As I’ve mentioned before, if you really want to understand what motivates the Republican Party, don’t listen to the well-groomed party officials and apparatchiks in Washington, instead, head out to the states. Which brings us to this wonderful insight from a Maine Republican about low-wage workers (boldface mine):
The Maine Heritage Policy Center launched a campaign this week against a November referendum to raise the state’s minimum wage from $7.50 per hour to $12 per hour by 2020.
It’s off to a rocky start.
The Center, which is connected to billionaires Charles and David Koch, announced its opposition during a press conference in the capital Augusta, where business owner Rick Snow, who is running for office in Maine, suggested that raising the wage would only provide more drug money to poorly paid workers.
“Where would that money be spent? We’ve heard about the opiate issues in the state of Maine. Are we going to add more income to individuals so they can spend it on illegal activities? I’m very concerned about that,” said Snow, Republican candidate for District 47 in the Maine House of Representatives and former director of Maine’s Bureau of Labor Standards, according to The Maine Beacon.
We really do have a serious heroin problem in the U.S. But it would appear that heroin is the new bogeyman for the batshitloonitarian right. By the way, this statement also shows how batshitloonitarianism, in the state of Maine, is endemic to the party–it’s not just confined to Republican Governor LePage.
Speaking of whom (boldface mine):
A THREE-RING binder has now exposed the three-ring circus of unhinged racism and ravings that are the hallmarks of Maine’s governor, Paul LePage (R).
Mr. LePage, who entered office in 2011 refusing to attend Martin Luther King Jr. Day events or meet with representatives of the NAACP, has a long history of racial animus, and this year he has outdone himself. In January, he attributed Maine’s opioid epidemic to “guys with the name D-Money, Smoothie, Shifty [who] come from Connecticut and New York, they come up here, they sell their heroin, they go back home [and] half the time they impregnate a young white girl before they leave.”
Challenged on that assertion last month, Mr. LePage, whom few in Maine regard as the sharpest mind in state politics, dug himself a deeper hole: “Ninety-plus percent of those pictures in my book, and it’s a three-ring binder, are black and Hispanic people.” And the next day: “Black people come up the highway and they kill Mainers.”
…A few weeks after his “90 percent-plus” assertion, Maine’s Portland Press Herald published FBI statistics showing that the overwhelming majority of those arrested in Maine for drug offenses in 2014 were white; just 14 percent were black.
Then, bowing to lawsuits, Mr. LePage was forced this week to release his by-now notorious three-ring binder of drug trafficking suspects — a 148-page scrapbook full of news clippings, press releases and mug shots. It turns out that Mr. LePage’s usual suspects, out-of-state blacks and Hispanics, comprised no more than about a third of the suspects in it, according to an analysis by the Associated Press. The governor’s office now says Mr. LePage wishes to “move on.”
He really should move on — by resigning and seeking help, in order to spare the people of Maine more of his wild-eyed ramblings. Having menaced a Democratic state legislator in an obscenity-filled voice-mail rant, likened the IRS to the Gestapo and suggested that President Obama “go to hell,” Mr. LePage threatens to remake his state’s image from a vacation paradise of surreal natural beauty to a hotbed of hatred.
In nearly six years as governor, Mr. LePage’s memorable assaults on decent governance and public civility include hiring his own relatives, threatening to shoot the political cartoonist of a state newspaper and attacking a Democratic state senator as “the first one to give it to the people without providing Vaseline.” He has referred to blacks and Hispanics as “the enemy,” adding that “the enemy right now, the overwhelming majority of people coming in, are people of color or people of Hispanic origin.”
If Clinton wins (and I think she will), I have no idea what to do with these bozos. Like it or not, this is a significant wing of the Republican Party.
As driftglass always says, “No nation can endure half Fox News and half free.”