Maine Governor Paul LePage made an empty insult last night when he claimed President Obama "hates white people." (Sources: Maine Public Broadcasting, MaineDOE)
Sometimes, history repeats itself in very dumb ways, especially when dumb things are said. Consider last night at a private fundraiser in Maine for the state's Republican Party. There, Maine Governor Paul LePage turned up the usual anti-Obama rhetoric that seems to be the party's bread and butter. But then he said something that sounded awfully familiar: LaPage complained that Obama hated white people.
The comment happened at the fundraiser, which was intended to introduce party supporters to new chairman Rick Bennett. During his speech, Governor LePage explained that President Obama could have been the greatest president the nation has ever seen, using his biracial heritage to bridge the gap between whites and minorities. However, that was not the case, according to LePage, because Obama "hates white people."
While some politicians at the scene denied hearing such a thing, and Governor LePage's senior political adviser issued a non-denial denial stating that it's "farfetched" to call him a racist, the comment is not an unlikely thing for LePage to say, given that he started out his campaign for governor essentially claiming that he would be telling Obama to "go to hell" when elected. However, it sounds very familiar for a reason: One Kanye West said something very similar back in 2005, when he told the public that then-President George W. Bush "doesn't care about black people."
Now, the circumstances and situations are very different between Mr. West and Governor LePage, but the sentiments are very similar: Both, despite claiming to be representing their people, speak incredibly empty statements that are only meant to preach to the choir and not say anything meaningful. In the case of Mr. West, who President Obama personally called an "a**hole," he simply made a useless gesture in dealing with the plight of Hurricane Katrina's victims in New Orleans, rather than being on the front lines and doing something about it. With Governor LePage, he was simply spinning the conservative talking points that he thinks will make him look good as a "tough" governor, without giving any explanation as to why Obama would hate white people so as to provide actual policy.
If LePage actually put some substance into what he was saying, then he could have a possible argument to make. Say, argue that the stagnating economy in Maine could be because Obama hates white people, given that Maine is among the states with the highest percentage of white people in America. That is still a completely stupid argument to make, but at the very least it is an argument. Governor LePage, however, like a lot of people in the Republican Party, just seem to think that just hating on Obama and not actually providing alternatives of any substance will get them brownie points and votes. Maybe it will in the short term, but such thinking is what will destroy them in the long run. In the end, LePage just sounds like Kanye: Full of sound and fury.