Paul LePage of Maine: Liar, Lunatic, or Drunk?

CURRENTLY mayor of Waterville, Maine, Paul LePage is the creationist who won the Republican primary and is now that party’s candidate in the Maine Governor’s race. Our last post about him was Creationism in Maine: The Calculus of Stupid.

Today we found an article that provides some additional information about LePage’s thinking on the creationism issue — if one can call it thinking. At the website of the Maine Public Broadcasting Network we read Discrimination Accusations by LePage Prompts Apology Request by Democrats.

The “Discrimination Accusations” in their title are about someone’s calling LePage a French Canadian Catholic or something. Silly stuff. We won’t bother with it; instead we’ll focus on the creationism. The article begins by telling us that LePage is campaigning on the “freedom train” …

… and more than 80 people paid between $100 and $750 a pop to accompany the candidate on whistle stops in Wiscasset, Brunswick and Bath and dine on brownbag lunches packed by members of Maine’s Tea Party.

That sounds great. What follows are some excerpts from an interview with several reporters between stops, with bold added by us.

[Quoting LePage:] “He [Maine Democratic Party’s campaign director Arden Manning] calls me a Creationist. I tried it, though,” said LePage. “I went to the river and tried to part it and it didn’t move. I tried to walk across my pool and I sunk (laughs).”

What is the man talking about? Let’s read on:

Jennifer Rooks [presumably a reporter]: “Do you believe in creationism and do you think it should be taught in Maine public schools?”

Paul LePage: “I would say the more education you have, the more knowledge you have, the better person you are. And I believe yes…and yes.”

Did you understand that, dear reader? We think he answered “yes” to both of Jennifer’s questions. Let’s continue:

Arden Manning says he’s never criticized LePage’s faith, but maintains that creationism should not be taught in public school.

“Creationism and Catholicism are too very different things,” said Manning. “Creationism belongs in Sunday school and science belongs in the classroom. We have criticized the fact that Paul LePage has said he would like to teach creationism in the science classroom.”

Fair enough. Here’s more:

During the weekend train trip, LePage attempted to clarify his position. He now says he never suggested creationism should be taught in public school.

What? We posted earlier about a couple of LePage statements to the contrary. For example:

Creationism: “Quite frankly, it’s a learning tool for our kids. I think we should teach them everything possible and let them make their own minds up on how they want to live their lives.”

And in that same post we have this: [The] candidates were asked if creationism should be taught alongside creationism [sic] in Maine’s schools. LePage answered “Yes.”

But that was a month ago — our post with those quotes was on 21 June. This is now. Here’s another excerpt from today’s article, as LePage explains how he “never suggested creationism should be taught in public school”:

“I never said such a thing,” said LePage. “That’s what he [Manning, presumably] said. Quite frankly, until he brought up the term creationism I never heard it. I never hear it in my whole life. I’m 61 years old. I never heard the word. Do I believe that we came from monkeys? Yes. Do I believe in God? Yes. Does that make me a creationist?”

Frankly, we don’t know what to make of this guy. That’s why our title suggests what we think is the full range of possibilities. If you can figure it out, dear reader, please let us know.

Copyright © 2010. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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9 responses to “Paul LePage of Maine: Liar, Lunatic, or Drunk?

  1. retiredsciguy

    Sounds as though LePage is ignorant of the meaning of the word “creationism”.

  2. Frankly, we don’t know what to make of this guy.

    I do. Weathervane or windsock, pick your metaphor.

  3. Paul LePage of Maine: Liar, Lunatic, or Drunk?

    Maybe dementia?

    (And mind you, I’m being pretty charitable, as it implies the presupposition that his memory & other cognitive functions worked better once…)

    Or maybe he uses some peculiar English dialect, where words have other meanings than for the rest of the people on this planet.

    Come to think of it… yeah, that must be it. Creationists have a vocabulary and logic of their own. That must be why so little of their “reasoning” and “science” makes any sense.

  4. Maine Operative

    Well, my take, reporting from the trenches of this particular battle, is that LePage is demonstrating the political waffle quite well. Unlike Louisiana where Creationists seem to be a dime a dozen, they are a much less common feature in the demographics of Maine.

    When he realized that he was about to set off a serious controversy in a deep blue state, he tries to do a 180, but it is so sloppily executed that eveyone is left wondering what the heck is going on. Meanwhile, Libbey Mitchell (the non-Creationist Democratic candidate) sits back and lets LePage shoot away at his feet.

    By the by–yes, Jennifer Rooks is a public television/radio reporter. She hosts a weekly state news and political analysis program.

  5. Thanks for your on-site perspective, Maine Operative. We’ve noticed several other news stories, all reporting LePage’s gaffs on that train trip.

  6. Maine Operative

    The “Maine Politics” blog sums up LePage’s current campaign by suggesting that he adopt a new musical anthem:

    http://www.mainepolitics.net/content/lepages-new-campaign-anthem

  7. That’s about it, Maine Operative. It’s not easy to have a train-wreck involving only one train — while it’s stopped — but LePage somehow managed to do it.

  8. James Rousseau Sr

    Last I knew evolution is a theory because there is no proof, only speculation. Those of you who who adhere to it seem to do so with religious fervor. Remember, there has never been discovered one undisputed transitional life form. There should be millions, but there is not one. To date, the “fossil” records disprove evolution. Sorry.

  9. Yeah, okay. Goodbye, James Rousseau Sr.