As the Gulf disaster demonstrates the wages of narrow Republican group-think that advanced the concept that regulation and oversight cause problems (an avoidable catastrophe because the Bush administration refused to properly regulate deep-water oil drilling), a closer-to-home version of right-wing ideological extremism that could produce enormous failure for Maine played out with the Republican nomination of Paul LePage.
Within hours of his nomination, frothing supporters were busy leaving online posts accusing Democrats of being in favor of a "welfare state," or worse, actually being against LePage because they are on welfare. Clearly, the nomination of LePage has, based on the statements of his followers and his own statements, focused the lens of public opinion on a host of far right social issues.
At a time when Republicans had the wind at their back with highly qualified candidates such as Peter Mills and Steve Abbott, a segment of that party in Maine chose to frame the entire race by a host of divisive social issues. Is this really the race that Republicans wanted to be running?
Meanwhile, LePage radio ads spoke of the "Democrat" party, not the "Democratic" Party. Rush Limbaugh called the Democratic Party the "Democrat" party because he didn't think it was democratic at all, and his far-right lemmings followed. It would appear that LePage is among them.
Oddly, LePage now claims to be an inclusive centrist who will represent all Mainers. On right-wing radio, however, LePage seemed to be a reliable right-wing extremist.
Mark Tardif, Waterville