Kevin Blier, 2006:  Brandon Dodges A Bullet, and more...
Because of the months long dearth of Kevin Blier screeds it had been our intention to post one of those long "Year In Review" type posts.  Not really anything new to say but perhaps a few new insights or the disclosure of a previously unrevealed detail or two. You know the type thing - tediously long and really not worth the work or the read, but an obligation nonetheless.
(Photo credit: Seven Days)
Then along comes Vermont's own doughy-faced conservative activist to the rescue with one of his extreme, partisan, take-no-prisoners tirades.  Like an unexpected Boxing Day gift he gives us this email of his to the equally right-wing Dwinell Political Report:
"DO SOMETHING!Whew!  Kinda long-winded there, Kevin but we hear ya.  Scrap "non-partisanship" on Vermont school boards and bring on the sort of tactics that you and your pals brought to the 2002 New Hampshire election cycle, remember? According to the FBI report (see pgs 4 & 6 of the FBI interview docs) , you were "believed" to have known about plan to jam Democratic phone banks on election day.  Just the sort of insider know-how that any State party would want - not!  Since you've gone to such great pains to tell your less motived Vermont colleagues on the conservative right how extreme they need to become to meet your lofty goals, you might as well let them know also that that 2002 election plan you're alleged to have been aware of worked so well that the millions subsequently paid out in legal defense fees from the NH GOP coffers for you former team mates is being directly credited with having made possible this year's election sweep by the Democrats in the Granite State.  Not only that, but following this year's election, the New Hampshire GOP settled its lawsuit brought by the Democrats for six figures and, not surprisingly, within days of the settlement the NH GOP State Committee chairman Wayne Semprini resigned for "health reasons."  Nice plan, Kevin!  (Could Kevin really be some kind of Democratic mole, we wonder?)
»» Kevin Blier, Rutland: Third straight election Republicans lose seats in Montpelier...if this was the "bad year" to be a Republican, what's the excuse for the previous two elections? This isn't the first election in the last 4 years they've lost at least 10 seats in the House.
You had another DPR reader observe that the Republicans didn't run on explaining the "Revolt and Repeal" and making the connection between property taxes, Democrats, and the expense of funding public education. Quite and astute observation. Republicans having a tax issue only other states could dream about and they couldn't capitalize. So, who was responsible for packaging that message? Why didn't candidates follow it?
I would start by making the argument that Republicans support "public" education, just not "NEA" education and contrast what those differences mean. As long as the NEA runs public education in this country, it will continue to be the bloated, bureaucratic, expensive, mob-like, status-quo defending monopoly it has been for more than 20 years. Return real power back to school boards, administrators, and parents and education will instantaneously improve. Start by telling the NEA to pound sand come re-up time during contract negotiations and go from there. This is why the Republican Party needs to invest in "non-partisan" school board elections. Believe me, the NEA does, and they are a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Democrat Party.
Act 60 and 68 are the gimmicks, a revolving mess of "who dunnit", wrapped in an enigma, allowing the egalitarian fundamentalists in Vermont the duck and cover of arguing that "equal spending" is an "equal education"…it is nothing of the sorts! No one is to blame, yet everyone is to blame, and the voters are confused as to who the blame belongs to, which is exactly where the liberals like to have the debate. As long as everyone is confused, frustrated, and uninformed, the liberals get their way and can collectivize to their heart's content. Can't you just hear the "don't worry, leave it to us" circulating through the halls of Montpelier and the Department of Education?
Like the great economist Milt Friedman once quipped..."Hell hath no fury like a bureaucrat scorned"! God forbid we should take that huge pool of power, the Education Fund, away from Montpelier. After all, centralized power and state control are exactly the way the socialists in Montpelier like it.
But enough of the liberals. In my view, there is only one thing more dysfunctional than the Republican Party in Vermont, and that's the conservative movement! As a "guest" in the movement over the last 2-1/2 years, I can tell you first hand that the reason why it gets no traction or has no clout is because of its own organically-grown need to self-destruct.
The one goal that all the "leaders" in the conservative movement share is the need to be "the one"! And so while the issues that social conservatives care about lose ground daily, like abortion-on-demand and state-sanctioned depravity, the "leaders" in the movement climb over each other's back on the way to the top of what, a failed effort to effectively defend traditional values. There's an intellectual argument to be made to defend moral and traditional values, there's just no leaders who seem willing or able to make them. And if they are, they don't have the ability to carve and package a message the media is willing to give air or print time to.
Say what you will about liberals, but they get it! They could care less who "gets the credit" as long as their issues win the day, and that's the secret of their success in Vermont. Despite what any of the liberal wing-nut media-types believe, Vermont cannot be the "most liberal state" in America with Republicans in the top two posts in state government. Conservatives are not out-manned or out-gunned... they are outsmarted and out-willed!
Conservatives don't have the heart to win because they're too busy going to "Conservatives Anonymous" meetings, aka, Republican Assemblies, and whining about the "RINO" Republicans or the liberals. If they would spend less time whining about their despair and more time actually doing something about it, things could change. There's no one willing to do the hard work and the patience to embark on long-term progress. It won't happen overnight, but the conservative mind wants immediate results. Conservatives need to fight this natural impulse.
Lastly, if there is one thing I would suggest that needs to happen to begin to turn things around here in Vermont, it would be this... Mr. Tarrant, make Mr. Mitchell an offer he can't refuse!"
And so Kevin would now have school boards around the state enter contract negotiations with the teachers by telling the unions to "pound sand come re-up time."  Way to position the school districts for the arbitration that would most certainly follow such a combative proposal, Kevin.  Brandon's voters clearly made the right decision last March when they overwhelmingly rejected Kevin's bid for a seat on their school board.  Given his "we have to destroy the village in order to save it" approach to education matters, Brandon dodged a bullet last March.
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MILESTONE NOTE:  Earlier this year Blier Watch was added to the gazillions of footnotes in Wikipedia.  The notation was made in the Straight Pride article.  Not a first among Vermont blogs but rare indeed.
What do fellow GOP conservatives say about The Center for American Cultural Renewal? "...(A)n organization with no Washington presence and little clout with social conservatives outside Vermont where it is based."