Saturday, April 2, 2011

Buyers' Remorse.......over a Governor.

My home state of Maine has been in the national media a lot lately.  But, if you are also a Mainer, or have noticed these news tidbits, you will know that it is not for any reason that Maine's citizens are proud of.  In fact, it has become an almost ubiquitous feeling of embarrassment here.  In last fall's elections, the Tea Baggers pushed hard for their candidate, and the Dems and Indies split their votes between two other candidates, with the result being that we elected Paul LePage for governor.

Unfortunately, a governor is not something you can take to customer service and return for a full refund.  If it were, we'd have done that by now.  It turns out that LePage is not merely a far right conservative, he's also somewhat of, uh, well, er, uh....okay, I am going to put it in terms that even he could understand: he's an asshole.  I am just calling a spade a spade here...or rather a sphincter a sphincter.

During the gubernatorial campaign  LePage told a group of fishermen, who were complaining over federal regulation of their fisheries, that he'd tell the president to, "...go to hell."  And decent Mainers turned red all across the land.  But, that was just the beginning.  After taking office LePage was asked why he refused to acknowledge the NAACP around the upcoming celebration of MLK Day.  He told the reporter that the, "....NAACP can kiss my butt."

When questioned as to whether he agreed that the suspect chemical Bisphenol A should be removed from drink containers, LePage--in his cute and whimsical way--retorted, " what if women grow little beards?" At every opportunity LePage has labelled those who disagree with him, in his infinite wisdom, as 'idiots' or some other term that clearly evinces his inability to engage in a civil discourse about the issues facing our state.  He is crude and he is a bully whenever he has a chance to be. 

The latest flap to be reported across America, has been his order to take down a multi-panel mural in the state Department of Labor offices that depicts the history of the labor movement in Maine.  It is actually a very well painted and pleasing visual telling of what working people have gone through in order to earn rights and respect.  Maine is a working class state, historically speaking.  It's bedrock has always been those who sailed out of her harbors to harvest fish and lobsters, or worked in the forests to harvest timber.  Maine has a long-standing history of mill towns that sat astride rivers in order to use their motive power to turn the engines of industry.  Lewiston and Auburn, Biddeford, Saco, Rumford, Jay, Thomaston...and more...were all towns that grew up around mills that were operated by generations of textile workers, shoemakers and papermakers.  The shipbuilders at Bath Iron Works built more navy destroyers during WWII than existed in the entire Imperial Japanese Navy. 

It is no exaggeration to state plainly that working men and women built Maine...and they also endured the predations of corporations who would keep them poor and have them work in unsafe conditions unless the workers had organized.  It is the same all across America.  One can look at the history of just about any industry and find that the owners and the bosses have never paid any more than they absolutely could get away with.  And working conditions were most often abominable until workers and the government insisted that they be made safer.  It is still dangerous to work in a paper mill and I personally know of people who have been trampled asunder by 'the company', tossed aside like so much trash when they were injured on the job.

This is not conjecture; it is simply how managers have behaved.  Paul LePage has been one of those managers.  He ran for governor on the premise that if he could make the chain of discount stores he managed, Mardens, profitable, then he could do the same thing for the fiscal affairs of Maine.  But, what he brought to the highest office in the state with him, is a profound disrespect for anybody who disagrees with him, or who questions his actions.  He doesn't dismiss his opponents with any modicum of politeness, he does so with terms of profound disrespect, and evinces a boorish arrogance as he does so.

Paul LePage, simply put, is an ongoing embarrassment to the great state of Maine......and, by any reasonable criteria..... he's just a great big nasty old ASSHOLE.  Had to say it again.  Wish I could say it to his face.

1 comment:

Teresa Evangeline said...

I was just reading about this Chief Sphincter a couple of days ago, and his removal of the mural. The article also mentioned his renaming of several conference rooms, including Frances Perkins. I thought, if anybody can tell it like it is in Maine, it's Murad. Here you are doing just that. I'm glad you don't pull any punches. What a disgusting example of a human being. Boorish is an understatement. He's also a perfect example of what's wrong with American politics today. Well, one of them. Thanks for this post.