QUOTE OF THE DAY…. Looking back at the midterm elections, there were a few too many unhinged, cringe-worthy candidates up and down the ballot, many seeking powerful, statewide posts. It was tough to keep track of them all, and looking back, I think it’s a shame Paul LePage (R) didn’t get more attention.
Maine is generally known for being a vaguely center-left state with a fondness for moderates, and LePage, a small-town mayor and loudmouth Tea Party activist, always seemed a little out of place as a gubernatorial candidate. Regardless, he won the Republican Party’s nomination, and on Election Day, was narrowly elected governor with 38% of the vote in a three-way contest.
Last week, the governor-elect raised some eyebrows for appointing an extremist blogger, perhaps best known for joking about pushing liberals down staircases, to his transition team. This week, LePage explained his belief that state nullification laws already exist.
“I am going to be sitting with our attorney general and ask him to join the (health care reform) lawsuit against the federal government,” he said, adding he just learned that if 35 states join the suit, the law “dies, automatically.” Twenty states so far have joined the suit, filed in federal court in Florida, to repeal the provision in health care reform law that requires individuals to purchase health insurance.
To clarify for anyone who might be confused, there is no such legal provision that kills federal laws based on the number of states that join a lawsuit. That doesn’t make sense, it’s probably the kind of detail a C student in a high school government class wouldn’t screw up.
Josh Marshall noted that LePage is clearly “a diehard guy for the Constitution,” but “not one who seems to have much of a clue about what it says.”
Remember, we’re dealing with folks who consider themselves “constitutional conservatives,” as if fealty to the document’s specific language matters above all.
Given this, shouldn’t Tea Partiers mind when guys like Paul LePage makes them look bad?
I’ve always rather liked Maine. Here’s hoping the state’s new governor doesn’t do too much damage between now and 2014, and that the 62% of the state that didn’t want LePage don’t split their votes the next time around.