Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Beneath contempt

with 3 comments

GOP politicians seem to be in a race to the bottom, jostling each other in their efforts to be the most mean-spirited, dishonest, and venal and thus achieve “leadership” in their party. The NY Times has an editorial on one odorous example:

As Republican governors vie to become the most anti-union executive in the land, Gov. Paul LePage of Maine has stooped to behavior worthy of the pharaohs’ chiseling historic truth from Egyptian monuments. Mr. LePage has ordered that a 36-foot-wide mural depicting workers’ history in Maine be removed from the lobby of the state’s Labor Department.

The reason? His office cited some complaints from offended business leaders and an anonymous fax declaring that the mural smacked of official brainwashing by North Korea’s dictator.

This is what’s passing for democratic governance in a state with a noble workers’ history. The mural honors such groups as the state’s shoemakers and the women riveters who kept the ironworks going in World War II. Key workplace moments depicted include a paper mill strike against harsh working conditions and a tribute to pioneer lumberjacks.

All too “one-sided,” decreed the governor, who also ordered that the agency’s seven meeting rooms no longer be named after figures from workers’ history. The nation’s first woman cabinet member — Labor Secretary Frances Perkins — is buried in her beloved Maine, but her room name won’t survive. Nor will state residents be reminded of William Looney, a 19th-century Republican legislator who fought for state child labor reforms.

Mr. LePage’s acting labor commissioner suggests replacing the mural with neutral paint and naming the conference rooms after Maine mountains.

To be fair, Mr. LePage does retain a sense of workplace opportunity. After his election last November, he named Lauren, his 22-year-old, fresh-from-college daughter, to what was termed an entry-level job as assistant to the governor’s chief of staff.

At $41,000 a year, the post offers $10,000 more than the pay for workers who pass the teacher and police tests. That’s on top of Ms. LePage’s free room and board at the governor’s mansion.

Thanks to TYD for pointing it out.

Written by LeisureGuy

29 March 2011 at 10:50 am

Posted in GOP, Government

3 Responses

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  1. The beauty of democracy is that idiots are usually thrown out of office quickly.

    Professor Weatherwick

    29 March 2011 at 10:52 am

  2. The problem is how much damage they do in the meantime. (Cf. Bush/Cheney.) And my faith in the American electorate dwindles as we observe increases in things such as Islamophobia (particularly the fear that Sharia law is taking over the US), climate change denial, birtherism, illegal detentions, searches, and seizures, and the like. In addition, of course, corporate lust for profits has pretty much destroyed journalism, which was our last defense.

    LeisureGuy

    29 March 2011 at 11:09 am

  3. A true fiscal conservation would be shamed to spend money on interior decorating admist such a financial crisis.

    TYD

    29 March 2011 at 2:29 pm


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