The political “mean season” is the subject of Paul LePage’s recent radio address. In the address, LePage presents himself as a history buff, as a philosophical, moderate, book-reading statesman who is somehow above the political fray.
He fails to mention, of course, that his notable absence from stated fray may not be of his own choosing. And, if it is of his own choosing, it reminds us of something else — that he doesn’t particularly like having to bother with politics and probably wishes he could run the state the way he used to run Mardens.
LePage talks about the mean season. But, as regards to his radio address, silly season is more like it — so silly is what LePage asks us to believe.
Mean season: n., the weeks leading up to an election during which negative campaign tactics are often employed.
Silly season: n., a period of time, usually in the summer months, typified by the emergence of frivolous news stories in the media.
Mitt Romney’s “conversion” to a peace-talking moderate is incongruous enough. Are we now expected to forget the LePage that told Obama to go to hell, that labelled his own citizens idiots, that told the NAACP to kiss his ass? Are we to forget how he harangued and belittled those who have stood in his way, how the Republican strategy of switching up bills and rushing votes in committee meetings made a mockery of the 2012 legislative session? Are we supposed to forget that LePage has sold out on the entire state of Maine by circumventing the democratic process and letting corporate lobbyists write legislation on health insurance, the environment, and online learning?
In his address, LePage decries a negative ad against Republican candidate Kevin Raye — an ad that the Portland Press Herald agrees is false. However, as the Kennebec Journal documents, the Raye campaign has also veered from the truth — and this goes unmentioned by LePage.
LePage concludes his address by claiming that, despite political differences, there are greater things that unite us. “We must never forget, before we are Democrats or Republicans, we are Americans. “
We think that he should direct his message, not to the people of Maine, but to those in his party who time and time again have stood with the American Legislative Exchange Council — and not with the 47 percent. We think he should direct his message to those in his party who, on the day President Obama took office, took on the political mission of making is presidency fail — even if it meant that America would fail as well.
“We must learn to debate the issues with civility and integrity. “ states LePage. Is this a call to resolve or a note of surrender? Either way, LePage may have to do some learning, as he may find himself rubbing shoulders with a lot more Democrats after November 6.