Pity poor VTGOP chair David Sunderland. He’s constantly on the lookout for ways to score a cheap political point at the expense of the Democrats. It’s a dirty job, but somebody’s got to do it. I guess.
So I guess it’s only to be expected that, once in a while, Sunderland will get it completely wrong. Exhibit A:
— VTGOP Chair (@dasunderland) March 2, 2015
The link is to a brief story reporting Shumlin’s opposition to the idea of closing the Vermont Veterans’ Home.
That proposal was on a lengthy list of cuts totaling $29 million, produced last week by the Shumlin administration and the legislature’s Joint Fiscal Office. It was meant as an all-inclusive laundry list, with no endorsements implied or expressed. It includes obvious nonstarters like cutting the House from 150 members to 120, eliminating the Vermont Commission on Women*, and reductions to health care premium subsidies.
*I certainly hope that’s a nonstarter. And I’ll bet you dollars to doughnuts that it was a man who suggested it.
The list was presented as a starting point for discussion — and as evidence of how hard it is to cut the budget.
I see three possible explanations for Sunderland’s wrongheaded Tweet:
— He thought he saw an opening and pounced without thinking it through.
— He actually doesn’t know what the list is, even though it was one of the top political stories of the past week.
— He knows damn well that Shumlin hasn’t endorsed the list, but isn’t about to let the facts get in his way.
I’m willing to assume the first. The second would betray a surprising level of ignorance; the third is out of bounds, even by the loose relationship to the truth maintained by your average major party chair.