Wednesday, March 12, 2014
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I hope Republicans again control Congress and the White House in 2013 and that the health care law is repealed. And then Republicans need to act decisively to implement reforms that create meaningful change without so much downside risk.
With apologies to Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe -- "The stain on Maine is plainly in the Blaine."
"Metro columnist" Bill Nemitz's latest hate-filled screed on July 11 attacking Gov. Paul LePage -- "Mortified by a geyser of trash talk" -- mortified me because he mentions my hometown, Johnstown, Pa., and David McCullough's book, "The Johnstown Flood," in his first paragraph.
I was born and raised in Johnstown, with a coal mine in my backyard and the glow of the open hearth furnace from the steel mill in town a permanent part of the night sky.
And I can say unequivocally that the coal miners and steel workers of my youth in the 1950s and '60s -- and those of 1889 Johnstown Flood vintage -- were tough, hardworking, God-fearing, gun-loving, common-sense, patriotic Americans with conservative values who expected a handout from no one, had no time for pointy-headed intellectuals and respected straight-talking, like-minded folks.
They were mostly Democrats, but Paul LePage would have been the kind of guy they'd have gladly had a beer with at any of the bars in town, which were as numerous as the churches.
Regarding Bill Nemitz, the guys I grew up with would have seen him as a smart-aleck twit, and I think he'd have frequently gotten beaten up at school. And he'd have deserved it.
About the only line in Nemitz's rant where I find agreement is when he says, "I'm no David McCullough." Truer words were never spoken, and David McCullough, a western Pennsylvania boy, must surely be relieved.
Conservative readers are still waiting for The Portland Press Herald to give a conservative "metro columnist" the same editorial freedom that Bill Nemitz enjoys to run opinion pieces as "news."
I can only hope that his inevitable next hate-filled attack on Gov. LePage will keep my hometown out of it.
South Portland (but always a Johnstown, Pa., boy)
After seeing the bumper sticker "Mainers Embarrassed By Their Governor," I thought about how I would even begin to explain it to visiting friends and family from away. It seemed like an overwhelming task, but alas, Bill Nemitz hits a home run again.
I will make copies of his column "Mortified by a geyser of trash talk" and just pass it out when questions are asked. Nemitz certainly has a way with words, not to mention his command of current gubernatorial history.
After reading Bill Nemitz's column that showed a letter from Gov. LePage to a legislator calling him a "liar and a cheat," I became angry and worried about LePage.
Gov. LePage displayed his high-handed manner even before he took office. At first, his outlandish behavior was comical, and it made me laugh.
But with Nemitz's column, I was brought up short: Did Maine's highest elected official really use such disrespectful, cruel language? I had hoped he would change. He hasn't.
Gov. LePage embodies characteristics we associate with tyranny. He ignores and denigrates the measures voted on by the people and the Legislature based on his personal whims. He bullies legislators and state workers to get his way. He ignores federal mandates and stoops to name-calling.
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