The incoming Republican governors have made a Republican PR disaster for the party with their scorn and contempt for labor and the entire middle class, much like Sarah Palin does every time she opens her mouth. Republicans hope you all forget how they used these folks as weapons of mass destruction to destroy your financial security while sowing the seeds of hatred and disrespect for anyone who isn’t worshiping their Corporate God $.
While we watch the national party elitists back away from Palin (whom just two years ago they touted as a rising star), we are now watching the state Republicans distance themselves from their extremist, disrespectful governors. A little too late in some cases, as in Wisconsin, where it can be argued that looming recalls and not integrity are the driving force of the sudden Scott cooties as state Republicans fall over themselves to issue press statements that they can’t support Walker’s extremist positions and that he didn’t run on these things, etc. Yada yada, people, you voted for the anti-union bill – where were your convictions then?
But Maine state Senators have put out a statement denouncing the disrespect Governor Le Page is showing unions and working people. Maine has been home to many reasonable Republicans, in fact, the last bastion of respectable Republicans in many cases, and for that reason it’s important to acknowledge their statement, because this is what we should be seeing from national Republicans on the birther issue, the workers rights issue, the racism and the demonizing of “liberals”.
Here’s how things should look at a national level, where we disagree about policy, but we do so with personal dignity and respect (neither of which involves crosshairs on our opponents, talk about hunting down Democrats like dogs, referencing the religious affiliation or lack thereof of our opponent, etc). When a leader has a true belief in their ideology and can debate its merits without name-calling and distracting with violent rhetoric, they honor their office and constituents and get down to the real work of governing. Major kudos to the Maine Republicans for taking a stand for decency and honor.
Decrying and denouncing LePage’s “Government by disrespect,” Maine state senators call for comity to rein. The Portland Press Herald reports:
Instead, we find ourselves continually diverted, responding to yet another example of our chief executive picking a personal fight not worth fighting. “Government by disrespect” should have no place in Augusta, and when it happens, we should all reject it.
People sent us here to work together – to find common ground whenever we can. But there can, will and should be those occasions when our honestly held positions lead us to disagree and to vigorously debate the issues of the day. It is how we manage that conflict that matters. And “how” you do something is often as important as “what” you do.
Citing Governor LePage’s “laugh at the idiots” comment directed at labor, the state Senators go on to explain,
Belittling comments, whether they come from the governor or his opponents, have no place in Maine public life. By demeaning others, the governor also discourages people from taking part in debating the issues of the day – worrying if not only their ideas, but they themselves as people, will be the subject of scorn.
The issue of the day behind the artwork removal is a legitimate disagreement between the governor and labor.
When running for office, some of us did not have the support of organized labor. We may find ourselves on opposite sides of an issue or vote, but we are all working to achieve what we feel is best for our great state.
We are not the enemy of labor and labor is certainly not an enemy to us.
The state Senators point out that scorn is used to silence the opposition and keep debate from happening. We’ve heard Walker reference the union members in scornful, disrespectful ways that have engendered family civil wars and torn apart the traditions of worker equality and rights of that great state. We’ve heard Sarah Palin demonize her own constituents when she was in office, calling her critics “asinine” in press releases. And we have LePage calling his constituents idiots. Fox News utilizes scorn all day every day.
Scorn and contempt are not political debate, they are a way of changing the frame from a political ideology to a personal issue and thereby silencing debate. “Union thugs” “lazy teachers” “earn your own money” etc are all examples of political scorn and contempt that prove nothing about the ideology being presented except that it is too weak to be debated properly or is being championed by someone whose personal ethics are rooted in a Machiavellian gutter.
The Maine Republicans point out that while labor didn’t support all of them in the elections, and they may not agree with labor on many issues, that is no reason to demonize labor. Gee, imagine that. Political ideology is not a matter of good versus evil like Mike Huckabee, Donald Trump, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin tell us it is. This might seem obvious, but pay attention in the comment sections to how conservative “ideology” is defended these days and you’ll see how quickly the debate is shifted from ideas to personal contempt. Wait for it….
They say politics is a sport. But after you lose in tennis, you go to the net, shake hands with your opponent and say, “Good game.” You don’t screech about your opponent’s birth certificate and denounce them as un-American while screaming about Muslims taking over the world and then in final fit, blame the evil liberal media for your loss. The modern day Republican Party has become a national embarrassment of poor sports so bitter when they lose that they would rather take the entire country down than work with the person who beat them.
The modern day GOP is lead by clowns and fools with no dignity, no standards, and no ethics, all of which are meant to mask the truth, which is that they have no ideas they can debate fairly. Instead, they sell their “ideas” with the distraction of hate and in an act of continuous absurdity, use the bible to claim the moral high ground while spitting on the values Jesus stood for with their own behavior. Republicans use the culture war to win elections, calling liberal Democrats “elitists” but who are the real elitists? Who treat their constituents like cattle? Who call their constituents names when they don’t show proper “deference” to the Kings and Queens in the GOP? And after all, who demonizes the working class, that is, all Americans save the uber rich?
Enough. We’ve all had enough of it. And so we celebrate the Maine Republicans for their call to decency, their call for civility, and their demand for honest debate. Good for the Maine Republicans.
National Republicans should take a lesson from their Maine members; they should shoot for a shred of dignity in the upcoming election season. A shred, after all, would be an up for them at this point. They might think of it as a goal worthy to aspiring toward but impossible to achieve if they nominate anyone from the current spate of Fox pundit candidates, whose reality TV show manners and utter lack of public dignity and self-respect are almost making us miss George W Bush.
I dare say it may not be possible to go any lower than the national Republicans have, but I’d be a fool to doubt their capacity for lowering the bar and taking the country down with them. Let’s hope the Maine Republicans are a beacon of things to come.