Daily Archives: April 4, 2022

The VTGOP’s Problems in a Nutshell

Not that they handle it well, but leaders of the VTGOP are in a tough spot. On one hand they’ve got backers of plausible moderate Gov. Phil Scott, the only Republican who’s shown he can win a statewide election; on the other, the die-hard Trumpists and QAnon believers who, sadly, make up much of the party’s base. The latter’s irrepressible dogmatism makes it very tough for old-fashioned Republican types to stay involved.

Because they have to put up with stuff like a recent email exchange among Lamoille County Republicans, shared with me by a very annoyed Lamoille County Republican. It begins with an email sent to a Republican group list from one Shannara Johnson, a dyed-in-the-wool Q type and, ahem, Republican candidate for the House in 2020.

Johnson shared a link to an essay alleging that the United States was operating multiple bioweapons labs in Ukraine, a claim that’s been thoroughly debunked.

Other Republicans on the thread reacted strongly to the post. One called it “Russian propaganda.” Another termed it “a typical and obvious conspiracy theory.” Five people asked for their names to be removed from the email list because of Johnson’s post.

And that’s the dilemma faced by traditional Republicans. In order to stay in the party, they have to put up with the Shannara Johnsons of the world. All the time. I have seen similar conspiracy theories expressed at Vermont Republican state committee meetings, for Pete’s sake.

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