Gov. LePage showed he has learned nothing from the events of the past week, putting more pressure on Republican lawmakers to add their voices to the chorus demanding his resignation.

Wednesday started well, with Le-Page meeting with Rep. Drew Gattine, the recipient last week of a rage-fueled voicemail message. The governor apologized to Gattine’s family and the people of Maine for his language, and then devolved into the self-pity and blame deflection that has been his MO since taking office.

If the governor thinks that he is in trouble because of a personal dispute with Gattine – or for getting caught using a particularly harsh obscenity – he hasn’t been paying attention. What’s in question is whether LePage is capable of doing his job, and the evidence from his own mouth increasingly says that he is not.


For instance, he continued Wednesday to make his libelous attack against black and Hispanic people, whom he blames for the overdose deaths of white Mainers. In a sympathetic interview with radio host Ray Richardson, the governor rejected another opportunity to disavow those statements.

“Because all lives matter, not just black lives,” LePage explained. “It’s white people dying every day … but the point is this notion is caught up on defending only one ethnic group. What about the people in Maine?”


If the governor doesn’t know by now that some of the “people in Maine” are black and Hispanic, and that they are entitled to equal protection under the law, he never will. LePage won’t take responsibility for what he’s done and won’t do anything to make sure that these terrifying and humiliating breaches of responsibility won’t happen again.

The question for lawmakers now is: What’s next? The answer got more complicated Tuesday when House Republican leaders emerged from a caucus and announced that they would block a special legislative session to impeach, censure or otherwise discipline the governor for a series of racial and violent statements that LePage has made over the previous week.

Republican House members may think that they put out the fire with this move, but they instead could be feeding the flames. By refusing to hold a special session, they are shutting down options short of demanding the governor’s resignation. Sparing LePage from a rebuke now could lead to more serious consequences later.

LePage has repeatedly relied on this loyal group of Republicans to block legislation ever since Republicans lost control of the House in 2012. Their leader, Rep. Ken Fredette of Newport, made clear Tuesday that he would hold the line for LePage on this matter as well, even though he said his members don’t approve of the governor’s conduct.


Senate President Michael Thibodeau, R-Winterport, said that he and members of his caucus were still deciding how to respond to LePage’s lack of contrition. Asked if there should be formal political consequences for the tirade left on Gattine’s voice mail, Thibodeau answered, “Of course there should. There should be consequences for actions, and that’s why we’re really struggling right now.”

Without the prospect of a special session and any legislative action that would make LePage change his ways, Republican senators are left with few choices. They can accept LePage the way he is and wait out the next two years of government inaction, or they can join the people calling for his ouster.

If enough Senate Republicans tell the governor that they would not support him in an impeachment trial when the Legislature reconvenes after the election, he would have to consider resignation.

LePage’s firewall held for him Tuesday, but that protection might not help him in the long run.

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