Phil Scott finds his beau ideal

Huh boy.

Vermont’s Prince In Waiting, Phil Scott, has revealed his choice for President. And it nicely encapsulates my cynical vision of his prospective governorship. VTDigger’s Mark Johnson:

Scott, who declared he would not vote for Trump, revealed later Thursday he has decided to write in former Republican Gov. Jim Douglas as his presidential choice in the November election.

“He’d make a great president,” Scott said about the four-term governor.

Ah. Jim Douglas. How… predictable.

Men of good will may disagree about the qualities of the former four-term governor. But it takes an awfully limited definition of greatness to see him as potentially a “great president.”

If you disagree, please tell me: Jim Douglas was governor for eight years. What is his legacy? His signature accomplishments? Where did he leave his stamp?

This is the guy dubbed “Governor Scissorhands” by the late great Peter Freyne for his relentless attendance at ceremonial events*. This is the guy whose signature overhaul of government operations, Challenges for Change, didn’t even survive his departure before it was pronounced (by lawmakers from both parties) a failure.

*Reminds me of the endless parade of parades, festivals, and food contests littering Scott’s own campaign schedule. 

This is the guy who oversaw the pitiful diminution of his own Republican Party, which last held a legislative majority during his first term. The VTGOP lost ground steadily throughout his eight years, in the Legislature, in statewide offices, and most importantly, in party finances and infrastructure. When Jim Douglas left office, the Vermont Republican Party was an underfunded, disorganized mess. It is still struggling to recover, despite a string of own goals by Governor Shumlin.

Can Douglas be blamed for the fall of his party? I don’t know. What I can say is it happened on his watch. If he did anything to bolster the VTGOP, it sure as hell didn’t work.

Jim Douglas was a caretaker, nothing more. A caretaker who allowed the house to fall into disrepair and the gardens to turn into unkempt thickets.

If Jim Douglas is the model to which Phil Scott aspires, I can tell you what Scott’s governorship would look like. It would be another period of unimaginative, reactive management, of interparty strife, of nothing more than barely perceptible incremental progress.

There would be little, if any, leadership or vision or new ideas. That’s what Phil Scott wants to see in his president, and that’s the kind of governor he would be. If that’s good enough for you, then fine, vote for him.


10 thoughts on “Phil Scott finds his beau ideal

  1. Brooke Paige

    WOW – a whole lot of truth in this one John, truths that few would be willing to express beyond the “blogosphere.” As I consider posting a link on my site to your message – I am reflecting on all of my friends who will deny the truth and will be angry to learn that I agree with most of what you have said here. I know and like Jim and Phil, however it is difficult to argue with the facts. As to Phil not supporting Trump for President, isn’t this the same self-preservation you recently referred to elsewhere? OMG President Trump, did just say that ? People keep asking me why I have decided to run as a Democrat, I keep asking “Did I really have a choice ?”

    Best Wishes, Brooke

  2. jimmy fordham

    Phil Scott is not a politician. What has he done for Vermonters. Oh yeah, he’s a “nice guy” and a race car driver. I guess those qualifications make him fit to be governor. Not! Also speaking of drinking off the government’s teat his construction company has gotten a lot of state business. Hmmmm I would think that someone would investigate that matter to see how many $$$$ he has made off Vermonters. Just saying…

    1. Walter Carpenter

      “Phil Scott is not a politician. What has he done for Vermonters. ”

      Good question. What has he done for Vermont other than drive a race car at thunder road?

  3. Jason Loomis

    Douglas mine as well stick his arm and hand up Scott’s shirt back now and start the puppeteering. Maybe someone can ask Scott who will be making up his team. I’ll bet it’s the same cast of characters as Douglas rolled out year after year after year after year. BTW, your analysis of how poorly the Douglas experiment worked is dead on.

  4. nortryder

    You pretty much hit it on the head with Douglas. He visited my daughters 3rd grade class years ago. When she got home from school we asked her about the visit. She told us ‘He farted, everybody heard it but he kept on talking” Fond memories. 🙂

  5. Macy Franklin

    You’re right on both accounts. Douglas was at best a care-taker executive, who, had he decided to take up residence in almost any other place, say his home state of Massachusetts, wouldn’t have risen beyond postmaster of a medium size town, or perhaps a lower level parks commissioner. That he left the VTGOP bereft is undeniable. But, hey, he got his 8 years at the top, his portrait in the statehouse, and a handsome pension. Not bad for a middling civil servant. But Vermonters got the gift that keeps on giving – higher property taxes.
    That Phil Scott thinks this tower of sand should be president is indeed truly telling. Can you have sizzorhands and drive a stock car?

  6. newzjunqie

    Beg to differ sir–in actuality Douglas the undertaker as opposed to “caretaker” and following discovery of pulling wool over all of our eyes partly why I personally bolted–from fryng pan into fire.

    Though Scott should be called to carpet on this huge nosedive which is disheartening to say the least–hoping he smells the juan valdez re the boorish & abject failure of the rightwing in VT, as he has at least tried to bring the neanderthals into the 21 century. Still hoping for Scott cease & desist attempt to resurrect the Douglas corpse rather than involve fresh faces-though I still have hope have decided to sit out election if candidates cannot segregate from the jackasses who in fact are the problem which precludes them from being or having solutions.

  7. Walter Carpenter

    “Scott’s governorship would look like. It would be another period of unimaginative, reactive management, of inter party strife, of nothing more than barely perceptible incremental progress.”

    If Scott becomes the guv, I wonder how much we’re going to hear about the benefits of privatizing out services the state now provides — say in mental health, for example — and all these businesses in the background waiting to get their hands on the flow of taxpayer dollars and Scott to deliver this to them.


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