"Civil Discourse" from a Democrat legislator

Pat Wellenbach / AP Photo
Pat Wellenbach / AP Photo

By now you’ve heard the story of Democrat Rep. Chuck Kruger and his tweet saying he would like to see former president Cheney meet, “the same final end he gave Sadaam.” The democrats in the legislature didn’t denounce the tweet, didn’t ask him to resign, and more or less pretended it never happened.

Now, another democrat legislator is getting some attention for her “civility.”

A couple days ago, The Bangor Daily News ran an opinion piece from Jill Saxby, the head of the Maine Council of Churches, a group that says it is an, “ecumenical community of nine denominations dedicated to the vision of a sustainable, just, and compassionate world.”

The article touted the groups “Covenant for Civil Discourse” a pledge they hope candidates will sign onto. According to Saxsby, “It has become harder for anyone to be heard without shouting. Outrage — and outrageousness — get attention. Among those lamenting the decay of civil discourse in recent years are many of Maine’s religious folks. In response, the Maine Council of Churches developed a “Covenant for Civil Discourse.”

In the article, Saxsby notes that Democrat Cynthia Dill, who is running for Senate, is a recent signer of the pledge. Dill also trumpeted her own signing of the bill through twitter:

Here are the six points on the pledge:

  1. To act respectfully toward others, including those who oppose me/us in public debate, and to attempt to understand others’ point(s) of view. I/we would extend this attitude of respect to all those engaged in civil discourse in America.
  2. To refrain from personal attacks, while maintaining the right to vigorously disagree.
  3. To refrain from making statements which characterize my/our opponents as evil.
  4. To refuse to make untrue statements in defense of my/our position.
  5. To value honesty, truth, and civility while striving to find workable solutions.
  6. To expect any person, party, campaign or organization working on my behalf, or to whom I contribute money, to meet these same standards for civil discourse

Hopefully, for Cynthia’s sake, this pledge isn’t enforced retroactively. The state legislator from Cape Elizabeth, Dill is a regular blogger (her blog posts re-run on Huffington Post and she has paid herself to run the blog from a PAC) and she has been anything but civil in many of her posts.

Here is a quick look at some of Cynthia’s quotes from her blog. You can decide for yourself which of the six pledge points she would be violating in each post.

The first comes from a post titled, Whose Benefits Would Jesus Cut? – Included in Dill’s post, about a visiting reverend who opened the legislative session with prayer, were these “civil” gems:

Reverend Tracey concluded his morning tirade with these words. “But now a new day has dawned, and a new congress has convened, and a new hope and enthusiasm fills this great chamber.”

The manifestation of right-wing political extremists appeared before them disguised as a man of faith. With eyes closed and heads down, some lawmakers had flashbacks to the campaign trail when myths of “welfare cheats” spun like course wool.

In another post, Dill attacks Mary Adams, a conservative grassroots leader and frankly, one of the kindest people this author has ever met:

Adams is a veteran right-winger who is game for any cause that reminds her of redcoats. She is from Garland, Maine (south of Millinocket) and the local face of the angry mob that’s crippling America.

The Maine Tea Party and Adams’ opposition to a national park serves as a proxy for the anti-government shtick they like to jump up and down and scream about, as our public institutions and infrastructure crumble.

The “civil discourse” continues from Dill, who does not seem to have found a disrespectful statement she doesn’t like. She said in another post, apparently aimed at men who struggle with their weight:

Maybe the real load doomed to sink us is related to the girth of some of the guys running things around here.

The rallying cry today is about personal responsibility and cutting spending. We talk about women and their good looks, but don’t talk about men and their big guts. We should.

It’s time to talk openly about many of the men in charge today in the media, in politics and in office who want to drastically cut the size of government. They are under a different type of illusion. They say they want smaller government but they are fat, and getting fatter by the minute.

In the same post, she seems to follow rule number 1 very closely. You would say this is an “attitude of respect” right?

It’s all a bunch of garbage that distorts the facts, but the anti-government mantra has convinced lots of people that it wasn’t the fat cats on Wall Street who screwed us…

Dill offers another post aimed specifically at males, and leads with a personal attack (see point 2 of the pledge) on our own M.D. Harmon, who clearly had irritated Dill with his viewpoint:

Sitting in his ivory tower reserved for men only in Portland, Maine, M.D. Harmon lectures readers about the myriad uses of irony while blaming “feminists” for a world where boys are valued much higher than girls.

Here in Maine, as elsewhere, talk radio is dominated by angry obese men who lecture about personal responsibility.

And here the newspapers are saturated with written opinions of male editors, economists, businessmen, and conservative curmudgeons like Harmon, an editorial writer for the Portland Press Herald.

Harmon is a man who plays God by judging women for playing God.

Another post by Ms. Dill, with a particularly “civil” headline, Maine’s Weapon of Mass Destruction, was a direct attack of the Maine Heritage Policy Center.

So why is our Governor trying to scare the bejeezus out of us?

