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View Diary: VT-Sen: Nothing to see here, move on... (114 comments)

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  •  I was wondering what GOP is doing in a governor's (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    4Freedom

    mansion in VT of all places.

    •  Vermont's a really mixed bag. (6+ / 0-)

      We've got a sizable wingnut population and they love Douglas.

      "Nice to meet you, Rose Tyler. Run for your life!"

      by juliewolf on Fri Jan 16, 2009 at 08:47:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I thought it was because (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        WhyWhat, 4Freedom, hilllady

        the liberal vote split between the Dems and the Progressives.

        •  That helped (4+ / 0-)

          BUT, Douglas is popular.

          He's never had to DO anything, never mind anything unpopular.

          He's extremely good at messaging and message control. No matter how hard he may have tried to sabotage some new program or project, once it's implemented, he takes credit for it.

          He also has an extraordinary capacity to remember everyone's name. If you've ever been introduced to him, and you subsequently run into him, he'll call you by name. In a state where retail politics (door-to-door, personal relationship, shaking hands and kissing babies) is King, Douglas does very well.

          Throw in lackluster unenthusiastic candidates in both the Progressive and Democratic parties, and we're stuck with Jobless Jim Doesless.

          Beware the everyday brutality of the averted gaze.

          by mataliandy on Fri Jan 16, 2009 at 09:13:18 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah (5+ / 0-)

        and a good sized chunk of 'em are my neighbors.
        I live in the red zone.

        "Bush legacy", my ass. Criminals don't have "legacies". Criminals have RECORDS.

        by kestrel9000 on Fri Jan 16, 2009 at 08:52:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Obama Carried (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fladem, Steve Singiser

          Much of the Northeast Kingdom. As does Bernie Sanders.

          We don't really have a red zone in Vermont.

          •  Really? (4+ / 0-)

            Have you read the Caledonian-Record lately?
            And did you know that prior to this election, the NEK always sent Republicans to Montpelier? This is the first time in many years the Dems have swept Caledonia County.
            This is as red a zone as VT has.

            "Bush legacy", my ass. Criminals don't have "legacies". Criminals have RECORDS.

            by kestrel9000 on Fri Jan 16, 2009 at 09:03:52 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I Read (0+ / 0-)

              The vote tallies in the Chronicle for every town in the Kingdom after election day. Obama carried many of those towns.

              And sorry, you don't know your history very well. Johnny Rodgers is on his fourth of fifth term in the House. Dem. Bobby Starr has been in Montpelier for twenty years now (first in the House, now in the Senate). Dem. Those are two right off the top of my head.

              There have been several Progressives sent to the House from the Kingdom over the past decade.

              •  Okay (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mataliandy, Steve Singiser

                but it's the first time in like 80 odd years or so we've run the table.
                Per the Caledonian-Record. I'll try and find a link.
                And Obama carrying towns here isn't what i was talking about.
                I'm talking who we send to Montpelier.
                (Just FYI I live in St. J.)

                "Bush legacy", my ass. Criminals don't have "legacies". Criminals have RECORDS.

                by kestrel9000 on Fri Jan 16, 2009 at 09:11:48 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  caledonian record (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              kestrel9000

              i live in nyc now, but grew up in st. jay.  i keep up with local news by reading the caledonian record on-line.  pretty much any position the editor or john c. poole (letters to the editor) takes, it tells me to think the opposite.  

              the nek is much more liberal than it used to be, but is still one of the most conservative parts of vermont.  and the most beautiful.  

            •  recced for the tagline -- is it original? EOM (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              kestrel9000
              •  Not mine. (0+ / 0-)

                That was something I saw in a comment here a couple years ago and never forgot it. It went in the "oh SNAP" mental file.
                But I forget who came up with it.

                "Bush legacy", my ass. Criminals don't have "legacies". Criminals have RECORDS.

                by kestrel9000 on Fri Jan 16, 2009 at 11:52:22 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  There are more registered Republicans (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kestrel9000, Caoimhin Laochdha

            than Democrats in Caledonia and Orange counties. Our counties are "blue" only in so far as we out-organize the republicans.

