Daily Archives: November 18, 2015

Scott and Lisman go for the low-hanging fruit

Predictable but disappointing. As VPR’s Steve Zind reports:

Bruce Lisman and Lt. Gov. Phil Scott, Vermont’s two Republican gubernatorial candidates, say the state should hold off on allowing refugees from Syria to settle in Vermont.

Oh, hooray, yippee, huzzah. What leadership, pandering to our fears instead of our values.

The two candidates are also showing their ignorance. Well, either that or their willingness to lie through their teeth.

“I think it’s incumbent upon us to [bar Syrian refugees] until such time as the federal government can prove it’s meeting its national security obligations,” said Scott. “Making sure that there is a rigorous process to be sure that it’s just peace-loving Syrians and others that want to come into our states.”

Hey, Phil. The federal government is meeting its national security obligations. It has an extremely rigorous process for vetting refugees. So much so, that it forces us to basically default on our humanitarian obligations.

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Cautionary notes on the Phil Scott inevitability, part 3: Deadweight party

See also: Part 1, addressing the massive turnout difference between presidential and non-presidential years; and part 2, on the unhelpfully archconservative nature of the Republican presidential field.

Strangely, there was no media presence at last Saturday’s meeting of the Vermont Republican Party.

I say “strangely” because the VTGOP’s four officers were up for re-election. And they haven’t been all that successful; the party continues to trail the Democrats in finances, staffing, and organization, both statewide and grassroots.

I couldn’t be there because I was out of town all weekend, but I have heard some news.

To begin with, in a sign that Executive Director Jeff Bartley doesn’t have his finger on the pulse, he scheduled the meeting for the opening weekend of hunting season. That’d seem to be a no-no for The Party Of Traditional Vermont (And Guns), if not for a young urbanite like Jeff. From what I hear, they barely mustered a quorum.

On the topline, there was no drama. All four officers were re-elected. Maybe the conservatives were out baggin’ deer, or maybe they just don’t have much to offer. (Two years ago, their choice for party chair was John MacGovern, who’s best known in these parts for being an ultraconservative joke candidate against Bernie Sanders in 2012. If he was the conservative wing’s best option, then ugh.)

Here’s something you’ll be surprised to hear. Both gubernatorial candidates addressed the “crowd,” and from the whispers reaching these ears, Phil Scott was underwhelming. How underwhelming? Well, Bruce Lisman looked good by comparison. Apparently, Scott rolled out his usual bumpf, while Lisman actually offered some red meat to the faithful.

In the long run, that’s probably meaningless. Scott remains the overwhelming favorite for the nomination, but there might just be a few chinks in the favorite’s armor.

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