by Myers Mermel
On Friday April 21, we saw a softening of relations between Governor Phil Scott and Republican legislators. To honor the vigorous debate held by Republicans on S. 5, the Affordable Heat Act, Governor Scott invited a number of Republican lawmakers to meet with him in his ceremonial office in the State House. What a welcome event that was. Thank you, Governor Scott.
Governor Scott was a massive winner with 71% of the general vote this past November but remarkably Republicans treat him horribly. He should be setting the agenda but sadly most Republicans refuse to follow him. They call him weak or label him a RINO, but somehow, they don’t understand that Governor Scott is the best thing anyone on the right has going for them.
He is a masterful executive. He finds the middle ground and works to make policies acceptable to everyone. He works at uniting us, not dividing us. His veto has been instrumental in holding a Clean Heat Standard at bay and has protected thousands of low and middle income Vermonters from expensive taxes and surcharges which they cannot afford.
His recent gesture of reconciliation creates a bridge for many in the state house who want to follow him. But loyalty runs both ways. If we continue to want his help and want him to be loyal to those on the right, we need to be loyal to him. Or at least respectful and grateful. That time starts now.
His fiscal responsibility and social liberalism are a right fit for Vermont. Social liberals support civil rights and equality for all, principles we can all agree upon. Governor Scott often is the voice of forgotten Vermonters and has become the conscience of the state.
Anyone who thinks that social conservatism is a winning philosophy in Vermont ought to go meet his or her neighbors. Just go meet people in your town and you will find the majority of them are socially liberal.
Vermonters are socially liberal and have been historically. Revolution was popular here. It was so popular we fought two revolutions at once. It was a liberal idea. Abolition was popular here and willingness to fight for it by our men was unequalled. Another liberal idea. Temperance was popular here well before Prohibition. Liberal idea. Eugenics was popular. Again, another liberal idea. The Progressive Era and its regulatory, process, and governmental reforms were embraced here. All liberal.
Not all the liberal ideas were effective or honorable in hindsight, but most were. And the deficiencies of a few policies did not stop them from being popular at the time. Many of these policies grew into moral crusades. We see it afresh today as a new liberal policy, climate change, has become a type of moral crusade to some.
Yes, Republicans controlled the state for most of the 19th and the 20th century. But they were fiscal conservatives who at the same time presided over many socially liberal policies. Calls for us to return to the values of our ancestors miss the mark on what our ancestors actually accomplished.
Supporting a socially liberal Governor Scott doesn’t mean you have to abandon your principles. It means you realize that if you place social concerns above fiscal, we will see more legislation which imposes increasingly greater financial burdens and thereby punishes low and moderate income Vermonters. And we will continue to see the elitist takeover by the wealthy, operating as progressives, as exemplified by the changeover in Ascutney, where low and moderate-income Vermonters have been marginalized. Wealthy homeowners, many people of the valleys, have transformed the perennially cash-strapped village into a New England version of Williamsburg. This despite the fact that real people, not reenactors, live there and can’t afford their only general store which now features Wagyu beef as a staple. Unchecked progressive power will only lead to more of this across our state.
Transfer of power from folk migrations is not uncommon in America. It’s happening here. It’s ironic that those Vermonters who complain of foreign invasion are often those whose ancestors utilized New Hampshire grants to seize land. Another example of folk migration was the displacement of New Yorkers in the early 19th century when Connecticut Yankees pushed the Dutch out of the way. To the New Yorkers it was an unwelcome event. New York in 1820 was becoming “a colony from New England” said President Timothy Dwight of Yale with some glee.
Today, Vermont under modern progressive leadership is becoming a colony of New Jersey and New York, eager to pursue their excessive spending and taxation. Without an executive exercising fiscal responsibility, like Governor Scott, this inevitable folk migration will destroy the paradise our ancestors have built, and the one others have come to find.
A number of large spending programs have been proposed this legislative session and a number of them will become law. It wouldn’t be this way if we had more Representatives and Senators to sustain the Governor’s veto. But Vermonters haven’t voted for Republicans, for a myriad of reasons. Can you imagine where we would be if the Governor was not there to veto S. 5 and to shape other bills?