            Beware the everyday brutality of the averted gaze.

            by mataliandy on Fri Jan 16, 2009 at 09:45:23 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  when I registered in Burlington (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              pletzs, kestrel9000

              there was no option for party registration

            •  In The Context of American Politics (0+ / 0-)

              Any area that Obama carried (much less Bernie Sanders) cannot be described as a red district. Obama lost areas of Oklahoma by 2-to-1 to 3-to-1. That's a red area.

              And I don't think we have party registration in Vermont.

              •  Not in the traditional sense (0+ / 0-)

                But if you take a ballot in a primary, you must declare to be a member of that party. Also, the party membership for town and county committees is an indicator.

                Overall, there are more republicans than democrats.

                HOWEVER, Democrats have worked very, very hard to ensure better turnout. The fact is that we got more democrats to turn out in an area that is majority repulican, and many republicans were so sick of bush's fiscal "policy" of spend and waste that they voted for Obama not out of support for him, but because they wanted to vote against Bush.

                Sure, we have fewer republicans than Oklahoma, but that doesn't mean that we're a majority democratic area.

                The votes you see are the result of lots of people working their butts off.

                Beware the everyday brutality of the averted gaze.

                by mataliandy on Fri Jan 16, 2009 at 10:15:01 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  No You Don't (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  kestrel9000

                  If you take a primary ballot a party representative can check your name off for voter contact purposes, but in no way are you "declaring" yourself a member of that party. I did not become a registered Republican when I voted for Fred Tuttle in the primary.

                  Overall there are probably more independents than anything in Vermont. Very few people consider themselves party members.

                  Sorry, areas that regularly vote for Bernie Sanders cannot be considered "red" areas in an American political context. Even though Bernie is a socialist.

                  •  I'm not sure what you're trying to prove (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    kestrel9000

                    The fact is, regardless of terminology you use to describe the way in which people self-identify by party, they self-identify as republicans by a large margin in Orange and Caledonia counties.

                    Bernie appeals to Republicans, at least in part, because he supports our veterans in a way no one else does. He is a legend among veterans groups. The rest of his formula has been a conundrum for the Democrats who haven't figured out how to achieve the same level of cross-over votes, despite many years of effort. I actually think it's his populism in support of ordinary workers.

                    Beware the everyday brutality of the averted gaze.

                    by mataliandy on Fri Jan 16, 2009 at 10:32:47 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Your primary party choice is anonymous in VT (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    earicicle

                    In primaries for state offices, you are given ballots for all major parties, but you can only vote in one party primary, and discard the others. There is no public recording of which ballot you vote and which ones you discard --and even party volunteers can't record it because it is done at the end of the process away from the areas where the volunteers are allowed to sit.

                    The only time there is a public declaration of primary party choice is every 4 years for the Presidential primary -- this is only done because the national parties require it and the state legislature went along with requiring it.  As a result, a record is kept of which party's ballot you take for the Presidential primary.

                    Once social change begins,it cannot be reversed. You cannot uneducate the person who has learned to read...You cannot oppress people who are not afraid anymore.

                    by terjeanderson on Fri Jan 16, 2009 at 09:57:00 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

            •  woops (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              kestrel9000, earicicle

              There are zero registered Republicans, Democrats, or otherwise in any Vermont County, as we don't do party registration.

              Yer thinking of those voter IDs...

              Get over to the Green Mountain Daily! What are you still reading this sig for?

              by odum on Fri Jan 16, 2009 at 11:04:54 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  That you do... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kestrel9000, Caoimhin Laochdha

          My county is red, but yours is something altogether different. Granted, we did manage to squeeze out a second cross-county senate seat this time around, and a cross-county house seat, but it was not easy...

          Your county's population center is the biggest obstacle to non-republican candidates. Work on that, would ya?

          Beware the everyday brutality of the averted gaze.

          by mataliandy on Fri Jan 16, 2009 at 09:43:52 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  40% of Democrats (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        4Freedom

        approve of Douglas.

        Really, how different is he from Howard (who was a very moderate Governor)?

      •  No We Don't (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kestrel9000, 4Freedom

        We have some wingnuts, but "sizable?" Not really.

        On election night exit polling showed Vermont to literally be "the most liberal" state in the union.

        Douglas has been blessed with weak opponents, the Vermont tradition of not turning out incumbents, and the fact he's been making his living in Montpelier for several decades now.

