Friday, March 7, 2014
(Continued from page 1)
Yet now that the budget is on your desk, you're saying you'll sit on it for 10 days because the Maine Constitution says you can. And because, as your chief of staff, John McGough, said in a recent letter to state employees, you "will need this time to evaluate each piece" of the budget.
Evaluate each piece? If you haven't done that already, Governor, then how do you know it's "horrific" and "laughable"?
You and I both know you're using that 10 days for one simple reason: The closer you can push this turbulence to the June 30 drop-dead date for enactment of a state budget, the better your chances of producing what for you would be the perfect storm.
Also known as a state shutdown.
Makes you giddy, doesn't it, Big Guy? Satellite TV trucks surrounding the State House, breathless reporters saying this is the biggest crisis to hit a state capital since Scott Walker put the whole state of Wisconsin under a dark cloud back in 2011, maybe even a team from the Weather Channel driving around the Blaine House in search of that "cloud of blind hatred."
("It's real, folks -- and it's starting to form a funnel," I can hear storm chaser Jim Cantori warning us. "If you haven't already, now's the time to take cover!")
And there in the middle the maelstrom will be you, right, Governor?
Assuming you manage to peel off just enough Republicans from that two-thirds majority to sustain your veto, you'll howl above the din and flying bipartisan debris that all of this could have been prevented if only Senate President Justin Alfond, House Speaker Mark Eves and all those other dimwit Democrats on the third floor hadn't spawned that cloud of blind hatred in the first place.
"Quite frankly, folks, this is no way to start a Maine summer," you'll shout as the copper all but peels off the State House dome. "But if the loyal opposition wants a storm, that's exactly what they're going to get!"
What you won't do, of course, is accept any responsibility whatsoever for the hot air that's been fueling this brouhaha since the day you took office.
Nor will you use your own "man's brain" (No can do? Then borrow Ken Fredette's), sign the budget (or let it become law without a signature) and steer Maine around this tempest before real people (you know, the ones you promised to put before politics) start getting hurt.
I know, Big Guy, your base would never forgive you. But real leadership means being willing to reach out beyond that base and, when it really counts, do something constructive, something selfless, something truly gutsy.
Not to be confused with gusty.
Bill Nemitz can be contacted at 791-6323 or at: