By Robert E. Macdonald
Mayor of Lewiston
Shakespeare expressed it best: “Much Ado About Nothing.” Nothing, that is, unless you’re in the print or TV news business. Nothing, that is, unless you’re a “can’t-say-no liberal democratic legislator.”
Nothing, that is, unless you’re a gutless Republican afraid to speak up in support of the man on whose coattails swept you into office.
The molehill made into a week-long mountain was Governor Paul LePage’s use of the word “Gestapo” to describe the new added duties of Internal Revenue agents under the Affordable Care Act, known as “Obamacare.” The IRS is now charged with making sure that everyone will have health insurance.
The Governor’s alleged insensitivity provided Maine voters with an Academy Award-winning performance of purported indignation by Democratic Senator Justin Alfond. Not to be outdone, Representative Emily Cain also chimed in.
Yes, emotions ran high amongst Alfond, Cain and the Democratic State Party hierarchy over Governor LePage’s remark. But it was not indignation. No, it was joy.
High-fives, cartwheels and celebration were the order of the day. Governor LePage had provided them with a non-issue that could be exploited for days in the media.
This raises a serious question. Will the Democrats introduce legislation in the next legislative session to remove reruns of the TV show “Hogan’s Heroes” from cable? If Governor LePage’s remarks about the Gestapo rise to the status of a mountain, surely “Hogan’s Heroes” is at least the equivalent of the Himalayas.
Then we have the comments by Ben Grant, chairman of the Maine Democratic Party, commenting on the Governor’s use of the word Gestapo: “Governor LePage’s fitness to hold office must be seriously and openly questioned.” Really?
If Paul LePage had lost to his Democratic or so-called independent opponents:
1. Would Paul Violette be in jail or leading another junket to Europe or Asia to study roadways?
2. Would the health spa known as the Maine Housing Authority still be receiving taxpayer funds in order to provide perks for their employees—perks that made them feel like one-percenters?
3. Would TANF (Temporary Aid to Needy Families) been allowed to continue longer than 60 months?
This whole brouhaha has in fact created a serious problem for the citizens of this state. The words that we may choose to articulate our views must now be approved by the Political Correctness Police, a.k.a. the Maine Democratic Party. This group has rendered judgment and found that “Gestapo” has risen to the standard of an offensive word, much like “Christmas”, “Hannukah”, “God”, “Easter”, “refugee”, “illegal alien”, etc. which causes discomfort to various groups.
One has to wonder when the words “freedom” and “democracy” will be added to the list?
It also begs the question why phrases such as “Evangelic Christian”, “right-wing extremist” and “Religious Right”, amongst others, don’t receive the same indignation when used by liberal politicians to characterize and demean the certain groups that they take exception to.
What I find really strange is that this P.C. group will fight tooth and nail to ensure groups of filthy-mouthed kids can ramble on without censure. After all, they have rights.
Now for this week’s TANF numbers: Our General Assistance Staff added four families totaling 16 individuals to the city’s welfare rolls. This now raises the Lewiston total to 45 families consisting of 206 individuals.
Currently $7,075 has been doled out to approximately 30 percent of those who filed claims. The other 70 percent has not submitted all the necessary paperwork to start collecting assistance.
It is a shame that each of Lewiston’s property-taxpaying families could not claim at least one of these individuals as a dependent on their tax return, thus offsetting any increase in their property tax.
Remember in November.