      •  Most democratic state in the union? (0+ / 0-)

        I was gonna ask... by what measure?

        Vermont is strongly independent and liberal but I would not call it the most democratic state in the union. I think that is a real stretch. Douglass is a Republican. Jeffords was a Republican that switched to Independent not to Democrat. And he would have been reelected handily even if he'd stayed Republican.

        Like the rest of the northeast, Vermont has little to do with the sort of Republican that controls the national Republican party but there are plenty of more traditional liberal Republicans around.

        I'd probably tab Massachusetts as the most Democratic state but there might be one or two other contenders for the prize.

        Peace,

        Andrew

        •  You might be surprised at the (2+ / 0-)

          number of serious right-wing dominionists around our state. One of them is my neighbor. He hates non-republicans - really, really hates them. He has gone out of his way to endanger his own safety to run over lawn signs placed in a non-runoverable location. And the one he couldn't run over, he got out ofhis truck and kicked over (funny thing about the way snow shows tracks).

          There are some extremely rabid wingers in our area.  Nearly all the talk radio stations around here are far-right.

          I think the big difference between VT and some other states is that those on the left here are entirely unwilling to let them gain traction, so we work our butts off every single election cycle.

          There is no place in this country that is safe from the far right.

          Beware the everyday brutality of the averted gaze.

          by mataliandy on Fri Jan 16, 2009 at 09:51:46 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sorry, But (0+ / 0-)

            One nut running over lawn signs is not an accurate social indicator.

            And comparatively speaking, there aren't that many talk radio stations here, since so few people want to listen to them. WDEV runs the nutjobs at 11:00, but it also runs Amy Goodman (and Anthony Pollina until the last campaign). And the state has one of the strongest public radio stations in the country.

            The far right is so far from power in Vermont it's not even a topic for conversation. Most of the crazies that got elected on the anti-civil union wave have since lost (and civil unions now polls at over 70% approval statewide). And it should be remembered civil unions got some key Republican supporters (i.e., Bob Kinsey).

            •  Um, that was an example (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Andrew C White

              Of a neighbor who would be happy enough to kill me for my political beliefs should the opportunity arise.

              He is by far NOT the only one. I was the chair of my county democratic party, I know of what I speak.

              The far right is out of power because the left works fucking hard to keep it that way. If we rested on our laurels because we're in a "blue" state, you'd see a very different power structure.

              If you lived in my part of the state, you would note that we have more talk radio stations than we do music stations ... and WDEV is not one of them. DEV is a "liberal" station by comparison.

              I'm not sure where you live in the state, but I don't think you live anywhere near me.

              Beware the everyday brutality of the averted gaze.

              by mataliandy on Fri Jan 16, 2009 at 10:24:25 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  The Far Right (0+ / 0-)

                Is out of power because it's not popular in Vermont, even with the vast majority of Republicans.

                Vermont is the state who's Republican senator told LBJ to declare victory in Vietnam and get out. Who's Republican senator worked closely with FDR in passing the New Deal. Who's Republican governor enacted Act 250, the billboard law, and one of the nation's first bottle deposit laws.

                Vermont political culture was not created whole cloth by liberal flatlanders (so says this liberal flatlander).

                And I live in Orleans County. Not exactly the People's Republic of Burlington (though I lived there for 10 years).

                •  Hmmm... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Andrew C White

                  Orleans isn't Burlington, but it's also not Orange or Caledonia ... or Franklin for that matter.

                  So a proposal: let's have the Orange, Caledonia, and Franklin County democrats take a break from politics for a session or two, and see what the legislature looks like when they're done.

                  If you want an idea, just look at the fallout from Civil Unions. It's the best example of how much "red" lurks in VT. It took only one galvanizing issue to knock democrats out of the majority for two terms, and the scramble back to the majority has been painfully difficult.

                  Beware the everyday brutality of the averted gaze.

                  by mataliandy on Fri Jan 16, 2009 at 10:51:16 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

      •  Your right (0+ / 0-)

        I dislike Douglas. We elect a Socialist Senator (Bernie Sanders) alongside a GOP Governor.  Not a nock on Bernie at all he is the man. Obama did carry every county though

    •  Vt doesn't have Guv's mansion (4+ / 0-)

      one of few states that doesn't

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