Mike Tipping, the Maine People’s Alliance’s director of paranoia and hate, recently announced the launch of his book “As Maine Went: Governor Paul LePage and the Tea Party Takeover of Maine.” I recently wrote disparagingly about his claims to expert knowledge about the tea party, pointing out that I’d never seen him at a tea party rally.

He struck back by accusing me of judging his book by its cover. I stand by the right of every freeborn Mainer to conclude that any book with “Mike Tipping,” “Tea Party” and “Paul LePage” on its cover is a poisonous triangle of frothing fury.

Now we have read the initial discharge from this triangle, and we find that it’s designed to suggest that LePage is conspiring with a gang of radicals to launch a wave of terror in Maine and lynch the president of the Maine Senate, Justin Alfond, and Speaker of the House, Mark Eves. The gang of dangerous radicals turns out to be four old guys (some even older than me) calling themselves the Constitutional Coalition.

I don’t support any plans to hoist those repellent Democrats with hemp. I’m well past my hoisting age. I might, however, consider joining a posse organized to chastise them with canes and whup ’em with walkers.

I assume that at least some of the Maine Paranoiacs Alliance really believe that the entire state of Maine is now controlled by the tea party, but less-fevered citizens will wonder how a cluster of groups without a central organization, with only a handful of activists willing to volunteer for campaign work, and less than 1 percent of the money that Selwyn D. Sussman regularly antes up for the Maine Democratic Party, managed this supposed takeover.

The silliness reflected in the title of Tipping’s book does not matter. The Democratic Party in Maine and the nation is committed to relentlessly depicting the Republican Party as infected or controlled by ultra-extreme-far-right radicals. Notice that Democratic candidates and their media allies rarely speak about “conservatives.” For them conservatives no longer exist. The name is too respectable nowadays. “Ultraconservative” is OK, but not as good as “radical-right,” a term that includes (wink, wink) Nazis, Ku-Kluxers, fascists, et al.

The tea party has acquired a negative sound because of the tireless hostility of the liberal media and frictions inside the GOP itself. Consequently, Democratic propagandists incestuously and repeatedly associate Republican candidates with the tea party. I have almost daily fund-raising appeals from the Democratic Governors Association. They don’t spend much space touting the virtues of Democratic gubernatorial candidates, but the phrase “tea party governor” appears over and over in my 40-page file of DGA appeals.

Here’s a sample of my association friends staying “on message:”

“Talking Points Memo: 2010 Tea Party govs have been a DISASTER. Voters are rejecting these radicals and it’s time to WIPE THEM OUT in November. Give now to DEFEAT these Republicans and a donor will DOUBLE your gift!”

This is boring but follows the stay-on-message rule no matter how dumb the message is. Strategists in both parties agree that monotonous repetition is needed to reach really stupid voters.

No surprise to find the Tipping uses Talking Points Memo (TPM) as an authoritative source, and TPM uses Tipping as an authoritative source. Takes two, and lots more, to stay on a message that stupid. A man needs support and encouragement to stay with it without experiencing dizziness and nausea.

Now, to top everything, we have Democracy for America touting the Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, Shenna Bellows, as “…the perfect progressive champion to take on and expose Susan Collins’ tea party voting record.”

Jack-booted Collins denounced as the fugelman for Maine’s ultra right-wing tea party radicals? Is this the message that’s going to carry Bellows off to Washington, D.C.? Any voters in Maine ready to follow this message to the voting booth must be on life-support. They can’t possibly be intelligent enough to feed themselves without assistance.

John Frary of Farmington is a former congressional candidate and retired history professor, a board member of Maine Taxpayers United and publisher of www.fraryhomecompanion.com. Email to [email protected].


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