by Peter Freyne
"I think we recognize the troublesome environment," said successful Vermont Republican Party chairman, executive director and spinmeister Jim Barnett.
Why is that?
"People are concerned with Washington," he told us on Friday in a rare candid "on-the-record" moment. "Clearly," said the youngest (30) state GOP chairman in America, "the President is not the most popular guy in Vermont."
Can't argue with Mad Dog on that, can you? He sounds like he's seeing things as crisply and clearly as this rather dignified gull we chatted up the other day on the reclaimed "Waterfront for the People" in beautiful Burlington.
And President George W. Bush of Texas has earned it, hasn't he? After all, the record is perfectly clear: he lies, he cheats and he steals. So much so, that he's got lifelong GOP ticket-punchers like Jim Douglas and newcomers like Martha Rainville distancing themselves from the Bush-Cheney Team and the GOP congressional "leadership."
Eyebrows were raised by the last-minute infusion of a $100,000 mass-mailing for the Guv by the Republican Governor's Association on Friday. Wasn't Gov. Scissorhands up 10 points over Scudder Parker in the last public poll?
And the Lite-Gov race has turned into a real doozy. Democrat challenger Matt Dunne has made Republican, pro-life, airline pilot Brian Dubie, not only sweat, but go negative with a cute little attack-back TV ad, questioning Not-to-be-Undone's state senate attendance record!
Insiders on both sides seriously think this one could go either way. It all depends on the size of next Tuesday's Tsunami - the "Throw the Bush-Team Republican Bums Out" Tsunami!
The word in the inner circle is a "4" would take down Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie. A "5" and Jim Douglas will be getting some time off, too.
I know I declared Bernie Sanders the winner early in the U.S. Senate race. Couple months ago. Not hard to do. But I've been very reluctant and nervous to say anything about how the rest of it will go. Don't want to jinx it. The stakes are too high!
But there's some serious evidence popping up all over that makes one think Tuesday's Tsunami is going to be a biggie. One indication of just how widespread the loss of faith and trust in the corrupt Bush-Cheney regime is, can be seen by the loss of the American military's loyalty.
Are you sitting down?
In their Monday editorials, the Army Times, Air Force Times, Navy Times and Marine Corps Times will stand united in calling for the resignation of Secretary of Defense Donald "Weapons of Mass Destraction" Rumsfeld. President "I Never Said 'Stay the Course'" said just this week he wants Rumsfeld to stay in charge another two years. Madness at the top, eh?
Here is the end of the editorial and a link:
Time for Rumsfeld to go
It is one thing for the majority of Americans to think Rumsfeld has failed. But when the nation's current military leaders start to break publicly with their defense secretary, then it is clear that he is losing control of the institution he ostensibly leads.
These officers have been loyal public promoters of a war policy many privately feared would fail. They have kept their counsel private, adhering to more than two centuries of American tradition of subordination of the military to civilian authority.
And although that tradition, and the officers' deep sense of honor, prevent them from saying this publicly, more and more of them believe it.
Rumsfeld has lost credibility with the uniformed leadership, with the troops, with Congress and with the public at large. His strategy has failed, and his ability to lead is compromised. And although the blame for our failures in Iraq rests with the secretary, it will be the troops who bear its brunt.
This is not about the midterm elections. Regardless of which party wins Nov. 7, the time has come, Mr. President, to face the hard bruising truth:
Donald Rumsfeld must go.
At 10 a.m this morning at Blanchard Beach in Burlington (right next to Gasoline Vallee's gasoline storage tanks by Oakledge Park) a Stonehenge-like Earth Clock will be dedicated. Article in the Freeps.
1. Pedaled down to the Earth Clock stone-raising at Oakledge Park this morning. Even stood in the circle. Held hands. Did a wee chant with wonderful strangers. Lovely. A Yank playing bagpipes and a Brit and a Scotsman. Love the "accents." Check out the Circles for Peace website here. And do make a visit to the real site. Those adjacent gasoline storage tanks, by the way, belong to the company the current U.S. Ambassador to Slovakia has long had a stake in. Nice guy. A Vermont kid. Did pretty good for himself, eh?
2. Welch for Congress is having a good laugh over a Rainville for Congress voice-mail left by a Rainville campaign volunteer phone caller. "Republican" is now Dirty Word #1 over in Marvelous Martha Land. She's an independent. George W. Who?
3. The Blogosphere - Reason and Brimstone - is where the news about U.S. House Candidate Rainville's stolen quotes broke. Now a segment of the "local" blogosphere is roaring over Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie's official Lite-Gov schedule, recently released in response to a freedom of info request from Camp Matt Not-to-be-Undone. On that February 2005 week, Dubie's schedule says he was in Montpeculiar.
He wasn't. He was in Hawaii with brother Mike (the current Vermont Guard adjutant general) and two of his high-school age sons. Though "on vacation," Brian the American Airlines pilot managed to get himself in the local paper while wearing his Lite-Gov of Vermont hat. The Matt Dunne Campaign's been trying to sell it to the mainstream press. So far no bites, eh?
The story was first up online yesterday at Green Mountain Daily. (Both have links on the right.) Also up today on a new one pour moi - Rhetoric 101 - over here. About a February visit to Hawaii in 2005 by the Dubie boys, er, men.
If you haven't been there, do check it out.