December 4, 2011

Another View: Reader responds to letter gloating over LePage's ratings

Mocking the mural removed by the governor is offensive to the artist and citizens of Maine.

By PHYLLIS KAMIN

I was among the majority of Maine citizens who did not vote for Gov. Paul LePage, but not among the "majority" of those citizens recently polled who gave the governor a more than 50 percent approval rating.

I differ with Larry Lockman of Amherst's recent column in The Portland Press Herald gloating over the governor's "approval surge" in spite of the challenge of "daily doses of ridicule and mockery" ("GOP activist: If you like LePage's poll numbers, thank Maine Dems," Nov. 9).

In his righteous indignation, Lockman derides "the cheap shots and liberal mud-slinging from the dinosaur media." In his opinion, these contemptible actions had little or no impact on the governor's approval ratings. However, that assessment did not prevent Lockman from slinging a little mud of his own.

His "expertise" as an art expert undoubtedly qualifies him to describe the Department of Labor murals as a "second-rate piece of government-subsidized art." This "appraisal" is a smear on the talents of Judy Taylor, one of the foremost recognized artists of Maine, and a direct insult to the working men and women, past and present, who the mural honors.

Lockman mocks the reporting of the removal as a "silly non-story that came to naught." The only silliness involved was on the part of LePage, who, confronted with "the mess he (supposedly) inherited from the previous governor," chose to remove the murals as one of his first acts in office. His was a thoughtless folly that will haunt him for the rest of his tenure in office.

Lockman makes no mention of the good citizens of Maine whom LePage offended, without apology, in the process.

Though Lockman is entitled to his unique interpretation of LePage's "approval surge," I am perplexed by his employing the same demeaning tactics he finds so objectionable in those he labels "academic and media elites."

I believe it is called hypocrisy.

Phyllis Kamin is a resident of Cumberland.

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