Tag Archives: Get Off My Lawn!

We have all failed Bruce Lisman

Our favorite Wall Street panjandrum turned everyman policy expert knows what the 2014 election was all about: it was about our collective failure to heed the wisdom of Bruce Lisman.

And he’s mad as hell about it.

We’ve just re-elected a government that has made bad ideas, bad management, and bad leadership seem ordinary.

… We want [our leaders] to take seriously the embedded philosophy of Vermont that would offer a helping hand or a comforting hand to those in need but balanced with those other great Vermont characteristics, frugality and commonsense.

The latter phrase taken, word for word, from previous Lisman bumpf. The rest of the column is of a piece: the lesson of this election is that Bruce Lisman is right and everybody else (especially the Democrats who, as a figleaf of nonpartisanship, are not identified as such) is wrong. Wrong! WRONG!

Hide your children. good people; he's searching for skin again.

Hide your children. good people; he’s searching for skin again.

What is it with you people, failing to heed the words of Bruce Almighty?

The rest of the column is more of the same, except there’s a new edge to Bruce’s tone. He’s getting angry. And he’s moving to the right. Sounding more and more like John McClaughry, in fact.

The (unnamed) Democrats’ policies? “bad ideas executed badly,” “a special hell for Vermonters.”

Democrats’ ideas for school spending and organization: “like someone breaking your leg and then offering you a crutch.”

“Our leaders… make decisions blindly.”

Vermont Health Connect? “a catastrophe of major proportion.” Too bad, Bruce: you wrote those words before the successful relaunch of Vermont Health Connect.

But you look at Lisman’s laundry list, and you wonder how in hell the Democrats got a single vote, let alone a sizeable majority.

Which maybe is why Bruce has a bug up his butt. The people of Vermont are eschewing his wise counsel.

Well, okay then. But riddle me this, Lisman: if you felt so strongly about all this, why did you almost entirely sit out the 2014 election? We barely heard from you. We never saw you alongside Scott Milne or Phil Scott or your Campaign for Vermont colleague Heidi Scheuermann.

Now that I think of it, last time we heard from Bruce, he was torpedoing Scheuermann’s nascent gubernatorial bid with some poorly-timed and pointless musings of his own. After that, a conspicuous absence of Lisman.

The man’s policy insights may be arguable, but his political acumen is not: he has none. I wrote about this on Green Mountain Daily in May, but his post-election rage makes it freshly relevant.

Bruce Lisman could have made a substantial difference in the election. All he had to do was drop the mask of nonpartisanship and openly declare himself an ally of Phil Scott and company. He could have helped bankroll the party and a real live gubernatorial candidate. Say, Heidi Scheuermann.

His active backing would have helped the VTGOP recruit candidates. Its failure to field anything like a full slate limited its ability to gain seats in the legislature.

Is his increasingly-tattered nonpartisan image that important to him? When his rhetoric is in the same ballpark as conservative Republicans’, who does he think he’s fooling? Just because he doesn’t say “Democrat” or “Shumlin” doesn’t make it any less obvious.

If Lisman felt this strongly about the direction of Vermont, he could have done something about it. He chose not to, by all visible evidence. So whose fault is it that Vermont failed to heed his (inaudible) warning?