Cynthia: Our governor has had a rough couple of weeks, Mike. The tribes walked out on him, he’s been sidelined in budget talks, and the U.S. Supreme Court sided with Janet Mills on his effort to kick 19- and 20-year-olds off MaineCare. What a disaster.
If you ask me, the governor needs to do something really bold really quickly if he wants to turn this ship around and unify the people of Maine. Why not take minds off what’s happening in Augusta by ordering all state employees to buy and wear U.S. Women’s soccer team jerseys!
Mike: Democrats do love gimmicks — it must be hard not to have a budget full of them! But the tribes also walked out on Janet Mills, the Legislature is divided against itself on the budget, and the Supreme Court did what it does 99 percent of the time by denying the appeal. So, much like Sam Clemens, I think the rumors of Gov. LePage’s demise are greatly exaggerated.
Cynthia: What’s hard is not having a budget at all, thanks to silly antics and idolatry of income tax cuts by House Republicans and Gov. LePage that would leave gaping holes in the state’s budget. States like Kansas have tried this recipe and are facing financial calamity as a result.
People are looking to Augusta aghast and disheartened by the vitriol and dysfunction of state government. Why not avert our eyes to Canada and soccer, instead?
I’m telling you, Mike. The Women’s World Cup presents an opportunity for Gov. LePage, the myriad factions of your broken party and the Democrats to come together.
Republicans are rooting for Team USA, right?
Mike: Yes, everyone supports Team USA. And everyone supports lobsters and blueberry pie. Those “group hug” moments are nice, but let’s do something! Augusta’s leadership is like the pilot in the busted plane — it’ll take us all the way to the scene of the crash.
You and I can debate tax reform again, but the Democrats are doing a nice job of it without our help. Income tax cuts were good in 2009. Then Democrats “hated them” in 2011. Emily Cain liked them in 2014, while, in 2015, they are bad once more. If President Obama breaks with Democrats on trade and Gov. LePage breaks with Senate Republicans on tax reform, can’t someone find a way to put something together?
Cynthia: Did you see the American women beat Australia in Winnipeg this week in their first match? The exciting victory took more than a group hug — grit, determination, a common purpose and teamwork won the game. They didn’t dwell on the past, but instead learned from it.
Democrats are team players, Mike. That’s why many went along with Republicans in the past and will continue to compromise going forward.
Your side, on the other hand, seems to have a locker room of deflated balls and inflated egos.
The governor and House Republicans need to suit up and get in the game instead of heckling from the sidelines. Maine needs a team to win! And snazzy jerseys touting American athletes would help.
Mike: Democrats — who forced two majority budgets through the Legislature over GOP objections — are the “willing to compromise” team players? Say what you will about Republicans, but we’re pretty simple. We say what we want to do — welfare reform, tax and spending reductions — and then try to do it. Think Babe Ruth calling his shot. Let me know when the D’s decide on today’s income tax position.
Of course, consistency isn’t a trifle that concerns your side. Good Will-Hinckley now has a president who voted against public charter schools and assailed them via press release. Of course, former Speaker Glenn Cummings did the same thing, only to then see the light while leading Good-Will Hinckley. Hopefully Mark Eves will follow his example and admit Team GOP was right for Maine education all along. How’s that for a group hug?
Cynthia: There won’t be a group hug about Mark Eves’ appointment this week because Gov. LePage used the power of his office and personal attacks to try and derail it. Count one more deflated ball for your locker room.
And if Republicans are so simple, why are Senate Republicans and House Republicans on opposite sides of the state budget bill and threatening to shut down government as a result?
Your guys say they hate government but fight fiercely to get elected, often wield power irresponsibly and risk government shutdowns to promote personal agendas. Democrats are at least consistent in their belief that government can do good by ensuring equal opportunity for social mobility through education, employment and … sports. Go USA!
Mike: Yes, I know Republicans are bad and Democrats are good. Talk about simple! The fact is people are people, regardless of party. In 2011, the House Democrats and Senate Ds were on opposite sides of the budget until Barry Hobbins brokered a peace. And Democrats lambasted Susan Dench and denied her the opportunity to serve because of politics. For my part, I hope Mark Eves goes on to become a charter school champion like his predecessor.
I also hope the U.S. women go onto become champions. Hard work, ability, and determination lead to success, and government has nothing to do with it! Individuals and private organizations make their own choices, and, in this case, it may lead to a gold ball for Team USA. Meet you at Ri-Ra for that group hug?
Cynthia: Yes! Let us all raise a glass to gold balls, good people — Democrats and Republicans — and Team USA!