Last year, when the governor was in hot water over his comments about Troy Jackson and Vaseline, I wrote about the urgent need for an intervention for Gov. Paul LePage, who showed all the signs of imminent self-destruction. Since then, with each new embarrassing incident, Republicans have circled the wagons to protect him, putting their party ahead of their state while ignoring the damage he was doing to both.

Now we’re long past interventions and talk. What has happened over the last 10 days is not simply another episode of vulgarity from the governor, broadcast around the country. This time, LePage opened a window through which all of us could see his true character and how he operates.

We saw a man who lacks the temperament and the skills to bring people together to solve Maine’s urgent problems. A man out of control, perhaps intoxicated with power. Possibly on the verge of a nervous breakdown. And a man losing whatever real power he still had.

Here’s some of what I wrote about LePage last year, which is worth revisiting: “What strikes me about LePage is how angry he seems to be, nearly all the time, about almost everything. I see a man who could deliver that line about Vaseline with a gleam in his eye, seeming to relish the act of butchering both our traditions of civil discourse and his opponents.

“LePage is a familiar character to me, which is why I’ve always had mixed feelings about him, and even agreed, reluctantly, to serve on his transition team. We both grew up in poverty in Franco-American communities here in Maine. While we took different paths to climb our way out of those beginnings, we each completed difficult journeys that not everyone we knew was able to do.

“LePage is the loud and boisterous Mon Oncle that so many of us knew around the neighborhood. Many are endearing, smart and tough. Some go on to become enormously successful, while others become flaming wreckage, scorching the earth around them.

“Those who have lived in poverty know well the signs of people who are self-destructing. People on the edge, pushed there by dead-end jobs, fading dreams, fractured relationships, alcohol and drugs, mental illness or eruptions of anger. And that is what we see in LePage.

“Since he came to office, I’ve watched LePage travel along an arc from a novelty to a tragedy and felt my curiosity give way to frustration and then disgust. What I see now are only the flashing lights and the loud sirens of a man in deep distress.”

Over the last 18 months, LePage has gotten worse. He angered leaders of his own party by proposing a series of bold tax reforms that they couldn’t support. When he didn’t get his way, he first insulted both Democrats and Republicans in the Legislature, then began vetoing bills out of spite.

LePage then threatened to circumvent the Legislature by appealing directly to the people and governing by referendum. None of his ideas got enough signatures to make the ballot. Undaunted, he launched a series of town hall meetings to whip up anger toward the Legislature. Many of those gatherings blew up in his face. And his agenda went nowhere.

For all practical purposes, LePage became a lame duck governor last year. Over the last 10 days, his remaining influence has been scattered to the wind. In a political sense, he’s gone from a lame duck to a dead duck.

There are only two scenarios now for LePage’s future as governor. One is that he will leave office, voluntarily or otherwise. The other is that he will spend a lot of time over the next two years in his favorite rocking chair, being a governor in name only.

I don’t expect LePage to resign or divided Republicans to act. Questions about LePage’s future will need to be decided by the people of Maine, who must now take matters into their own hands.

In November, voters will have an opportunity to send a message to Augusta. Voters can reject legislators who sat on their hands and did nothing, or who made excuses for LePage. Or they can elect candidates who want LePage out and shift control of the state Senate to people who are committed to action. That’s a message everyone in Augusta will understand, loud and clear.

If those things happen, it will ensure that the first action that the next Legislature takes up, in January 2017, will be an act to impeach LePage and save our state.

Alan Caron is the owner of Caron Communications and the author of “Reinventing Maine Government” and “Maine’s Next Economy.” He can be contacted at:

[email protected]