Daily Archives: June 28, 2016

The Paige Exclusion

Congratulations to the Vermont Democratic Party for giving perennial fringe candidate H. Brooke Paige more publicity in a few days than he could possibly earn on his own this entire year.

The VDP did so by ordering his banishment from all party events, reportedly due to impertinent and offensive comments posted by Paige on Facebook.

Mixed feelings about this. I don’t have much use for perennial fringe candidates; as far as I’m concerned, it’s too easy for people to get on the ballot and even grace the occasional debate stage without proving they hold the least bit of appeal or interest for the electorate. Waste of time and space. Detracts from direct confrontations among candidates who actually matter. That goes for Paige and for Emily Peyton and Cris Ericson and the entire Diamondstone clan.

Paige is an irritant* in all senses of the word. He runs for at least one office every cycle, sometimes as a Republican, sometimes as a Democrat, and I think as independent on occasion. He has also fomented birther claims against not only President Obama, but also Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. I can see why the Democrats would want to be rid of him. And, after all, it’s their party and they can make their own rules. Or even cry if they want to.

*Irritants produce distress, annoyance, and the occasional pearl. 

That said, their reaction seems unduly stiff.

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So I guess we’re calling the Republican primary

It’s been obvious from Day One that Bruce Lisman had a mighty tall mountain to climb. He was taking on Phil Scott, the personable Great White Hope of the VTGOP, and he shares roughly the same political space: putatively moderate, business-friendly Republican paying lip service to centrist issues, sharply critical of Governor Shumlin (even though he’s not, ahem, actually running), straight white male.

The question on everyone’s mind but Lisman’s was, more or less, “Why would anyone opt for a pale imitation Phil Scott who’s a Republican-come-lately and a creature of Wall Street?”

Or, ore succinctly, “Who asked for this?”

Still, we make polite noises about the Republican primary campaign because that’s what you do. Lisman has lots of money, after all; and once in a blue moon, Iceland actually beats England.

But the polite fiction is coming to a premature end.

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