Huffpost Politics
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Pat LaMarche Headshot

Maine's Gov. LePage: The Latest Example of GOP Self-Loathing

Posted: Updated:

You don't need psych classes to know that Maine's Governor Paul LePage hates where he came from as a child. In fact he's just one of many Republicans who has risen to power while kicking to the curb those who are just like him. And in LePage's case, he's attempting to increase his power by further destroying the little guy that he used to be.

But before we examine LePage's intentions to devastate the social infrastructure which supports poor kids, let's get a refresher course on republican self-hating.

What say we start with Idaho Sen. Larry Craig?

You may recall that Craig helped craft the U.S. Military's now defunct "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy which states, "A member of the armed forces shall be separated from the armed forces under regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Defense if one or more of the following findings is made and approved in accordance with procedures set forth in such regulations." And number one of those findings, "That the member has engaged in, attempted to engage in, or solicited another to engage in a homosexual act or acts."

AKA the Senator's wide stance in an airport restroom and subsequent guilty plea to a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge. The Senator later regretted pleading guilty but by then his hypocrisy was fully exposed. Of course Craig is only one of the many un-closeted gay bashing republicans. Indiana Republican Phil Hinkle is one of the more recent casualties the party has endured. An interesting assortment of characters can be found on Ranker's top ten list which -- oh by the way -- features fifteen names.

And the GOP isn't just where gay self-haters hide; it's also where shamed cowards seek refuge. You know, the Republican Party's nearly limitless catalogue of draft dodgers who flex their bombastic muscles and with all the bravado a self-loather can muster send someone else to fight and die.

The easiest and most recognizable of all these hometown hibernating anti-heroes is former President George W. Bush. He hid from the Vietnam War so well that he had to produce dental records to prove he was skulking in the Alabama National Guard, yet with a stroke of his pen he sent hundreds of thousands of our nation's hometown militiamen and women off to war.

The GOP's collection of war hawk draft dodgers includes former VP Dick Cheney and presidential wannabe Newt Gingrich as well as countless other politicians, talking heads and king makers like Rush Limbaugh and Karl Rove.

Consequently we shouldn't be surprised when a high ranking elected official rises to the top of the political landscape only to target everything that's made him what he is today. His attack on the poorest of Maine is reminiscent of the jailhouse screw who rats on his own kind to gain favor with the ruling class.

The State of Maine Governor's website explains that LePage was born into poverty and because his "dysfunctional" family was also violent he ran away at eleven and lived on the streets for two years. LePage -- a native French speaker -- had little educational opportunity and didn't speak English well enough to take his college entrance exam. Special accommodations were made for him so that he could take that exam in French and, "demonstrate his strong comprehension abilities and earn admittance."

LePage has now proposed cuts to nearly every support a poor kid from his background has to escape poverty. Instead of seeing himself as an example of a kid in need of housing, educational supports and loving caring adult supervision -- even though he credits two families for taking him into their homes and parenting him -- he has demanded that the Maine Legislature eliminate Medicaid benefits for 65,000 persons including many of these kids' parents, put approximately 4000 elderly and disabled out of their homes and eliminate millions of dollars in education programs including the highly successful Head Start pre-school program which greatly increases a child's chances of completing high school.

And when confronted by a constituent at a recent public event the Governor responded by issuing the ultimatum, "Come April first, I'm going to have to close schools or close nursing homes."

Governor LePage threatening schools when he himself never had the opportunity to learn English as a child is the same sort of self-loathing that led Senator Craig to persecute gays and President Bush to sentence nearly 4700 U.S. troops to die in Afghanistan and Iraq.