Daily Archives: April 7, 2016

A Bern for the worse

Straight up, Bernie Sanders was out of line. Dangerously so.

I’m talking about calling Hillary Clinton “not qualified” to be President. Not once, but over and over again.

Yes, he phrased it in terms of his typcal critiques of the Clinton record, but adding “not qualified” is a step too far. That’s a toxic, radioactive term. It crosses the line between criticism and defamation.

And it gives aid and comfort to the enemy. You don’t think conservative attack merchants aren’t already writing the ads, featuring artfully-edited passages from Bernie’s speech? He should know better than to provide them with ready-made cannon fodder.

Bernie claims that Hillary started it. “She has been saying lately that she thinks that I am, quote unquote, ‘not qualified’ to be president,” he told a crowd in Philadelphia last night.

That, right there, is a lie. She never said that, quote-unquote or otherwise.

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A departure not to be overlooked

A new name has joined the growing list of political departures in Vermont. Last night, Rep. Tim Jerman informed constituents in Essex that he would not seek re-election to the House. He’s been in the House for twelve years, and has been a valued player in the Democratic caucus leadership team.

Nothing dramatic in his announcement; “It’s time to pass the torch,” he wrote in a message to his email list. “We have a strong bench locally to keep us moving forward.”

Tim’s not flashy or self-promoting. He’s what I call a glue guy, one of those people who tries to make the party and the system work better. Those people don’t grab headlines, but they play a crucial role in the political process. The job of the next House Speaker just got a little bit harder.

He’s a vice chair of the Vermont Democratic Party. For the past several years, he has served as the liaison between the House Democratic caucus and the state party executive committee. Myself, I hope he sticks around in his party role; it can use good people like him, people with more principle than ego.