Maine Gov. LePage / Creative Commons
[NOTE: The students in the video – TWO of them – are holding signs and saying nothing, letting him speak].
What does it take to make an authoritarian completely lose their cool? Not much, if the recent demonstration by Maine’s Governor Paul LePage is any indication.
“Thank you, you idiots”
Maybe it’s just me, but American authoritarians seem to be getting progressively more thin-skinned. Whether it’s Trump or LePage, modern fascist-wannabes are terribly sensitive little flowers. Real authoritarians, like Benito Mussolini, would never have been caught dead throwing temper tantrums in public.
Maine’s governor is a special case, though. LePage is well-known for his belief in, frankly, some really weird conspiracy theories and quite possibly has ties with right-wing extremist groups.
And he also takes pride in his apparent lack of a filter, which has given way to some bizarre statements and actions in the past that were as stupid as they were offensive. For instance:
LePage is an advocate for child labor, because child labor laws are “causing damage to our economy“
And that’s just the short list. You can find more here.
LePage, as you can imagine, isn’t very popular. And that unpopularity caught up with him on Tuesday, when he was invited to dedicate a new education center at the University of Maine at Farmington, according to the Portland Press Herald.
As he was preparing to give his speech, the governor spotted signs that attacked him as “Maine’s shame.” Other signs gave him an “F” on his environmental record.
This had a detrimental impact on his speech, as you might imagine, and just 15 seconds in, LePage lost concentration. After 45 seconds — an endurance and fortitude test of inhuman proportions, assuredly — LePage up and left, telling the audience, “I’m sorry, I’m done — I’m just not in the mood.”
LePage then delivered the mother of all burns as he walked through the crowd, with the bystanders laughing at him as he sputtered in impotent rage:
Thank you, you idiots out back there with the signs.
The chancellor of the University of Maine took over the governor’s place at the podium and continued the dedication ceremony after LePage stormed off in a huff.
Most normal adults should’ve realized that criticism is a part of life by now. LePage, however, is a Teabagger — to him, criticism is only legitimate so long as it’s being directed at not-white people.