Dean Scontras

Dean Scontras

In recent weeks, we have seen the tale of two American political leaders and the folly their words can cause when not well crafted. Especially, as in the president’s case, where the spoken word is not backed by the action promised.

The infamous “red line” remarks the president issued a year ago were not the only suspect comments the president has made during his tenure. A fair look at his record would show the president has made any number of comments that would have drawn greater scrutiny had he been a less skillful politician.

Many of the promises he made about his landmark legislative achievement have not come to pass. In fact, many have been proved false, but Obamacare is a new sacred cow of the Left — like the man himself, seemingly beyond reproach.

In the case of President Obama, there is a noticeable muted reaction; a collective blind eye cast, by certain quarters in the media who kept constant vigilance over every move the previous president made.

Likewise, they were full of criticism and righteous indignation whenever his predecessor misspoke, or proved politically inept, or ventured into foreign conflicts. I fail to see equal vigilance.

The constant chorus of soft applause from the intelligensia, some members of the media and his own party is, no matter what he does, curious at a minimum.

Much to the president’s credit, he has demonstrated a preternatural ability to avoid criticism, but much of the media have proved an accommodating accomplice.

As a result, their credibility now wanes and suffers.

Most tragically, it has become harder and harder to find voices of true American objectivity at time when it is needed most.

Similarly, but quite different, Paul LePage recently made incendiary remarks about the president at a Belgrade fundraiser in late August.

The remarks by LePage, like the countless others that came before it, were laced with malice. Perhaps this is why the words of LePage persistently shadow him — they are awkwardly and uncomfortably personal in nature. They impede him from making greater relationships, real or abstract, with anyone outside his echo chamber.

Silly gaffes can be excused, even forgotten, but the odiferous personal vitriol he spews lingers like political halitosis.

Likewise, after it was revealed by “ear-witnesses” at the event, many folks who have an obligation to higher principles chose to stay muted.

In fact, some applauded the governor and condemned those who chose to say something anything, albeit anonymously.

Even further still, there were claims of a “vast left-wing conspiracy.”

It turns out LePage and his supporters are much like the president and his supporters. They both turn a blind eye to the ruinous effect of his words.

Where LePage seems malicious and destructive in word, Obama seems dispassionate, subtle, aloof and indifferent.

Ironically, both qualities have rendered both men unable to forge meaningful relationships required to lead in politics, and only served to hasten the shift of the respective parties further from one another — and not a single voice fills the breech.

If we are to inject a modicum of objectivity back into the political argument, we too — political lay people, the press, rank-andfile party members — need to be harbingers of a new objectivity.

When criticism and condemnation is warranted, it should rise from all quarters.

Three weeks ago, I condemned the governor’s remarks. Today, I remain one of the only — if not the only — member of the party to do so. However, I have yet to hear criticisms from Democrats about Obama’s failures.

The silence, on both sides, is deafening.

DEAN SCONTRAS was the Republican candidate for Maine’s First Congressional District in 2008 and 2010.


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