Yet another can of lighter fluid has been tossed on the roaring fire that is the Vermont Republican Party. This time the perp is Ron Lawrence, chair of the Essex Republicans and co-organizer of the CovidCruiser excursion to the January 6 Capitol riot.
Lawrence, whose town is rapidly transitioning from purple to deep blue, has taken to Change.org to post a petition calling on Gov. Phil Scott to leave the Republican Party.
That’s right, Lawrence believes that the VTGOP would be better off without the only member who’s managed to win a statewide office since 2010.
For those keeping score, that’s Phil Scott, undefeated with a 6-0 record running for LG and governor. The rest of the party from 2010 onward? A sterling one win, 29 losses. (Turncoat Tom Salmon is the one. He won another term as state auditor on the Republican ticket in 2010 after originally winning the office as a Democrat.)
That’s a winning percentage of .033. )The 1962 New York Mets, the measuring stick for futility, had a winning percentage of .250.) Any statistician will tell you that’s… not good.
Obviously, there are two separate VTGOPs. There’s the party hierarchy, which is full of Donald Trump loyalists such as Lawrence, and its elected officials. With the exception of a few dead-enders, Republican officeholders realize that to win elections in Vermont, they have to tack to the center. Like Phil Scott.
As of this writing, the petition has garnered 459 signatures toward a stated goal of 500. (During the time it took me to write this post, that number went from 371 to 459.) Many signers have posted comments, which is where you see the real divide between the party base and (most of) its electeds.
Take Robby Mazza, member of the VTGOP State Committee. “He’s a poor leader who turns on his own base,” wrote Mazza of Scott.
Tiffani Mills: “He belittles and betrays his own party and people that he pretends to represent.”
Scott Bolio: “Flip flop fil enough said”
Steve Laskevich: “I think Phil Scott is a traitor to this state and country.”
Carl Hubbell: “Phil scott is a turncoat”
Jeremy Bevins: “Scott is a fool and needs to be recognized as such!!”
“Edward Cutlersmicropenis” (probably not his real name): “Too nice to the blacks.”
That’s an outlier, but let’s put it this way: There are at least 459 self-identified Republicans who hate Phil Scott.
And the rest of us dance in the warm glow of the Porta-potty fire.