When I started my series on “stealth conservatives,” i had no idea it would go on so long. Or that I’d get nowhere close to finishing. I’ve done 20 of those pieces and I could do a lot more.
It’s no longer accurate to say the Vermont Republican Party tolerates a few extremist candidates where they have no other options. It’s that extremists account for more than half of all Republican candidates for the Legislature, and the vast majority of the first-time candidates.
The Republican Party of Phil Scott and Jim Jeffords and Bob Stafford and Dick Snelling is dead. It’s kicked the bucket, shuffled off its mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the choir invisible.
The bottom line: By my count the Republicans have a total of 100 candidates for House or Senate, and 58 of them are out on the fringe. Well, really, the fringe has become the center of an extremist Republican Party.
The 58 includes 15 incumbents. The rest have never held state-level office. The new Republican caucuses will swing dramatically to the hard right, with all that that entails for the quality and civility of legislative sessions.Continue reading