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03/30/2009

VT GOP: Dems outta touch with the economy -- give us money and we'll prove it

by Jeremy Hooper

Want to see Vermont GOP hypocrisy in action? Well check this out. This is the opening paragraph of a blog that was recently posted on VTGOP.org:

When Republican Senator Kevin Mullin called for a non-binding statewide resolution on same sex marriage, the Vermont Senate, which is controlled by a Democrat "supermajority" shot it down 19-11. Senator Dick Sears (D-Bennington) pooh-poohed the idea of letting Vermonters have a say on this issue, "He said Vermonters 'have a referendum every two years' called elections." (Bennington Banner, 3/21/09). Of course, Sears and his leadership have chosen now - the worst possible time for this issue to come up from a practical standpoint given the economy - precisely because it is as far away from one of those every two year referendums as possible. Real courageous!

Okay, so the writer, Rob Roper, is using the now-popular GOP argument that deprives Democrats of the ability to multitask because of this dire economic situation that we are all facing. And of course he's overlooking the economic power that marriage equality could actually bring to the state. Instead he's suggesting that the Vermont Dems are completely overlooking the economy in the name of political expediency, and he's shunning what he perceives to be their myopia on this issue. After all, there are money woes to address.

So what has the VT GOP been doing to counter the Democrats? Well they've been soliciting $$$, natch:

But, if the Democrats won't give Vermonters a voice on same sex marriage, we can do it ourselves. For just $400 per legislative district, we can phone poll every household in the district on this question to find out how Vermonters really feel? So far, we have results from two districts, and both are overwhelmingly opposed (2-1 against) the Democrat leadership's attempt to ram this bill through now.
If the Democrats in Montpelier refuse Vermonters a voice on same sex marriage, let's do it ourselves! [VT GOP]

Sure it's only 400 bucks per district. But here they are, after criticizing the Democrats for misusing time and capital in this economy, themselves raising and wasting actual funds on a complete irrelevant phone poll. A poll that, if typical partisan polling practices are any guide, is setup in a way that is most likely to deliver the desired answer. Can you even imagine if the Democrats did the same? They'd immediately be painted as lavish, agenda-driven hypocrites who are out of step with "main street."

Mr. Roper may think that Jack Tripper is gay the Dems are lacking in courage and economic insight because of their reasoned, principled push for marriage equality. We, however, think it's far more irresponsible to collect funds for something that will not (and should not) move the needle one iota, and far more milquetoast to give yourself over to the ridiculous reasoning that says any second of legislative time not spent on the economy is itself time ill-spent. Grown adults can pat their heads, rub their tummies, and say "I do," all at the same time.

**We now know that the poll has at least one skewed vote:

The calls give recipients three choices for an opinion on the topic:
1. Now is not the time. The Legislature should be focused on economic issues.
2. The Legislature should legalize same-sex marriage now.
3. The Legislature should not legalize same-sex marriage.

One of the calls rang into the home of House Speaker Shap Smith, D-Morristown, who of course supports the same-sex marriage bill. Smith didn't answer the phone, though. His young son did. And Shap reports that his son responded the way many kids have been told to when mom and dad are busy: Now is not the time.

You can't make this stuff up.
Survey says: Now's not the time [Burlington Free Press]

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Your thoughts

Pres Bush couldn't focus on more than one thing at at time, it seems. That doesn't mean that most people can't walk and chew gum at the same time.

Posted by: Bill Ware | Mar 30, 2009 4:43:00 PM

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