Tuesday, February 15, 2011


We now have a bill (LD 583 & Sponsors) that will create a NRA specialty plate. This is clearly what can be called “triumphalism” when a proposal of this sort is put forth.

Such a bill is not about governing, it is about ruling. Have you heard the outcry your fellow citizens seeking that this measure be promulgated and passed into law? Of course not because there is neither rational nor demand for this action. There is only the message; “we will do this because we can.”

The NRA specialty plate is pure triumphalism theater. Indeed it can be seen as similar to committing an “excessive celebration” penalty in the NFL. Yes, your team scored but rubbing the opposition’s nose in it to a disproportionate degree is unproductive at best and mean spirited at worse.

Our politics have no immediate penalty for “excessive celebration” and in the larger scheme of two coming years of fiscal action, policy realignment, and political redirection; this measure will eventually seem minor in nature. But at present, because no valid reason exists for this action, it speaks volumes in terms of the relationship we can expect from those elected and sworn in to serve all their constituents and their true attitude toward citizens in the minority.

Additionally it may just set up a divisive situation where none was sought or desired. This action strikes one as an attempt at taunting; it adds to the right-left gulf instead of working toward a political environment of benefiting all in Maine. There will be denials of such as intentions but this is truly a case of where actions speak louder than words.

It bodes ill for Maine when our elected representatives misguidedly engage in political theater that is clearly “in your face” unproductive posturing. That it will send money to a controversial advocacy group politically aligned with the right will be the recurring slap on the other cheek.

However, there has been one prevailing historical lesson for those who stridently engage in triumphalism; the willingness to alienate, the dedication to gesture not substance, and the deafness of self-righteousness generally leads to downfall.

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