Making Headlines: Paul “Front Page” LePage
A lesson in how not to govern.
Once upon a time we Mainers had a saying – it was a bit self-aggrandizing but hey, we are a proud, pick ’em up by the bootstraps people:
As Maine goes, so goes the nation.
But sadly, today, if that is true the country is in real, big trouble.
The man that has come to be known, not so fondly mind you, as “Front Page LePage,” seems intent on being a national media darling. So far, he has been the gift that keeps on giving, garnering the attention of pundits and comics from every corner of the country.
This past week, the man who once falsely insisted Maine taxed everything, including bull semen, attempted to get in the last word with Maine novelist Stephen King. Maine’s most famous author recently made headlines when he referred to three of the nation’s new governors, Maine’s Paul Lepage, Florida’s Rick Scott, and Wisconsin’s Scott Walker as Larry, Curly and Moe. Worse yet, he also called the Maine governor “stone brain.”
These are more than pretty strong words – that are, well, downright insulting to the governor. But in fairness to Mr. King, barely three months into his first term as Maine’s governor Mr. LePage appears intent on making the author’s comments seem almost innocuous in comparison.
Less than three months removed from calling the NAACP a special interest group and telling their leadership “they could kiss his butt,” LePage hit new lows when he asserted that the only bad thing about a chemical additive like BPA is that it might give women “little beards.”
That came before the more recent events when he fired his biggest shot across the bow thus far. It is important to note that during King’s extensive dissing of the three governors he also happened to offer some significant support for unions and their importance to American workers.
“Remember, when these people talk to you about it, if you like the weekend, thank a union guy,” stated King.
“If you like a 40-hour week, thank a union guy. If you like a day’s honest pay for a day’s honest work, thank a union guy.
This past weekend the governor went through on his promise to have a mural depicting Maine’s labor history from 1800 to the present removed from the Department of Labor building. The panels showing child labor, Rosie the Riveter at Bath Iron Works, and striking workers disappeared over the weekend.
In one-upping those who would support unions, he also managed to avoid dealing with potential protests that were rumored to feature people forming a human chain to block the mural’s removal.
It seems he sort of had a plan for that as well, telling television reporters that if people did take such a step he would “laugh at them, the idiots. That’s what I would do. Come on! Get over yourselves!”
God forbid if Maine’s recent gubernatorial election is a bellwether for the next leader of the free world.
Not when the man seems like a character straight from one of Mr. King’s novels.