Tuesday, September 28, 2010

LePage - Pants on Fire #1

Paul LePage’s propensity for making up things that have no basis in reality is becoming ever more astounding whenever he is interviewed, questioned, or just talks off the cuff. From his lashing out at reporters and playing hide and seek from the press to his tea party jawboning that he never expects voters to see, he seems to suffer from a bad case of candor challenge.

It is ironic that one of the emerging main difficulties facing Paul LePage’s quest for the Blaine House is his problem with telling the truth. One of supposed valued hallmarks of tea party candidacies like that of Paul LePage is the average persons’ love for blunt, no bull, tell-it-like-it-is, strait-talking facts. He is supposed to be the guy to give you the straight dope without the clever deceptions of those regular politicians who are always playing duck and cover.

But it turns out that it is Paul LePage who continually and apparently without any qualms whatsoever just makes up things to support whatever argument he happens to be making at any time. LePage has determined that anything he says, no matter how farfetched will be believed by his base and apparently the rest of us just because he sounds sincere or that it appears that he believes whatever fiction he is fabricating.

Take this three minute outtake from a very friendly interview done by MaineWebNews for example:

There’s a lot to argue with Paul LePage on with his stance on guns with his wild west implication that you and I should own a gun in order to act responsibly to protect our families and property for starters. However, this column is about making up facts and telling lies such as:

“In Switzerland, [wording pause] the head of household is required to own a gun.”
This is simply an outright falsehood; there absolutely is no such law and never has been. Some pro-gun sites have implied that the every able bodied man being in the Swiss military means that guns are more present in that society and therefore the reason for low gun violence. I’ve traveled in Switzerland on a number of occasions and young soldiers do get on trains with military weapons but the actual number of those in training (not usually heads of households) and reservists issued weapons (perhaps heads of households) may total about 400,000 at any one time which would not place a gun in every one of the 3.4 million households in the country as a way of backing in to LePage’s “fact”. Furthermore they are not required to store weapons at home if they do not wish to and a system of armories exists for that purpose. Many Swiss will tell you that their low gun violence is due to being an affluent, educated and homogeneous society with social safety nets and prohibitions against concealed handguns. Swiss society is very different than that of the United States and Paul LePage’s imaginary “head of household gun owner requirement” being the reason for its low crime rate is totally misleading.

“When 9/11 occurred, looting became a major problem.” [siren noise]
This is a second outright falsehood, looting was not in any significant way a problem on September 11th, 2001 in New York City (nor DC, nor any other US city). A total of 6 arrests for looting were made on that day and more were made later but the overriding reality is that out of control rioting or looting did not take place at all. In fact, the evacuation of lower Manhattan in an orderly fashion in one of the most terror provoking events in American history was extraordinary. The many images of those in New York of all races and creeds consoling each other in the midst of this horrible the attack and assisting each other unselfishly with civic conscientiousness has emerged as an important positive example for our country. Shopkeepers with guns simply were not necessary; grabbing someone’s hand and running were far more essential. “9/11 looting as a major problem”, is another example of Paul LePage making extremely exaggerated things up.

Should Maine citizens be happy to obtain some blunt, no bull, tell-it-like-it-is, strait-talking facts? Perhaps, but they seem to only get bull, fabrications, misleading insinuations, and unfortunately even outright lies from Paul LePage.

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