork is a recipe for regional mixed messages.

Ethan: Well, it would have been done statewide or nationally if Gov. Paul LePage hadn’t vetoed it or if U.S. Senate Republicans had simply allowed for debate. My only concern is if he ends up studying the issue to death as we have in Portland. Mayor Michael Brennan proposed it over a year ago and all we seem to be doing is running it through committee after committee after committee after committee.

Phil: That is all Brennan seems to do.

Congress is trying to repeal Obama’s immigration executive orders by attaching them to the Homeland Security funding bill. Smart or not Smart?

Phil: Smart and necessary. Unconstitutional actions by our president (he is even on record saying as much) cannot be allowed to stand. All means must be used to repeal and replace his order with a law that is abided by, since current law is not even being upheld by the man who swore to do so.

Ethan: This one is wicked not smart. Beyond the fact that the orders were constitutional, humane and necessary for the health of our country, the Department of Homeland Security is vital to the nation’s safety. That bill is now tied up in nowhere land and at-risk of running out of funding in two weeks. Messing with our nation’s safety over political finger-pointing is always bad. If they want to repeal the EO’s, pass bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform that makes the orders mute and get it to Obama’s desk.

Phil: That will come next. First the president’s illegal action should be repealed or placed before the Supreme Court for a decision on its legitimacy.

In LePage’s speech last week, he attacked the Maine Municipal Association by name. Smart or not smart?

Ethan: Not smart. Dumb, really. No one knows or cares who MMA is. If you want to get people to act, attack the policy, not the messenger. Everyone in the State House sat on their hands, including Republicans, when he made this attack. That told you all you need to know.

Phil: Wicked smart. For far too long MMA has taken property taxpayer money and lobbied Augusta to spend more taxpayer money, against the wishes of many of those who pay the property tax. Talk about a conflict of interest! An amusing story, if I may? When I was in the Senate I recall Kay Rand, Gov. Angus King’s chief of staff, referring to them “More Money Always.”

Senator Dutremble of Biddeford has proposed a bill make the Labrador retriever the official state dog. Smart or not smart?

Phil: I’m not getting in the middle of this dog fight, but it does remind me when I had to cast a roll-call vote on the official state soil. I’m not kidding. Do you know what the official state dirt is?

Ethan: No clue. I haven’t seen dirt for months! When I was in the Senate, we got to vote on whether Moxie should be the official drink. But I am gonna say smart. I have no idea if the Labrador should be the state dog (although I did have one growing up named Cleo), but I give him a smart because he gave us something funny to write about.