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Every once in a while it is necessary to remind folks that this is the 21st century. A little common decency and civility is not too much to ask, is it? Let us work together to solve problems, not create new (and truly unnecessary) ones by slipping up and shooting from the hip so much.
Some people have called attention to the bad impression such remarks give of the State of Maine (well, actually that is quite an understatement since so many people all over this country and all over the world have reacted to these offensive remarks). It is truly a shame that such thoughts can actually exist in the mind of a public official.
After listening to his explanation at the news conference, I think it's fair to say that he has linked his personal anecdotes about the drug crisis with his visceral animosity towards welfare, and asserted a connection between non-Maine drug dealers and pregnancy (without any statistics). He blames the press and the legislature for not adopting his program. He admits that he has not taken the next step: to do the research needed to back up this assumption. But he says he feels very strongly about the issue of drug abuse and is trying to protect the people of Maine from avoidable drug overdoses and the cost of caring for wards of the State.
Reasonable people can disagree about how to address these problems, but insisting that everyone march in lock step with his proposed solutions is CEO thinking, not Governor thinking. He is not the CEO of Maine. Elected officials (including Governors) are expected to make their case and work with each other to agree on solutions that will attempt to serve the entire state, not just those who agree with the Governor. When he says he is not a politician, how does he expect the other branches of government to work with him to solve these problems? When he says that he doesn't read the papers, how can he criticize them for not helping to solve the problems? Why does he think that the papers are not trying to help solve the problems? If he is truly interested in solving the problem, he should spend more time talking to the press and to the legislature.
Perhaps the long silence from some of our members of Congress reflects that penchant for pondering that our Maine humorists talk about. My thanks to Representative Chellie Pingree for speaking out so clearly. We both feel the same way about this.