Saturday, January 15, 2011

"Shame on You," Governor LePage

Governor Paul LePage is at it again. Last fall, he said President Obama "could go to hell." Last Friday, when asked about his refusal to attend Martin Luther King Jr. events, sponsored by the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), he told a TV reporter, "Tell 'em to kiss my butt." Later he said,"I am the governor for 1.3 million people. I am not governor for a special interest, for a small group. They are part of Maine. If they want to come talk to me about being a Maine resident, a Maine citizen, they're invited. If they want to come talk to me about race cards they're not invited."

Unlike many people in the blog sphere, I am not bothered by Gov. LePage's refusal to attend the MLK events. He has the right to attend or not attend any non-governmental function he wants. That's his right. What does bother me is the manner in which he conducted himself. His comments strike me as divisive political banter designed to provoke. 

As I mentioned in yesterday's posting, what has happened to common courtesy and politeness? What was the Governor's point in bringing up the "race card," or "special interest"? Moreover, why did the Governor find it necessary to use a coarse expression ("Kiss my butt")? The Governor (or his press secretary) could have politely responded to the NAACP's invitation. The Governor should have said, "I appreciate your invitation. Unfortunately, I am unable to attend the event due to scheduling." That would have been the end of the story. No one is embarrassed and no one looks foolish.

I do not always agree with the NAACP, but the Governor's comments were very rude and unseemly, especially given his position. The Governor's lack of civility and good judgment not only reflects badly on himself but the State of Maine as well.  

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