I normally wouldn’t post about the following on grounds of (a) taste and (b) relevance, but what they hay, it’s an excruciatingly slow news day in August, and it does help illustrate the cultural stress lines in the conservative movement. So here’s a report from the Bangor (Maine) Daily News:

A state Senate candidate seeking election in 2014 said he’s proud of a video clip that includes footage of him dancing in a Brazilian Speedo.

Eric Brakey of New Gloucester said Tuesday that the footage of him dancing in front of a mirror is part of a national ad campaign he worked on as a professional actor in New York more than two years ago.

“That’s my background, and I’m still doing a lot of acting,” Brakey said. “I’m an actor, and when I was working professionally in New York City this was a real fun, wonderful opportunity doing a commercial for a national brand….”

Mike Hein, a former employee of the Christian Civic League in Maine, has sent a link to the compressed version of the video to media outlets, criticizing Brakey’s “family values” for dancing in a pair of underwear….

In a post on the video on You Tube, Hein writes, “Well, well, well. If it isn’t Mr. ‘Family Values Matter’ state Senate candidate himself flamboyantly prancing around in his underwear.”

Hein sent a copy of an email message he sent to the pastors of Brakey’s church, East Auburn Baptist. In that message Hein describes Brakey, “dancing around in his underwear in his bedroom, as though he were demon-possessed….”

Hein also criticizes Brakey for supporting abortion in the case where the mother’s life is in danger, but Brakey said Tuesday he hasn’t taken any formal position on abortion yet.

Oh, okay. Wouldn’t want to defend legalized abortion on any grounds until the polling’s in and endorsement season is over, right?

Well, a lot of Maine Republicans seem to have Brakey’s naked back on this one, but the underlying tension in the GOP coalition involving the tendency of “job-creators” to commercialize various forms of dancing around in one’s underwear is real enough. The bigger problem for Brakey is how voters across the partisan and ideological spectrum feel about electing a legislator with these moves (he’s the guy in the orange speedo performing before the bedroom mirror in a rough cut for a Brazilian coconut drink):

If he’s “demon-possessed,” it seems ol’ Scratch has an infernal sense of humor.

Here’s some commentary from Guadalcanal Diary:

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.