In the July 10 Portland Press Herald, Gov. LePage is quoted as saying that anyone offended by his comments comparing the IRS to the Gestapo should be “goddamned mad at the federal government,” i.e. not at him.

The governor’s supporters often say that he’s only saying what’s on his mind. Many add that he has the guts to say publicly what he thinks, making him “authentic,” not some pandering politician.

But does saying whatever comes to mind make you more “authentic” than a speaker who carefully crafts his or her words, perhaps with the help of others?

The affair reminded me of a column by Michael Gerson, formerly the head speechwriter for President George W. Bush, published March 12 of this year in the Washington Post. (The subject was Rick Santorum’s criticism of politicians who use teleprompters rather than speaking extemporaneously.)

“(Santorum) assumes that authenticity is identical to spontaneity. … This elevation of instinct and impulse is deeply unconservative — akin to arguing that the only authentic love is free love. Conservatives generally assert that discipline and preparation reveal authentic commitments, not discredit them.

“It is actually a form of pride — in a politician or anyone else — to believe that every thought produced by the firing of one’s neurons is immediately fit for public consumption. The craft of rhetoric involves the humility of repeated revision. The careful appeal to an audience is a form of courtesy …

“But a prospective president should care about rhetoric for deeper reasons: Because language and leadership are inseparable. Because history is not shaped or moved by mediocre words.”

Timothy Burris

Great Diamond Island

Jeers, cheers for column about ‘geyser of trash talk’

I found Bill Nemitz’s column in the July 11 edition of the Press Herald (“Mortified by a geyser of trash talk”) to be offensive.

Bill is sure LePage doesn’t know what a mixed metaphor is. Neither do I, but I function reasonably well.

LePage’s disagreement with Obamacare, according to Bill, is “because, because ‘We hate Obamacare!’ “

Does Bill have similar disrespect for the four Supreme Court justices who concluded that Obamacare was unconstitutional?

Yes, a lot of us in Maine pronounce “governor” as “guvnah.” That doesn’t indicate we are stupid (as implied by Bill).

“Trademark stupidity”? That’s constructive.

Pete Wilson

Cumberland

Hooray for Bill Nemitz! I agree with every word he wrote about our guvnah (“Mortified by a geyser of trash talk,” July 11).

LePage is a rude, crude, obnoxious bully and a total disgrace to the state of Maine. I’m sure that his cronies will be screeching and hollering at your newspaper for allowing Bill Nemitz to speak the truth.

Bill Nemitz is one of the reasons I subscribe to your newspaper. He deserves a raise for having the courage to tell it like it is.

Alicia Klick

South Freeport

Well, Bill Nemitz, you’re back — and with a vengeance. I almost choked on my coffee July 11 as you called the governor stupid and smugly laughed at his limited vocabulary usage (“Mortified by a geyser of trash talk”). Funny, if it weren’t so sad.

Bill, as the mouthpiece for the liberal beliefs of MaineToday Media, you take potshots at any and all who aren’t in lockstep with your and your cronies’ positions. You speak of “us” and “we” and “the whole world” as if all of Maine is in your camp.

Don’t be so presumptuous. (Big word, huh, Bill?) I don’t necessarily agree with LePage, but I don’t need you to tell me if I can or can’t. So try a longer vacation, Bill, and give “us” all a break from your trash talk. “We” can use it.

Jon G. Roderick

Portland

Fairness? Balance? Recent front page shows otherwise

I wasn’t surprised at your front page on July 10.

1. You made out Gov. LePage out to be a buffoon (“LePage: ‘Gestapo’ clouded message”).

2. You made a big deal out of Barney Frank’s marriage (“Marriage with extra meaning”).

3. Your paper is very biased in favor of the Democrats. Shame on you.

4. You guys don’t appear to be fair and balanced, and that’s another shame on you.

Howard Soule

Sanford

Governor is the kettle calling the pot black

Just heard our governor on the evening news accuse Rep. Chellie Pingree of “thumbing her nose at the Maine Legislature.” He has been thumbing his nose at the neediest people in our state, the president of the United States and anyone who does not agree with him since he took office.

I am ashamed of and embarrassed by Gov. LePage for more than one reason. Simple as that.

Julie DeRoche

Gray

It’s a no-brainer: Buy an E-ZPass to save on tolls

There are many complaints about the inequity of the projected Maine Turnpike toll increases, especially for those who get on and off at the York plaza and are not actually on the turnpike for many miles.

There are similar complaints from other users, on other stretches of the road, who feel that they, too, would be saddled with increases that are out of proportion to the distance that they use the turnpike.

What I don’t understand is why these people don’t sign up for and use the Maine E-ZPass system ($10). Then they would only be paying for the miles actually driven.

While I have not attended any of the public hearings where legitimate reasons concerning this particular aspect of the problem may have been addressed, it seems to me to be a no-brainer.

The tolls are going up — get over it and get E-ZPass.

Ed Ezzard

Topsham and Peaks Island