Lightning Round!

Well, the shower drain of political news is once again backed up, so it’s time to apply some rhetorical Liquid-Plumr and get the system going again. In today’s installment: the VDP at a crossroads, a really stupid lawsuit from a once-reputable publishing house, a complaint about Peter Welch being too good at fundraising, and maybe the worst political cartoon I’ve ever seen. Let the plunging begin!

The Vermont Democratic Party needs to take a look in the mirror. The VDP is once again looking for an executive director. Claire Cummings lasted about one year on the job before offering her resignation under circumstances unknown. As I wrote upon her hiring, “Cummings is the fourth person to hold the job in less than four years — and the fifth, if you count then-party chair Terje Anderson’s unfortunate tenure as interim ED in 2019.” Well, now they’re looking for their fifth in five years, or sixth if you count Anderson.

It’s sad. It’s pathetic. It’s a mess. And now the VDP must hire a new ED in the middle of election season. It needs someone who can hit the ground running with deep knowledge of Vermont and of campaigning. And it desperately needs someone with the guts to confront party elders if need be. I can think of at least one person who fits that descriptor to a tee. No names, because I don’t know where the search is going to go. But i can tell you one thing: If they hire someone from outside the state and/or someone under the age of 25, it’ll mean they’re happy with the status quo. Or, to put it another way, it’ll mean they’re seriously out of touch and full of unwarranted conceit.

Publisher doesn’t know what the First Amendment means. Chelsea Green, the publishing house I used to respect before it went all Covid-denialist, is suing U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren for violating its free speech rights. Warren’s offense? She wrote to Amazon condemning its sale of a Chelsea Green title by a prominent Covid denier. But… while Warren is a government official, she has no power over Chelsea Green or Amazon. She can’t infringe on Chelsea Green’s First Amendment rights, or anyone else’s for that matter.

But she does have free speech rights of her own, and she exercised them. The plaintiffs point to a 1963 Rhode Island case in which a state commission threatened bookstores that sold objectionable books. Well, see, the difference is clear. That commission had some authority to infringe. Warren does not. Case closed.

When a Democrat has a rare fundraising edge, Republicans are suddenly concerned with money in politics. After I wrote a piece about U.S. Senate candidate Christina Nolan’s dismal fundraising performance, a moderate Republican of my acquaintance asked if I’d be writing about Peter Welch’s fundraising. Welch promised not to take corporate money, but he’s been happily accepting big donations from trade associations. He’s following the letter of his own rule but massively violating the spirit of the thing. And he doesn’t need to! He’s got 48 times as much cash on hand as Nolan!

So yes, Welch ought to change course and return the corporate cash. However, Republicans have vast money advantages almost everywhere else. They never complain about it except when a Democrat manages to outraise a Republican. It’s hypocritical, is what it is, which is pretty much exactly what they accuse Welch of.

Also, whose fault is it that Nolan is in such a wretched financial position? The Republicans’ and the corporations’, that’s who. They’re the ones who have left her drifting up the creek without a paddle.

Is this supposed to be funny? Yesterday, God knows why, the Nolan campaign posted a political cartoon on its Twitter feed. It was unsigned, which is understandable given the quality of the effort. It’s not funny and it makes no sense. See for yourself:

I mean, what the hell is that? Why does Welch need a haircut to look more moderate? Why does he “need more money” to look more moderate? Why is he using his “war chest” as an Ottoman? Why is the chair cloth hanging so loosely off his shoulders?

I could go on, but why bother? It’s just weird and stupid from beginning to end. I guess it’s understandable, considering the caliber of political genius Nolan can afford to hire.

Okay, the pipes are running clear. Until next time, this has been Lightning Round.


1 thought on “Lightning Round!

  1. montpelier28

    I also used to really like Chelsea Green and was surprised to read about it suing E Warren. It was a VT publisher. That was so cool. Sad emoji.


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