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.
Last week, Rights & Democracy chief James Haslam listed the group’s top priority as endorsing the Democrat best equipped to “beat Phil Scott.”
Not “the Republican nominee,” but Phil Scott.
And now comes a press release from the Matt Dunne campaign, explicitly calling the Republican primary — and tacitly calling the Democratic race.
The right to earn a fair wage, receive health and retirement benefits, and earned sick leave and paid family leave are being undermined by governors and state legislatures. And our opponent Phil Scott is no different. He recently indicated his willingness to undermine workers’ rights to collectively bargain, which will lower wages, decrease or eliminate benefits, and hurt hard-working Vermont families.
Boldface is Dunne’s.
“Our opponent Phil Scott.” Not, “The Republicans.”
I guess he’s abandoned any pretense that someone other than Scott will win the nomination. And when he says “our opponent,” he seems to be presuming a win in the Democratic primary. That feels more like “you and me” than “we Democrats.”
Poor Bruce. Will anyone be taking him seriously by primary day?
I’m looking forward to the July 15 campaign finance reporting deadline, to see exactly how much money Lisman is pouring into a rathole of his own making.