Gov. LePage likes to tell stories.

I don’t mean that he’s a liar (although he has bragged about making up stuff to waste reporters’ time). I mean he literally tells stories.

Most politicians talk about issues. They propose policies. They promise to get things done.

Our guy is different. When he frames a policy question there’s always a victim, and a villain and a hero. There’s conflict between good and evil, and big things are at stake. It’s exciting in ways in which discussions of Medicaid reimbursement rates and off-peak power prices are not, which is a huge advantage for a politician in a world where everybody is fighting off hundreds of claims on their attention. His ability to tell stories puts him in a category of one in state politics, and it’s a big part of why a lame duck with a hostile Legislature can still dominate the news just about any day he feels like it.

It’s also why he can’t get anything done that would require at least a little cooperation – which is pretty much everything in a democracy. It’s possible to resolve differences when interests come into conflict. But there’s no compromise when you are saving the world. There’s only room for one hero.

Did you catch the statement he issued after retired Sen. George Mitchell praised Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King for their votes against the Republican health care overhaul?

“Sens. Collins, King and Mitchell are three peas in a pod, preaching to struggling Maine citizens from the polished corridors of Washington, D.C. while they enjoy luxurious health care benefits lavished on them as members of the world’s most exclusive club … Sens. Collins, King and Mitchell should just be honest with the Maine people: they want to expand Medicaid at taxpayers’ expense to give free health care to able-bodied people who are capable of working and contributing to the cost of their own health insurance.”

OK, class, who’s the victim? “Struggling Maine citizens?” Correct.

The villain? Easy, it’s Collins, King and Mitchell.

And the hero? The only guy who will tell you the truth.

It doesn’t really matter that the thing that Collins and King voted against would have made life much worse for the struggling Maine taxpayer, or that most of the able-bodied people who would get care under expanded Medicaid are already working and they can’t afford health insurance. Stories have their own truth.

How about another? Once upon a time, the Legislature passed a bill to put a deposit on tiny liquor bottles called “nips” to cut down on roadside litter. Lawmakers worked with environmentalists and affected businesses to work out a compromise. But not so fast:

“Legislators say they want to prevent the littering of empty ‘nip’ bottles, but they do not care if it cuts funding to other state programs or increases costs for companies that do business here,” said a furious governor in a press release. “This is yet another anti-business vote that threatens jobs, increases costs to do business and puts the state’s financial health at risk … Unfortunately, this kind of secretive back-room deal that burdens the taxpayers is what I’ve come to expect.”

Victim? Other state programs, businesses, anyone who relies on the state’s financial health. Basically, when they put a nickel deposit on a “nip” all of us became victims.

Villain? Legislators, of course.

Hero? Do we have to ask?

It can work with almost any issue. What’s wrong with solar power? Poor elderly struggling to make ends meet (victim) have to pay more for their electricity, so that wealthy hypocrites who can afford solar collectors (villains) get to pay less.

Don’t worry, your hero will veto the bill that expanded solar incentives and pressure enough House Republicans to keep it from becoming law.

Should the minimum age for buying cigarettes be 21, as it is with beer? “Quite simply, any legislator who voted for this law is a hypocrite,” the governor said, identifying the villain. The victims are 18 to 21 year-olds, who can vote, go to adult prison or serve in the military, but now can’t smoke. The hero? The governor who plans to submit bills next year that would take away their rights to vote and serve in the military.

Don’t worry, kids, he can’t do it. But that’s not the point of the story. This is about a guy who fights hypocrisy and looks out for the little guy. If he doesn’t succeed a lot, it’s because the forces he’s fighting are so powerful. It’s lonely when you’re the hero.

That’s his story, anyway.

Greg Kesich is the editorial page editor. He can be contacted at:

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Twitter: gregkesich