Maine’s governor is a lot like Jeb Bush

I wrote here earlier that Maine governor Paul LePage has behaved so atrociously and treated the people of Maine (especially the less fortunate) so abominably because he wants Republican Presidential candidates to think of him when they need a running mate. Recent events on the national and state scene suggest Jeb Bush might want to tap LePage if he survives to the Republican nomination.

I’ve been tracking LePage (in company with lots of other civilized people) for some time, but I have had to scramble to get a sense of what really goes on in Bush’s head. The mass killing at an Oregon community college threw the door to Bush’s brain wide open, at least for me. When they asked the would-be President what he thought about the murders and the incredible pain and grief they caused, he responded with two, profoundly insensitive words, “Stuff happens.” When I first read that, a bell rang in my head. Where had I heard such a cold-hearted comment, devoid of any sympathy or empathy for the victims of the shootings, before? Yes, Maine’s monster governor, Paul LePage.

Let me illustrate the similarities. I have been saving headlines documenting LePage’s ongoing string of cruel statements and actions and offer recent ones here: In September, the man who promised to work for the people of Maine when he was first sworn in, proposed that any poor person found to have a total net worth of $5,000 should be denied food stamps. The governor used the power of his office (perhaps illegally) to prevent a Democratic lawmaker from getting a job with a Maine non-profit organization, mostly because he’s a Democrat. Maine legislators usually have other jobs, because political office in Maine doesn’t pay enough to support a family, which the Democrat in question is trying to do. I could imagine LePage, if asked how he feels about denying the man a job, saying, “Stuff happens.” Lawmakers (including Republicans) asked for an independent investigation of the governor’s action. He recently dismissed their efforts as a “witch hunt.” Just a week ago, Mainers learned that the governor had quietly issued an executive order for a probe of the Maine Human Rights Commission, a body dedicated to addressing abuse of our citizens. Why would any governor ask for such a thing? A governor with a heart probably wouldn’t, but this governor, whose behavior strongly suggests he has no heart and likely no soul, signed the order April 20th, reportedly because the commission had refused to obey his demand that they overturn a ruling in a discrimination case.

Mind you, these instances all happened in the very recent past. The farther back you go in LePage’s tenure as governor, the longer the list of offensive behaviors, moments when he essentially sneered at the people of Maine and snarled, “Stuff happens.” Jeb Bush, who seems to have a little trouble sounding like a sincere bully, is probably already paying attention to this guy, given the Bush family connections to Maine. As terrifying as the thought may be, I can imagine a scenario in which Bush gets the nomination and turns to Maine’s resident bully to carry the big stick for him. I mean, you never know, “stuff happens.”


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