We have a schoolyard bully in the Blaine House. Like all schoolyard bullies, his outward "strength" is a manifestation of his inner weakness and insecurity. He tells groups he doesn't like to "Kiss my butt" or, like with LGBT groups, simply fails to acknowledge their existence at all. Removes a mural celebrating labor in Maine from the Dept of Labor and to those who push back, he says "Get over it!"
Yeah, it's good to be the King.
Well, all bullies get their come-uppance in good time....
NOTE: If you come over the fold, be forewarned that I am going to compare LePage to a schoolyard bully. Bullying, especially of LGBT kids, is a serious, serious and often fatal problem today. I am not trying to make light of this. I am, however, trying to equate the mentalities here. In case anyone feels the need to see my credentials on bullying, you may review THIS diary before we start calling each other out for not knowing what we are talking about.
I will never forget the story of my grandfather and my great-uncle when they were young kids. Uncle Jack was quite a bit younger than my grandfather. Out playing one day Jack got bullied a bit and decided to run after a retreating bully as my grandfather yelled "Kick 'em in the ass, Jackie, kick 'em in the ass!" Jackie did. I imagine this was in the mid-1920's.
When my grandfather got older, one fellow decided to jump down from a wall at the local library and tackle him. The jerk and his friends thought that was really funny. See, my grandfather went to the library every day after High School to study. These guys thought that was pretty geeky. (See a parallel here to Teabaggers like LePage and Who?™ when it comes to what they think of intellectuals?). So, they thought they would "do something about it". Undeterred, my grandfather and a few friends did the same thing in the same place to this guy a couple of weeks later. When they did, the poor fellow wept like a baby in front of his buddies. I have been to that library, by the way--it's in Lexington, MA--and that wall is HIGH.
Even I tackled a bully once. Totally ambushed him in front of his friends. He was bigger than I was, older than I was, and really "popular". I made him cry in front of his big, bad friends and that was the end of that.
Now I do not advocate physical violence. I have had quite enough in my life, thank you. However, there IS something to be said for "making the bully cry" in front of his "friends".
That is what we are going to have to do to this bloated ego in the Blaine House. But not with violence. With political humiliation.
"Just ignore him" was the advice we used to get in school when another student was tormenting us. It NEVER worked, of course. Action was always required, and usually it took the form of clocking the guy, or stealing all his clothes and his towel in the locker room, or something to that effect. I have seen it all done in school, and most of you probably have, too.
With LePage, however, ignoring him is NOT going to make this stop. In fact, that's just what he wants us to do.
What We Can Do
1. Protest. There have been nearly constant protests, of varying sizes, in Augusta since LePage took office just over three months ago and released his agenda. This must be stepped up, and kept up. Keep it peaceful, folks, channel the Spirit of Wisconsin!
2. Target the Leg: LePage cannot do this all by himself. He has help. He has cronies in the Legislature. Their offices must be bombarded by constituents in person and by letter, fax and email letting our reps and senators know we will not stand for this destructive, tea-bagging agenda.
3. Target the businesses. This is where I need some help. Some of us could work together to compile a list of corporate donors of Tea Party reps and the Governor (who is dragging his heels on releasing this information, as well as the "private" corporate advisory council he has assembled outside the scope of disclosure requirements, or so he thinks). Those donors need to hear from us. Boycotts may be in order here in some cases.
4. Stay informed: www.dirigoblue.com, edited by our own Spud1, is an excellent resource.
5. Ad buys. I know this is expensive, but Democrats, environmental groups, LGBT groups and other concerned citizens groups could go a long way towards "political humiliation" by constantly reminding the Citizens of Maine of LePage's outrageous and reckless statements, both during the campaign (where he threatened to physically assault a reporter, for instance) and after. A newspaper ad here, a radio ad there, a TV ad there. Unrelenting, over the next four years.
6. Call him out. Encourage elected Democrats and candidates to recite the litany of LePage's outrages before every public speech and often in speeches in the legislature. Unrelenting. Constant. Mean, even.
Now I know, some of these things are kind of mean. Well, the "high road" has not worked very well for us, now, has it. Yet, Democrats keep taking it.
I say no more high road. Down, dirty, nasty--but always TRUE and ACCURATE. It's like a conservative strategy, only reality-based.
We have to get this bully off the playground, and it is going to take a lot of noise and action to do it. With luck, we can push him into a career-finishing outburst. It shouldn't be hard to do with a little organization and elbow grease.