As I watched Maine’s current governor stalk through a first term and now part of a second term, disregarding the will of both the Maine legislature and the good people of Maine, often with sneering contempt, I just couldn’t figure out what motivated him. But his actions, as we near the end of this legislative session, have hatched a theory.
If the question is: Other than snarling at the reaction to his blatant, ham-fisted, money-over-state-issues approach, does he ever have even a twinge of regret for treating all of us this way? I fear the answer is a resounding No! How can that be, I used to wonder, because even if he tries to deny it, he is, when you strip away all the current pretensions, a Mainer.
Well, as I watched the keystone cops scrum of Republicans stand up for the Presidential nomination–Wisconsin’s Scott Walker (the union stomper) most recently, and just before that the bigoted narcissist Donald Trump–it suddenly hit me. LePage isn’t carrying the Tea Party water for our benefit. He’s looking out for himself, and performing for the benefit of the rich, racist, hateful Koch Brothers, hoping when it’s time to put the final GOP slate together or if the Republicans prevail in 2016 (heaven-forbid) and the transition team has slots to fill, they’ll reward their humble foot soldier in Maine with a juicy assignment. (They probably shouldn’t make him ambassador to France. He’s maligned Franco-Americans so badly the French would probably haul him straight to the guillotine.)
So that’s my new theory. This guy doesn’t give a damn about the people of Maine. His whole insulting, painful act as governor has been for his handlers (there has long been talk that the Koch’s pumped money into both of his campaigns for governor) who expect a return on their investment. LePage (with less success than Walker, but still managing to inflict harm on people, programs, and politics in the Pine Tree State) has tried, in his stumbling, blustering way, to jump through every hoop the Koch’s and their organization have written into his script.
Should we just pass it off as politics as usual? In a more populace state you could make an argument for that. But Maine is more of a very large community (from top to bottom and side to side) than it is a hard-nosed, metropolitan machine. People here are family and friends, they care about each other. Our state lawmakers (the vast majority, at least) serve with the intention of addressing the people’s needs. That being the case, what I have to say to Paul LePage is: Fie on you and your foul deeds, foul mouth, and foul political behavior. The people of Maine deserve far, far better than you. And heaven help the country if the Koch brothers find a way to inflict you on the nation as a whole. May your political fortunes continue the downward spiral your antics appear to have brought upon you in recent months.