I'm beginning to believe that my colleague Peter Roff's avocation is Cryptozoology - the search for animals whose existence is unproven. His quarry? Unicorns, or more succinctly unicorns striped in mythical liberal media bias. Over the past few weeks he has posted that these particularly savage Monokeros plinii have gored print journalism, trampled the pro-choice movement and, most recently, drawn and quartered Maine's Republican Governor Paul LePage.
Mr. Roff's latest target is the Portland Press Herald, owned by financier Donald Sussman, a major Democrat party donor. He writes that the Herald is willfully colluding with a monolithic liberal media to take down the governor.
Sussman's ownership is a troubling example of an increasing number of partisan billionaires buying newspapers to turn them into broadsheets inked in talking points. The Republican friendly Koch Brothers plan to do the same if they buy the Chicago Tribune. However, Sussman has nothing to do with LePage's slide down Mount Katahdin.
The governor's incessant invectives simply offend Maine's majority moderate voters. Lepage is not plain spoken, as Mr. Roff asserts, but plain inappropriate. He used a sexual metaphor to criticize state senator Troy Dale Jackson. He called the IRS the "New Gestapo," and, a few weeks ago a number of his Republican colleagues reported that LePage said President Obama hates white people.
LePage's poor record is also a factor. He says Maine's state government is too costly, but then hires his daughter as his assistant chief of staff, paying her above salary grade. He supports the development of alternative energy, but signs a bill banning the sale of corn-based ethanol. He encourages online education, but vetoes a law that promotes innovation in schools.
It's time for Republican's to stop chasing unicorns and start focusing on revitalizing the party. Class wins votes. Defending déclassé politicians does nothing to convince voters that the GOP cares about them. Republicans must encourage LePage and his brethren to retire, and discourage candidates of similar ilk from running. Grooming conservatives immune to Chronic Foot-in-Mouth disease will greatly improve the GOP's chances of retaking the lead in American politics.