You will recognize the type, because there is one in most families.
He's the weird uncle who enjoys showing up at family gatherings just to get a good argument started.
He makes mean little comments that get under people's skin. He seems to have a different opinion just to have a different opinion, and he expresses it forcefully and with volume turned way up.
He says things that sound suspiciously untrue, many of which later turn out to be just that.
He is, they say, like a bull in a china closet, throwing his weight around, trying to intimidate and provoke the rest of the family.
He's the kind of guy who says something and other people just get up from the table and say they are going outside for some fresh air.
And, just when he gets everyone in a foul mood and feeling lousy, a little smile crosses his face because, well, he enjoys this.
Gov. Paul LePage seems determined to be Maine's nasty uncle.
Thursday, he told a TV station that a Democratic opponent "claims to be for the people, but he's the first one to give it to the people without providing Vaseline."
OK, governor, but can you wait until we can get the kids out of the room?
The governor also pronounced that Sen. Troy Jackson of Aroostook County "is bad," has "no brains" and possesses a "black heart."
Wow. This Jackson fellow must have done something really outrageous, like disagree with the governor.
For one thing, Jackson opposed allowing Canada timber companies to use foreign workers in Maine's North Woods, something Jackson felt strongly about as a retired lumberman. The governor sees nothing wrong with the practice.
Jackson, along with other Democrats, has had the temerity to compromise with legislative Republicans on a budget that does not include each and every idea first proposed by the governor.
An equal argument can be made that the governor is the one trying to stick Maine taxpayers with a raw deal.
His plan was to balance the state's budget by simply shifting tax increases back to local taxpayers by cutting revenue sharing, the Homestead Exemption and the Circuit Breaker program.
Let local taxpayers eat those costs, the governor said in effect.
But legislative Republicans and Democrats came up with the idea of having the tens of thousands of people who visit the state each year pay part of the cost.
They have approved a temporary half-percent increase in the sales tax and a 1 percent increase in the meals and lodging taxes.
Those are taxes we share with the people who annually use our roads and municipal facilities.
Why, it might be asked, is the governor so determined to prevent tourists from doing a little to help solve this state's financial problems?
Republicans and Democrats approved the compromise budget over the governor's objections, and the governor now promises to veto that budget, which is his prerogative.
Perhaps the governor's comments about Jackson were meant to get a rise out of the Allagash Democrat and start a brawl between legislative Republicans and Democrats.
If that was the goal, Jackson wasn't taking the bait. In a conference call Thursday afternoon, the homespun Jackson seemed philosophic, explaining that he had been called worse.
He described the governor as an "upper-management" person, and himself as a "working guy," looking out for other working people and his constituents.
The governor, of course, has been rude and crude before, and he will likely be so again.
His comments will likely get national publicity, stir up more contempt and further divide people who are working toward a common purpose.
And when he's done, the governor will be the only person smiling.
The opinions expressed in this column reflect the views of the ownership and the editorial board.