CONTRIBUTOR

LePage and regrets

Posted April 05, 2011, at 7:16 p.m.
Last modified April 06, 2011, at 5:22 a.m.

I wish I could get over this Gov. Paul LePage business and think about important things. But for the love of lobster it just won’t go away.

LePage wanted to take down a labor mural because of the message it sent, but instead he’s taking himself down for the message he’s sending. And it’s a shame if you ask me. Maine so desperately needs a governor that cuts through the subterfuge and accomplish something.

Instead we have a subterfuge generator.

See, the message that’s getting out there — fueling every vehicle from MoveOn.org to the Daily Show — is that LePage can’t see the forest for the trees.  And that’s truly unfortunate for a Republican governor in Maine because the left is already expecting you to eliminate said forest and that’s a much more important discussion.

Now it appears that LePage wishes he hadn’t caused the whole mural hullabaloo. According to Republican legislator Leslie Fossil as quoted in the Thursday’s Huffington Post, “He certainly regretted that it happened.  It was a distraction that they did not need, and it just got away from them.”

That’s not all he regrets. If you do a web search of the words “LePage” and “regrets” in one-tenth of a second you’ll get 954,000 results. Now granted those two words might not be all about what the governor himself wishes he could undo, it may also be about the ever growing number of people who regret that LePage is governor at all.

This brings me to the second issue brought up lately by most of the organizations that have me and every other alleged progressive on their mailing list. The echo which is now reverberating from the poorly chosen words and deeds spewing from the Blaine House demands an election recall.

Yep, that’s right. The regrettable actions – and even LePage agrees to that title whether discussing his poorly chosen remarks about the president, the NAACP, this mural and a rapidly growing number of other gaffs – of the governor of Maine has spawned a movement to remove him from office. Now, unlike California famous for its recall back in 2003 of Gray Davis, Maine doesn’t have the legal footing to fire its chief executive in such a way. But that’s OK with proponents of his recall; they’re willing to do what it takes to put that process into place.

I have received countless emails from various groups – I probably could have counted them but didn’t feel like it – asking me to sign on to a petition demanding that something be done to rid Maine of our duly elected embarrassment.

I have a very simple sentence for the organizations – especially the Democratic Party pawns – who feel this way.  Quit your whining you bunch of babies!

Don’t look now but this “elect a governor that only a small fraction of the electorate supports” is just the way you major party wonks like it. Granted, I’m willing to share a good chuckle that the Republicans are horrified that you just won’t give Lepage a chance. That is rich considering how much they moaned over John Baldacci’s forcing his minority agenda down the throats of the majority who voted against him.  But in the time following Baldacci’s 38 percent win, legislation was proposed to institute instant runoff voting (IRV) so that folks could vote their conscience and no candidate would win that didn’t have the majority of voters supporting them.

I won’t cite a source on this public hearing and consequent unanimous vote from every Republican and Democrat on the committee that IRV ought not to pass because I don’t have to: I was there testifying in favor of it and I was there when it failed.

You can see how IRV works by going to fairvote.org. But trust me, if you’d had IRV in place in 2010 there would be no Gov. LePage. In fact, I’ll wager he wouldn’t have won the Republican primary.

If you don’t want lousy governors, fix the broken system that provides for your successive election of them.

As for you governor, I’d suggest a youtube video for you. It’s a Sesame Street instructional video that teaches you how to count to 10. Watch it every time before you speak.

Pat LaMarche of Yarmouth is the author of “Left Out In America: The State of Homelessness in the United States.” She may be reached at PatLaMarche@ hotmail.com.

 

 

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