It was a remarkable moment in a remarkable legislative session when House Minority Leader Ken Fredette stood to explain that he was having a hard time understanding Democrats because they think like women.
Fredette said he had read the book "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus" and it explained why Democrats favored using federal funds to supply health insurance to 70,000 poor Mainers and he could not.
"Men sort of think one way in their own brain, in their own world, and women think another way in their own brain, in their own world," he said.
"Because, if you listen to the debate today, in my mind — a man's mind — I hear two fundamental issues. From the other side of the aisle (where the Democrats sit), I hear the conversation being about free. 'This is free, we need to take it, and it's free. And we need to do it now,' " he said.
Fredette's observation was, from the start, a little weird because most of the people looking back at him from across the aisle were actually men. Girly men, apparently, although their ranks included a former fire chief and a former county sheriff.
At any rate, the gals over there like free stuff. Perhaps he meant they are used to getting chocolates, flowers, diamond rings and pin money from their husbands.
"Now," he continued, "my brain, being a man's brain, sort of thinks differently, because I say, well, it's not. If it's free, is it really free? Because I say, in my brain (his man brain), there's a cost to this."
Actually, both the women and the men on the Democratic side understood that the federal money would not be "free," since we all pay federal taxes.
But the federal government would have supplied all of the money to extend Medicaid to 60,000 Mainers for three years without Maine taxpayers paying any more taxes.
Fredette's man brain told him it would be better to allow our federal taxes to go to other states rather than helping people here in Maine.
It's a man thing; don't ask.
But just because Mainers stand up like men and refuse the "free" money doesn't mean the federal government is going to cut our taxes.
Fredette was a little inarticulate, but there was a bit of truth in what he said.
Anyone who doesn't recognize that men and women, in general, lean in different political directions just isn't recognizing reality.
There is a reason Mitt Romney spent so much time fretting over the "female vote" in the last election, and why "soccer moms" are a political force in every election.
And there's likely a reason there were no Republican women in the Maine Senate this session and six on the Democratic side.
Women make up 38 percent of the Democrats (33 votes) in the House, but only 15 percent (8 votes) among Republicans.
Nationally, women are about seven percent more likely to identify with Democrats than men, and psychologists have spent three decades trying to figure out why.
Surveys and exit interviews have regularly shown that men and women tend to put different emphasis on social policy, military power, the economy, taxes and moral issues.
Interestingly, women tend to be more consistent with their beliefs over time, while men tend to swing more widely from issue to issue and election to election. It is, apparently, a man's prerogative to change his mind.
This tends to be true not only in the U.S. but in other nations as well.
Women tend to be more open to change and more sympathetic to immigrants and the poor. Men, and Republicans, tend to put more emphasis on threats, perhaps accounting for their greater support for military spending, gun rights and lower taxes.
Men and Republicans tend to see the world as a threatening place, while women and Democrats see it as a cooperative, friendly sphere.
Women and Democrats tend to be more comfortable with change and uncertainty, which might explain their willingness to go for a three-year Medicaid deal and accept uncertainty about future funding.
Some research has been done on Fredette's area of interest, the brains of men and women, and how they process information.
In other words, are we born to be Republicans or Democrats? Do we inherit that from our parents?
But our Republican and Democratic beliefs quickly become impossible to separate from the influence of our parents, our upbringing and life experiences.
There is strong research showing that the right and left sides of our brains identify and analyze information differently.
And scientist looking at brain scans given to people taking a special gambling quiz can tell conservatives from liberals with 82 percent accuracy by telling which part of their brain gets the most use.
So, perhaps, as Fredette said, men and women may tend to look at the same information and draw different conclusions and reality and the best way ahead.
But indisputable research shows that the two halves of our brains wouldn't perceive reality nearly as well if they did not work together.
Which may explain a lot about the inability of polarized government to function to anyone's satisfaction.
It takes two sides of a brain to make a whole person. Perhaps that's also true of effective governments.
The opinions expressed in this column reflect the views of the ownership and the editorial board.