• Barack Obama Came to Maine and All I Got Was a Stupid Traffic Jam

    True story! Thanks to the president it took me fifteen extra minutes to run an errand yesterday — that's not change I can believe in. Unlike some people I was not willing to stand in the rain for ten hours in order to get tickets to the big Obama health care rally-speech in Portland, so all I can tell you is that the crowds outside the Expo building were orderly, even the ones ringing bells for freedom/because they sound like ice cream trucks.

    In fact, I'm getting the distinct sense that reporters from away left disappointed at Maine's lack of visible wingnuttery

    Any visit by President Obama is bound to attract angry protesters, yelling loudly about "government takeovers" and talking about the nation's descent into communism and heckling defiant Democrats.

    Mainers, it seems, didn't get the memo.

    Sure, there is angst here among some health industry officials and business owners that the law could end up costing them a lot of money. But they use words like "concern," not phrases like "Armageddon." And yes, a smattering of anti-health care overhaul protestors showed up to mark Obama's visit. But they didn’t yell; they only rang a bell for attention. And when pro-Obama voters walked through the opposing crowd, carrying their "Thank You" signs for the president, the anti-overhaul group graciously moved aside so their political foes could pass.

    Even when directly facing their opponents, they avoided a war of words. "Some people say we're really Canadian," said one woman, referring to the notoriously good manners of their northern neighbors. She quickly added that she was proud to be a Mainer. [Ed. note: Canadian?! Jeezum crow! If I ever find this lady, I'm gonna- oh, actually, we do have a lot of French-Canadians. Like my aunt, for example. Never mind. Sorry to interrupt.]

    As you'll recall, there was a similar outbreak of anticlimactic civility when Todd Palin visited the Moosehead Trail Trading Post. So the president came and talked about the importance of passing health care reform; Mainers listened politely and agreed with him, or didn't, the end. Where's the wingnut joke? There is none. Except this one, which I thought up while sitting in the aforementioned traffic:

    Q: What's the difference between a Socialist and a lobster?

    A: A lobster turns red because it gets in hot water, and a Socialist gets in hot water because he's a Red.

    Thank you! I'll be here all mud season!


    Tags: Barack Obama, Conservatives, Democrats, Health Care, Maine

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