Well, in case you were wondering where Vermont Democrats’ heads were at regarding the unsheltering of thousands of Vermonters, now we know: Still firmly lodged up a windowless orifice. Instead of trying to resolve a humanitarian crisis of their own creation, not to mention heal a divide in their beloved legislative caucus, they’ve been trying to find a way to deflect the blame onto the governor. While, at the same time, begging him to solve a huge political problem for them.
Admittedly I’m somewhat burying the lead, because the most impactful thing is that Democratic leadership remains bound and determined to end the motel voucher program even though it currently provides shelter for 80% of Vermont’s unhoused.
This is [checks notes] the party of compassion, right? The party that fights for the metaphorical Little Guy? Yeah, gee, I wonder what the hell happened to that party.
That’s the real lead — the Vermont Democratic Party has lost its way — but the thing that grates on my nerves as a Vermont Political Observer is how profoundly stupid the politics of this maneuver are.
We got the same message yesterday in a fundraising pitch from the party itself, and in a series of tweets from House Speaker Jill Krowinski. Both parties ignore the human toll of ending the voucher program, and neither makes any reference to Democratic leadership’s collaboration with the Scott administration in killing the program. Instead, they focus on the fact that the House and Senate managed to shoehorn in a small amount of money for support services — by which we mean things like distributing tents and tick spray to the unhoused, just as any civilized nation would be proud to do.
This money, they say, would make all the difference. And Scott needs to sign it right now because if he doesn’t, the support services won’t be there NEXT WEEK when we undertake Round One of The Great Unsheltering. That’s true insofar as it goes, but the unspoken reason the Dems want Scott to sign off on the budget is that they don’t have the votes to override a veto because 17 Dems and Progs refuse to support a budget that doesn’t provide a humane offramp for voucher clients.
In other words, they want him to sign the budget so they don’t have to go to war with their own caucus colleagues. I mean, the only way to avoid that fight is for Scott to allow the budget to become law.
And they want the governor to do them this tremendous favor after calling him every name in the book.
They must think we’re all just plain stupid. They think liberal voters will fall for this little game of three card monte, and they think Scott will generously extract them from their own self-made political predicament.
And this mess is what they’ve been spending their time on. They could have been negotiating a deal with their conscientious objectors. They could have been talking with voucher clients, housing advocates and shelter providers to find out how best to proceed from here. But instead, they devoted their energy to this uninspired bit of Machiavellianism.
As their reward, all they ask is that you shift the entire blame for our coming plague of homelessness onto the governor, and that you please give them some money so they can keep fighting against the governor’s excesses. Except for this voucher business, of course. They are in absolute agreement with our chief executive on that.
Remember when I wrote “Fuck the Democrats“? Well, double that. Do not give these clowns a single dime for any of this bullshit. Maybe that will make them come to their senses.
“Do not give these clowns a single dime for any of this bullshit. Maybe that will make them come to their senses.”
Let’s make sure that Speaker Krowinski, Pro Tem Baruth, and on down are voted out of office in 2024, ending their political careers before they can do us more harm, and vote in more progressives like those who are standing up to this budget.
For the umpteenth time- Vermont exceptionalism is a joke, New Englanders have major passive-aggressive issues and with Democrats like these who needs Republicans.
I believe the term for this is “leadership vacuum.”
Must admit I enjoy your columns better when you disconnect from party favoritism and act like an equal opportunity dragon slayer.
I await your write up of just what the fuck the Scott administration is talking about with “out of state contractors” outlined in the VtDigger article. What the fuck do politicians not understand about no vacancies anywhere? Where are out of state people going to live while they help people who have no where to live? How well is that working for Vermont hospitals?
I swear to the gods blood will be on their hands come winter…
Oh wait Congress already don’t give a shit and is going to let debit ceiling fail and what will happen to the many many elderly Vermonters depending on Social Security or the many disabiled who have found safe haven in Vermont? It is going to be rough time for many this summer and there are definite names to assign blame.
“It is going to be rough time for many this summer and there are definite names to assign blame.”
Very much agreed.