There’s a particular kind of statement unique to the candidacy of Phil Scott, which has attempted to combine budgetary discipline with expressions of concern for the problems faced by “hardworking Vermonters” (copyright pending).
That effort to square two circles has resulted in a phenomenon I call “Philpuckey” after the great Rachel Maddow’s use of “bullpuckey” when she doesn’t want to say the S-word on the teevee.
You can tell when you’re about to receive a load of Philpuckey. His voice slows down a beat, his face gets that open-and-honest look designed to soften the hard edges of Republicanism, and he expresses concern for suffering Vermonters and how we must help them. His voice has a painstaking tone, as if he’s explaining an abstract idea to a preschooler.
There is, of course, a big fat “but” in the offing. As in, “But my first concern is the affordability crisis.”
He may be earnestly concerned, but won’t spend a single dime to address it. He’ll just suffer his concern — for our sake.
It’s kind of like seeing a begger on the street, pausing in front of him, shaking his hand, wishing him all the best, and walking on without putting anything in the hat. Noble sentiment, unsupported by action.