But what started as festering liberal rage toward the Bush administration in need of a steam valve has evolved over time. Now bewilderment has pivoted to right-wing sirens Palin and Bachman, and talk-show blowhards Beck and Limbaugh.

There’s no shortage of people willing to cry wolf at the Maine Heritage Policy Center, however, because there doom and gloom grease the cogs of one big lucrative machine. Red tape is not a problem for the business that fear-mongers for dollars.

Those are obviously very “civil” comments, especially about Palin and Bachman. Dill seems eager to launch her attacks at males, but it looks she will branch out to females when their views don’t align with her own. She also attacked, with some fervor, the former head of MHPC, Tarren Bragdon:

he [Tarren] told us, presumably from his luxury, non-profit corner office where the riff-raff can’t bother him with petty concerns of poverty, illiteracy and the administration of justice.

If you know Tarren, or  any of his four children adopted out of impoverished foreign countries, you know this vicious personal attack by Dill is just plain untrue. (Oh hey, that violates pledge rules 2 and 4 at the same time!)

In another ranting post, Dill suggests that women can take care of their problems by carrying heavy-duty handguns, and takes another swing at overweight individuals:

Every single one of us needs to venture out to Walmart and exchange that rice steamer we got for Christmas for something practical like a .38 special. Angry fanatics are becoming increasingly more popular and can be a real time-suck. If we must put up with these guys, let’s be efficient.

Today angry, whale-sized, and stupid seem to be the measures of American authenticity, as if God pressed “reverse” on the natural selection dial for kicks.

In yet another post, Dill can’t believe there is a group that wants to make sure Aspergers Syndrome continues to be recognized:

A sense of humor and a diagnosis will make 2011 easier for incoming lawmakers, but even the world of psychiatry has its share of political skirmishes. Some of the shrinks on the DSM drafting committee are lobbying to get rid of the Asperger Syndrome category. An opposition group has formed, called “Keep Asperger’s Syndrome in the DSM-V.” Seriously.

Some additional highlights from the Cynthia Dill manual of “civil discourse”:

  • Luckily this disease can be easily treated with alcohol and a cold shower, two things Democrats tolerate extremely well.
  • If you are drowning in 12 feet of water, a moderate Republican will throw you six feet of rope.
  • We didn’t make a big stink about the inexperienced friends and family of the Governor (also a fun-gi) being appointed to his cabinet. We are letting sleeping dogs lie while we brew up an ancient elixir sure to bring down the House.
  • Crazy right-wingers in the Congress are so busy trying to dismantle the social safety net, gut and “investigate” programs for women and kids that they don’t have time to balance the budget.
  • Is Maine’s “business-friendly” governor and his henchmen shouting this good news from the roof tops?
  • Angry anti-government guys calling the gift of private property for the purpose of creating a public park a “government takeover,” with references to Nazi Germany is the Maine echo of the Glenn Beck ideology and it’s not going to solve our welfare problem, or any other problem.

Cynthia did JUST sign the pledge, and hey, at least she didn’t say she hoped a former vice-president would be executed.  So maybe she really has had a change of heart, and will strive to be civil in her campaign for Senate.

And maybe when she blogs she won’t call people “whales” “henchmen” “curmudgeons” “angry” “blowhards” or “fat” anymore.


  1. Isn’t Dill the person who bragged about never knocking on a door during her campaign and also bragged about buying a new laptop with clean election funds?
    As for the National Park she touts, follow the money, Quimby was one of her largest donors. Not sure if she would like Cape Elizabeth turned into a National Park.

  2. Cynthia Dill is not only mentally ill, but also dangerous. I urge all Conservatives to read “Waking the Sleeping Giant”. We can get America back on course only if we are willing to make some changes in dealing with mainstream Americans swayed by the likes of Dill.

  3. She is leaving nice trail of quotes for her opponents to use in a debate and on the campaign trail….opponent I should say.  Angus probably agrees with her so will be silent.  

  4. For the Love of God, could you put a disclaimer next time. Enjoying my morning coffee and  planning my day in peace, and then I’m blasted with face load of Dill.. 
    Why do you hate us so?

  5. Dill is just a lunatic, what else can you say about her?
    Her, and any other Dem for that matter, signing this pledge is only done for political expediency and provides clear evidence of her hypocrisy.

  6. Cynthia Dill is another prime example of a,  do as I say, not as I do liberal Dumbocrat!  So we are supposed to believe that by signing this so-called pledge that she is going to change from the insulting disrespectful liberal that she is, into a decent, considerate respectful human being?  Yeah, right!

  7. Continue to hold their feet to the fire. As much as they disgust and offend me it is necessary to publish somewhere their toxic spewings in a less than lauditory light. Their followers do not discern, at all, the vicious, hypocritical lies they spread.

  8. Dill is one Mean son-of-gun!! Reflects the national party’s commitment to bring the people “together.”

  9. She seems to have a major problem with people who #1 have different opinions from her, and #2 people who have a higher BMI than her.

