Stealth Conservatives: A Leopard Can’t Change Its Spots, But It Can Try to Pass as a Cheetah

Meet Kathi Tarrant, mom, musician, teacher, and Republican candidate for the Vermont House in the Washington-Chittenden district currently represented by two Democrats, Tom Stevens and Theresa Wood.

Ms. Tarrant might not like it that I topped this piece with a picture of her at the August 2021 Patriot Rally on the steps of the Statehouse. The event was captured on video by the good folks at Orca Media, and you can see several speakers talking about the poor attendance. And you can see Tarrant talking about the federal lawsuit she filed against Gov. Phil Scott over his mask mandate. Yep, she’s one of them.

But that’s not how she’s presenting herself in the race for House. Instead, she’s donned the garb of a garden-variety conservative — to the right of Phil Scott, but not quite off the deep end. In a candidates’ forum sponsored by ORCA and another of my former employers, The Bridge, she managed to avoid subjects like the Covid vaccine and climate change denialism (“CO2 is NOT a pollutant”) and weather conspiracy theories and her membership in 802Freedom, the online community of anti-vaxxers and their ilk.

Instead, we got anodyne language about carbon taxes, ballot security, supporting law enforcement, fixing the housing shortage by unleashing the landlords, doubts about cannabis legalization, Second Amendment absolutism, and opposition to Article 22 over its wording, not its intent.

Now, it’s possible that she’s completely changed her political orientation in the past year. But it’s much more likely that she’s trying to pass as a standard conservative when in fact she’s way out on the fringes of political discourse.

Tarrant has taken her Facebook page private, presumably to conceal all the posts about vaccine deaths and chemtrails and chip implants and suchlike. Problem is, she loaded her campaign Facebook page with all that stuff. She blew her own cover.

This might be the best line on her page:

“I sense Hurricane Irene to be ‘geo-engineered’ also; to further weaken Vermont in order for it to become more dependent on federal aid; a welfare state,”

You heard it here, folks. Tropical Storm Irene was unleashed on us by a federal government aiming to sap and impurify our precious bodily fluids.

Tarrant refers to electric vehicles as “a total scam” and quotes a fake expert* as saying “Co2 is NOT a pollutant. It’s at the lowest levels ever. …they make Co2 the fake problem, and while all these pot farms are creating Co2…”

*Shiva Ayyadurai, self-described inventor of email (a claim that’s either false or greatly exaggerated), who describes Covid-19 as “a hoax based upon false science.

In one post, Tarrant approvingly quotes Vladimir Putin: ““the truth has been drowned in an ocean of myths, illusions and fakes, using extremely aggressive propaganda, lying like Goebbels.”

And of course she doesn’t think much of Article 22, which “will be the first constitutional amendment that will actually take away Vermonter’s individual rights” because, you see, reproductive rights will be taken out of the hands of our elected lawmakers and entrusted to doctors and the courts.

Nice of her to concede, by the way, that Article 22 is going to win.

She also shared a link to a talk by David Barton, fringey Christian Nationalist “historian” (last seen in this space in the spring) delivered at a meeting of the Convention of States, an organization that loves the Constitution so much that they want to rewrite it!

Well, not completely. Their proposed Constitutional Convention would be “restricted to proposing amendments that will impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit its power and jurisdiction, and impose term limits on its officials and members of Congress.” I guess we should be relieved that they don’t want to legalize slavery or restrict the franchise to white male property owners.

Finally, in case there’s any doubt about her view of Covid-19, masks and vaccines, this is the T-shirt Tarrant wore to the Patriot Rally.

Yes, the top line says “Mask Don’t Work.”

As I’ve said before, it’s fine if she wants to run for office. Anyone can. But she’s trying to pull a bait-and-switch on the conservative electorate of Washington-Chittenden. Which, fortunately, is a strong Democratic district. So after Election Day she can reopen her Facebook page and return to the unhinged extremism that is her bread and butter.


2 thoughts on “Stealth Conservatives: A Leopard Can’t Change Its Spots, But It Can Try to Pass as a Cheetah

  1. Frederick Weston

    Right you are, John. Ms. Tarrant is a crackpot, through and through. All one had to do to see her for what she is was follow her trail of posts on Front Porch Forum. Alas, I think she managed to hoodwink one or two readers, though.

  2. wc

    “Yep, she’s one of them.”

    Thanks again. Let’s hope she never gets anywhere near an elected office where she could do much harm, especially to those who do not agree with her.


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