So how did millions of dollars fail to elect Democrats – a governor, a 2nd Congressional District House of Representatives member, to keep a state Senate majority and a solid Maine House majority? What referendum did Democrats convince voters to pass? It was a referendum on arrogance – communicated in tweets, soundbites, Facebook and video.

While legislators were legislating, public television broadcast their activities. So one representative’s sheepish presentation of a bill to give attorney generals power to decide assistant attorney generals’ salaries was televised.

The tone set for legislators’ campaigns was ongoing, summarized on tweets from State House communications staff, that were negative and contemptuous.

The Democrats hired an expensive videographer to follow the governor to film “proof” of his gaffes. The governor stood up for his right to be free from arrogant, intrusive surveillance. He refused to meet with legislative leaders until it stopped.

The Senate president’s offer to “break bread” with the governor and his wife – as if videotaping insults were a matter of filling tummies – was dismissive. Even solidly anti-governor folk found videotaped surveillance overreaching, no matter whose Democratic frontal lobe the idea came from.

Arrogant violation of the rule to never take sides in a Democratic primary cost Democratic votes in the 2nd Congressional District race (and Falmouth/Yarmouth Senate race).

Words from Washington were tinged with arrogance. The day after the Aurora, Colorado, tragedy, one congressional chief of staff posted: “I just got a pedicure!” Many Americans spent that day, and many of the next praying. After the Newtown school tragedy, one congressman pronounced it wasn’t time to talk about gun control.

Entitlement to arrogance is hired or a gratuity paid to volunteer laborers. The governor had many arrogant moments. But voters decided who had less arrogance. He won: 48 percent to 44 percent.

Susan Cook


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