Betsy Sweet has spent her career as a lobbyist, so she’s used to advancing unrealistic ideas. In the Sweet universe, it doesn’t necessarily have to make sense. It just has to be warm and fuzzy.

Speaking of fuzzy, before she ran for governor in 2018, Sweet had a side gig offering customers contact with their deceased friends and relatives, a process she insisted was not a séance. Because it was different. Somehow.

Now running for the U.S. Senate, Sweet has distanced herself from the dead, but has carried on with the same unmitigated liberalism that infused her gubernatorial campaign, even though she finished third in the Democratic primary.

Unlike her chief opponent for the nomination, Speaker of the Maine House Sara Gideon (see last week’s column for a trashing of her campaign), there’s no question where Sweet stands. Or rather, floats. Because sometimes her positions are as otherworldly as the realm of the departed.

Let’s start with defense spending. As a left-winger, Sweet is against it. Except, Maine is home to this huge defense contractor providing thousands of high-paying jobs by building U.S. Navy warships. Last month, Sweet visited Bath Iron Works and was forced to twist herself into shapes usually seen only in M.C. Escher woodcuts in order to appear to support the shipyard while opposing everything it does.

Sweet started off well enough, according to a story in the Times Record. “As long as we’re building warships, Bath is the best place to do it,” she said. Then, she crossed over into the Sweet dimension.

“The next wars in this country are not going to be fought with [warships],” she said. “They’re going to be fought with drones and cyberattacks. And at some point, it’s not going to be whether they’re built in Bath or Tennessee. It’s going to be whether they’re going to be built at all.”

The next war will definitely not be fought with warships built in Tennessee, because there aren’t any shipyards there that build them. And the huge investments China and Russia are making in their navies indicate future wars may require a considerable number of Bath-built frigates.

But in Sweet’s dreamy future, BIW will be busy making … uh … something else. “If we could be a little more planful about new opportunities and new niches, it’s a huge opportunity,” she said.

The word “planful” is only one of many bizarre things about that sentence.

Then there’s Sweet’s “Take Democracy Back” constitutional amendment. It proposes a number of reforms, mostly ones that appear tempting in theory, but prove unworkable in reality. In a news release, Sweet said change is needed because a “Consultant-Lobbyist-Money Complex runs our campaign system.”

As a consultant and lobbyist, she should know.

The amendment calls for limiting campaign contributions to individuals and publicly funding congressional candidates. The former is an invitation to manipulation, and the latter rewards bad behavior. But the real problem with this amendment is its third provision, which sets a limit on campaigning for federal office of 12 weeks.

Aside from being an unenforceable affront to free speech, this amendment also amounts to an incumbents’ protection act. With less time to make their case, challengers would be at even more of a disadvantage than they are now. But if Sweet really believes three months is enough time to knock off a better-known opponent, she should suspend all primary campaigning until January.

That would be sweet.

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