Tag Archives: Ben Carson

Prepare to kneel before our benevolent overlord

Soja hear the news?

Donald Trump is comin’ to town. Next Thursday, Flynn Center, free tix already gone. (According to one commenter on the Freeploid website, many a liberal signed up for tickets with no intention whatsoever of actually showing up — hoping for an embarrassingly low turnout. Which would be great, but I’m sure there will be plenty of the Great Unwashed on hand to welcome their reality-show wet dream of a candidate.)

Can’t say I’m outraged or particularly concerned. I found it amusing that the Vermont Republican Party immediately sought to distance itself from the proceedings. Executive Director Jeff Bartley doing his best Sergeant Schultz:

We learned late today through media reports that Donald Trump will be making a brief campaign stop in Vermont The Vermont Republican Party did not invite Mr. Trump and has no role in his event.

Although Bartley did everything short of dunking himself in Purell, he did end his brief statement with a note of praise for the GOP’s “very diverse group of candidates.”

And there’s the rub. Trump is the loudest and most effective carnival barker of the bunch, but the Republican field really doesn’t offer much to the serious voter. Certainly no real diversity in thought or policy.

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Cautionary notes on the Phil Scott inevitability, part 2: Bad candidates

So I forced myself to watch the Republican presidential debate last week. Overall impressions?

Ben Carson excepted, these guys are articulate spokespeople for a worldview completely at odds with reality. Also, whoever gets the nomination is going to be an albatross around Phil Scott’s neck.

I mentioned this in my previous post, but the point deserves further attention.

In a relatively serious, issue-oriented debate, the Republicans presented an array of positions that made George W. Bush look like a liberal. And we all know how popular George W. was in Vermont — the only state he never visited as President. (Dick Cheney made one stop, a quick in-and-out at the Burlington Airport.)

To put it another way, the Republican presidential nominee will not help Phil Scott or his party-broadening project. Not the least tiny little bit.

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Oh wait, there’s some leadership now!

My previous post called on Lt. Gov. Phil Scott to show some leadership on the issue of Planned Parenthood, and noted that neither he nor the VTGOP had responded to my Tweet inquiring about their stance. Well, I missed something.

Unfortunately, it’s not good.

Jay Shepard is one of Vermont’s two members of the Republican National Committee. (The other, Susie Hudson, is known in these parts for drawing paychecks from the VTGOP as a “fundraising consultant” while the party’s fundraising continues to suck, and also for accepting a free trip to the Holy Land chaperoned by leaders of the American Family Association, the notoriously anti-gay, anti-choice ultraconservative Christian organization.) He is, in short, one of Vermont’s two representatives to the national party.

And he revealed his position on Planned Parenthood in an August Facebook post:

Jay Shepard and Rand Paul

Well, hooray for leadership. Too bad it’s the wrong kind. Wrong for Vermont, certainly.

I’ll also mention a comment Shepard made in January to the Wall Street Journal, concerning then-fringe candidate Ben Carson. Yes, the guy who doesn’t believe a Muslim should be President.

“I think he was fantastic. A breath of fresh air,” said Jay Shepard, GOP national committeeman from Vermont.

Oh, goodie.

Now, I realize that Phil Scott isn’t directly responsible for the views of his fellow Vermont Republican. But this guy holds one of the most important, influential posts in the VTGOP. And the other RNC representative thinks it’s perfectly okay to travel on a hate group’s dime. If these are the two people chosen to represent Vermont on the national stage, then tell me again: exactly how is the VTGOP different than the national version?

Vermont Republicans: Not buying the snake oil

This week, the Castleton Polling Institute released a presidential poll of Vermont voters. The number that made headlines: Just as many Republican voters favor Bernie Sanders as any Republican candidate.

The actual result: Bernie’s in a three-way tie with Donald Trump and Ben Carson among Republicans, at a measly 12%. (It’s also worth noting that Hillary Clinton gets 4% support among VT Republicans.)

That’s interesting. But to me, there are two more notable takeaways from the poll.

First, Vermont’s Republican electorate remains splintered and undecided. The fact that no candidate got more than 12% is awfully telling. The real winner is “Not Sure,” with 28%. In other words, Vermont Republicans are thoroughly underwhelmed by what they’ve seen so far. I mean, 16% of them are backing a Democrat, for goodness sakes. That’s almost half who can’t settle on a Republican candidate.

Second, the state’s Republican electorate is relatively immune to the blandishments of snake-oil salespeople.

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