Lookout world, the Young Republicans of Vermont are throwing a “Spring Fling” this Saturday at that most swingin’ of venues, the Elks Lodge in Barre. Wowie zowie.
Oh, but that’s just the beginning. The main attraction is a panel discussion featuring five Republican lawmakers, only two of whom have the slightest claim to the title “young Republican.” The guys who’ll be wearing the Steve Buscemi “How do you do, fellow kids?” costumes are Sen. Russ Ingalls and Reps. Tom Burditt and Patrick Brennan. Scintillating.
The other two panelists are a bit more germane: Reps. Casey Toof and Joe Parsons. Toof at least represents the most vibrant county in Republican politics, Franklin County. But c’mon now, you’re trying to gin up an exciting evening for young conservatives, and this is the best you can do?
But the real kicker is the complete absence of women. I mean, they don’t have a lot to choose from, but no Patricia McCoy? No Ashley Bartley? Think, fellas! Put your minds to it.
Then again, when you see the topic of discussion, you get a sense of how much brain power went into this event. Which is to say, not much.
If there was ever any doubt that the state Senate is a club unto itself, well, a close look at the chamber’s likely reapportionment map will make things perfectly clear.
First, the circumstances: After weeks and weeks of vaguely-defined “discussion,” the committee burped out its map in a 26-minute-long hearing on Thursday. Seriously, before Thursday, the agenda for each of its previous 13 meetings merely said “Committee Discussion.” At least they were open hearings, I guess.
According to VTDigger, the hearing was not warned in advance as required by law, and the map wasn’t made public until after the hearing. A procedural fail to be sure, and a worrying one by a committee chaired by Sen. Jeanette White, who chairs the Senate Government Operations Committee. You know — the one that deals with open meetings and public records laws?
Aside from process flaws, the map itself is problematic in many ways. At virtually every turn, it bows the knee to incumbency — even when doing so is a setback for the Democratic Party. You know, the party that allegedly controls the process?
If this map is enacted, it will be harder for the Democrats to keep their Senate supermajority. It will help Republicans pick up some ground, but maybe not right away; and the new Chittenden County map is the best thing to happen to the Progressive Party since David Zuckerman became lieutenant governor. (It also gives the Republicans a real shot at a Chittenden seat for the first time since Diane Snelling left the chamber.)
The newly created, three-seat Chittenden Central district includes Winooski and part of Burlington. It seems custom-made to give the Progs a real shot at winning all three seats.
Looking at the committee lineup, this may have been a case of Prog/Dem Sen. Chris Pearson pulling one over on sleepy Democrats’ eyes. He was the only member from Chittenden County, which is weird in itself. There were four Dems on the committee: the barely-there Jeanette White, the almost-a-Republican Bobby Starr, everybody’s friend Alison Clarkson, and quiet second-termer Andrew Perchlik. The two Republicans were part-time Vermonter Brian Collamore and the politically savvy Randy Brock. In sheer political terms, Pearson and Brock could run rings around the other five.
Welp, as soon as he was confronted, Sen. Russ Ingalls folded like a lawn chair. Ingalls was taken to task by Senate President Pro Tem Becca Balint for doxxing a middle school teacher… and he immediately turtled.
According to Balint, Ingalls expressed “regret and remorse” and said he would reach out directly to the teacher to make amends “for his poor judgement.”
What a warrior.
I mean, it’s the right thing to do, but he’s abandoning any pretense of principle.
He’s also ducking the media, just like a coward. “Ingalls did not respond to multiple phone calls and messages seeking comment Tuesday,” per VTDigger.
I’m sure he’ll go on being an asshole on social media and in front of friendly audiences, but when forced to confront his own actions, he can’t take the heat.
It goes without saying that state Sen. Russ Ingalls is an asshole. What might not be obvious at first glance is that he’s also a lily-livered coward.
Ingalls has gotten himself into a well-deserved spot of bother by publicly decrying — and doxxing — Sam Carbonetti, a middle school teacher who had the temerity to ask his class to “introduce themselves using their preferred names, pronouns and interests.” A parent, Ben Morley, posted a complaint on Facebook. Ingalls reposted it along with Carbonetti’s email address, so people could complain to the teacher directly.
Carbonetti posted the incident on Twitter, and quickly got an overwhelmingly supportive response. Including a tweet from Senate President Pro Tem Becca Balint, who vowed to look into possible sanctions against Ingalls.
Ingalls is an asshole because he’s so hot and bothered about nothing at all just as he is over critical race theory, about which he is wildly (and willingly) misinformed. It’s “nothing at all” because Carbonetti merely asked his students to identify themselves. He didn’t say anything about L, G, B, T, Q, I, A, or X. Morley and Ingalls made that inference in their own dirty little minds.
There is so much to say about the pair of dueling events that took place in Essex last Friday. The first was a cauldron of conservative outrage concerning Their Latest Bugaboo, critical race theory, about which they know nothing. The second was a counter-event across the road, featuring supporters of the school district’s anti-racism efforts.
There’s what it says about the Vermont Republican Party that its chair attended Hate Night. There’s the ideological connection to recent events in the Mill River school district, where conservative outrage has also reared its unsightly head. There’s how the event was covered: Badly by VTDigger, and with manufactured both-sidesism by Seven Days. There’s the complete unmasking of a prominent conservative “journalist,” and the rise of a new contender for Worst Lawmaker in Montpelier.
But let’s start with Hebrews 11:1. In the King James Version favored by many evangelicals, it says “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” This verse has multiple applications here.