LEPAGE TO NAACP: ‘KISS MY BUTT’…. Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) has proven himself to be something of a buffoon over the last year, and it appears his awkward style isn’t improving.

Gov. Paul LePage of Maine said Friday that the state’s N.A.A.C.P. leaders could “kiss my butt” after they questioned his decision not to attend Martin Luther King Day events in Bangor and Portland.

The remark by Mr. LePage, a newly elected Republican, came after The Portland Press Herald reported Friday that the N.A.A.C.P. felt increasingly slighted by him. Leaders of the group’s Maine chapters told the newspaper that Mr. LePage had declined several invitations from them in recent months and questioned whether he would look out for their interests. […]

When the reporter asked Mr. LePage to respond to the suggestion that he had a pattern of slighting the N.A.A.C.P., he said, “Tell them to kiss my butt,” adding, “If they want to play the race card, come to dinner. My son will talk to them.”

When talking to the NBC affiliate in Portland, the governor kept referring back to his adopted son, who is from Jamaica. He said, for example, the NAACP should “look at my family picture,” pointing out his son. LePage added that his son “happens to be black,” and that he would vouch for the governor’s approach to race-related issues.

Whether LePage is deliberately blowing off the NAACP is interesting, and the fact that the classless, loudmouth governor thinks the NAACP should “kiss his butt” doesn’t reflect well on him. Arguably more important, though, is that LePage seems to think having an adopted black son is some kind of trump card — or more accurately, a shield to be used when confronted with race-related questions.

He can’t have a race problem, the argument goes, because his son is black, as if this answers the questions about LePage snubbing the state’s largest organization focused on the needs of Maine’s African-American communities.

LePage is confused, and being respectful of racial diversity means more than pointing to a family photo. His son isn’t a prop, and the color of his son’s skin doesn’t answer questions about his father’s policies in office.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.