    She would probably be much happier in Colorado where people have the lowest collective BMI in the USA.  Then again, they have a lot of conservatives there.

    Maybe she should move to North Korea where there are virtually no overweight people, save the “Kim”s and they have zero tolerance for people who speak out against government.

  10. I heard her speak at  a “town meeting” SHE called to HEAR folks’ questions about the DHHS budget proposal. I’ll just say this,she likes the sound of her own voice . And probably gets a big thrill re-reading her comments on her personal  blog.

  11. Does anyone take the Maine Council of Churches seriously these days – especially after their December takeover of the capitol building, acting as political activists for a “Moral Budget” on behalf of church members who never asked them to take this action? Maybe Cynthia Dill and the Council of Churches deserve one another.

  12. What an incredible snob this woman is.  Even for Cape Elizabeth. Talk about an entitled self aggrandizing witch.  As for Jill S., the MCC is pretty much on the verge of bankruptcy  Doubt it’ll be around much longer.  This is probably a PR stunt

  13. Any amount of civility cannot disguise the fact that Cheney and his unsuspecting dupe are indeed certifiable war criminals !

    As coarse as these accusers may sound, it is imperative that our nation stand, address and admit our failings .

    We have yet to recover  from those awful 8 years of mis-leadership and the now almost unbelievable series of terrorists, warring and economic events that marked that universally embarrassing regime . 

    After all is said a spade is still , a spade !

  14. Now, that is an enlightened and well thought out remark from the far, far, far fringes of that  whacky right.
    We all should fall to our knees and give thanks that we live in a country that  encourages the likes of Mr Dorfman to reveal their level of intellect so that we may be prepared to understand their future utterances, as we do those of  his obvious mentor, Mr. Limbaugh.

  15. Thank you for proving my point.  I did not think that someone like yourself would help and do it so well.

  16.  The Bush administration was a disaster only because he tried to buy his way into the Liberal hearts by passing bad laws, i.e. the medicare drug plan, the education spending to kiss the bloated Kennedy’s butt etc.  He and Cheney are not war criminals. They are no longer in office and no amount of ranting about them to draw attention from the current President and his march to destruction of our freedoms will change that.

  17.  Oh, I should add that the photo of Dill on this piece tells all one needs to know. I pugnacious, mean spirited, Rosie Odonnell type Liberal.

  18. Cynthia Dill has been a state Senator for only a short while, previously she was in the Maine House.  I’m sure she signed the “Maine Code Of Fair Campaign Practices” which has similar points as that “Covenant”.  – When –  she signed is irrelevant, she has made a habit of ignoring these things completely.  Go to the Ethics Commission to see a copy and file a complaint about it.

  19.  Cynthia Dill leaps to her own defense, while masking her glittering identity in anonymity.  The quality of the prose, the confusion of ideas and the frothing vehemence reveals the true identity of “your name.”

  20. Is that a real snapshot or what you want us to believe is a self portrait ? Hey ! I didn’t even say “dorf” . Don’t attack us for our self control…

  21. Can you translate that into an intelligible comment because I have no bloody idea what you are stating? 

  22. I’m a Cape Elizabeth resident (Dill’s hometown) and can provide some color commentary.  Dill is an example of what is wrong with politics in general. 

    Off the record, I have spoken with very prominent Democrats in Cape Elizabeth who do not support Dill and have harsh things to say about her, but – since she’s the incumbent – they support the incumbent politician.  Why?  Because incumbents have more power than rookies and Dill provides access to the power.

    Now the worse part is thinking about why Dill gets re-elected.  It’s because the Republicans have just as many fools amongst their ranks.  Anyone who doesn’t believe this ought to attend a gathering of Cape Elizabeth Republicans (if they remember to invite you) and you’ll quickly see why Cape Elizabeth can’t elect a Republican against the face of what would appear to be easy pickings. 

  23. I think you going for a GED is a great idea although I hope putting together an intelligible sentence is not part of the test as you would most certainly fail.

  24. Well, I can say this about her: She had the courage to call the Governor on his unethical hiring of his daughter to a state job at an inflated salary, a job of the very type that as a candidate he promised to eliminate.

    More courage than a lot of the “good government” Republicans I voted for in 2010 had.

  25. Hey, didn’t LePage tell NAACP to kiss his butt in so many words? And compassionately tell the unemployed to get up and get a job, in the face of a stagnant market and poor opportunities?

    Aren’t ALL politicians really self-serving trolls and attention-seekers for edification and profit?

    Since when do churches whose Ten Commandments include “Thou Shalt Not Kill” , and Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness” confront the obvious contradictions inherent in Leviticus, for example, or the Catholic Church’s ongoing disconnect and evasion of their mass pedophilia and war support?

    Since when did typical human behavior become a partisan issue?

    And whoever assumed ANY of these people had any class whatsoever?

  26. It doesn’t matter to people smart enough to hold diametrically opposed views at the same time. They can demand you be ‘civil’ and, in effect castrating your criticism and rendering it impotent; while running roughshod over your views smearing them with innuendo and slurs.


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