Daily Archives: December 3, 2015

Learn To Play Dog Whistle the Phil Scott Way!

Now that Phil Scott is officially a candidate for governor, he’s stepping up his attacks on Democratic policies. But he’s doing it in an oblique way: he doesn’t name names, he isn’t abusive; he isn’t angry, he’s simply “concerned.”

But the intent is obvious. Take, for example, a one-paragraph press release issued by The Office of Lieutenant Governor Phil Scott “in response to a Nov. 30 press event held by the Vermont Public Interest Group (VPIRG) showing support for a carbon tax.”

“Vermont is already setting a national example for green building practices, energy conservation, renewable energy and environmental stewardship. I believe we need to balance our environmental leadership with the economic priorities we have for Vermont. Since the carbon tax has been proposed, I’ve heard from many Vermonters who strongly oppose higher cost gasoline and home heating fuels, and understand how this proposal would increase the cost of living across the board. It is clear to me that the vast majority of Vermonters want the Legislature to spend its time looking for ways to grow the economy and save working Vermonters money. Discussion of a new tax that could add as much as 88-cents to a gallon of gasoline is not a way to grow the economy or save money – therefore I oppose this tax.”

That paragraph, like many of his positions, starts with a smiley face but ends with a harsh takedown. It all adds up to “We’ve done enough on the environment. Don’t expect anything more.”

This velvet glove/iron fist approach ripples throughout the speech he delivered (not very well) at his campaign launch. He started with a humblebrag about his ability to “bring people together, achieve consensus and bridge growing partisan divides.”

And then he proceeded to hammer the Democrats over and over again.

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