In a recent poll taken by the UNH Survey Center and published last month, Governor Scott remains popular, but his approval ratings have dropped. The poll found that 58% of Vermont residents approved of his job performance, 39% disapproved, and 3% weren’t sure. Governor Scott’s net approval rating (the difference between those who approve and those who disapprove) is +19. This is down from November’s net approval of +39.
Surprisingly it is his own party who approves of him least. 75% of Independents, 62% of Democrats, and only 46% of Republicans approve his job performance. Yet in November, Republicans had given him an approval rating of 66%. Republican approval of Governor Scott has slid almost a third in just four months. Republicans are his most tepid supporters, but the Governor is seeking to change that. Republicans need to heed his overtures of reconciliation.
Last week, Governor Scott attended the State Dinner for South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol at the White House. He took his mother as his guest. It speaks volumes about how magnanimous his wife is in giving up her spot, but it also speaks to the kind of person the Governor is. How nice of him to take his mother. How well he represents our state. It is time for those on the right to get it together and follow his lead. Governor Scott, we appreciate you.
Myers Mermel is President of the Ethan Allen Institute.
A governmental elected public servant simply doing what’s right for the constituency. How ’bout that? I’m not personally planning on groveling or gushing though, as this was meant to be an everyday affair.
The fluff pieces provided by Phil Scott’s fanboys is very similar to Bernie Bros. The celebratory worship of a seasoned political palm greaser is as obvious as it is nauseating. I surmise the lucrative, profitable games played for decades as a Wall Street-DC beltway insider, at the expense of the People, is how it all works to keep the game going with impunity. Keep playing those mind games, forever.
So correct, as always Melissa. I’m not certain how Mr. Mermel didn’t find occasion within his musings to also interject about his bestie good ‘ol boy golfing buddy Governor Huckabee, his mansion in Manchester, VT where he hosts grandiose VT GOP events, or his casual, quiet, nearly unfunded, non-committal, run for the US Senate here in VT. Just to be able to say: “I did that, too”!
Meanwhile, the two leftist legislators in Manchester are hard at work as Mermel pens his propaganda, plotting a four-story low-income housing “project” (hey….that’s what we called ’em in the Bronx too!) along scenic, historic RT 7A in the center of town as per Obama’s dreamscape of this new Amerika! I’m merely hoping the facade eventually blends well with the “safe” injection sites the VT Democrat Party wants in every town! And the brothels, ahhhh…., the brothels – as a woman, I feel “empowered” just dreaming of them!
Where’s your input THERE, Mermel??
Yes. Washington D.C. has been berry, berry good to swamp rats.
You can accurately cast him as a RINO, but I am grateful every day for who we have as Governor. Just imagine if we instead had Zuckerman, Krowinski, Baruth or Lyons
at the helm…?yikes
They are all steering the State as directed. They are all paid and compensated accordingly. Phil has spent a great deal of time learning and mastering the game. Kingdom Con? He was Lt. Governor. Meeting with the CCP at the State House February 2019 along with Zuck and Condos? C’mon man. Two wings, one bird.
Oh…..Ponytail is coming……he’s planning his Coronation event as we write. Then what? You now have mostly out-of-state leftists controlling Montpelier who simply override his vetoes, and then even MORE Democrats in governmental positions and on boards that Governor Scott appointed. Before he bids farewell, however, he’s now looking into building MORE mobile home parks in our state for our perpetually increasing number of homeless people.
Poor, poor Vermont.
Unfortunately, Gov Scott’s seeding control of elections to the union organizers through universal mail in voting was the final undoing of the Republican Party in Vermont. The supermajority in the legislature and everything that gets enacted as a result is all thanks to this fatal unforgivable mistake. Seems to me that his high approval rating and his reelection just reflects that he’s a fiscally conservative progressive. Not worthy of high praise.
“…he’s a fiscally conservative progressive.”
I wouldn’t even go that far. But you are absolutely right, for him to go along with the universal mail-in ballot scam and covid shutdowns marked the end of any conservative pushback in this state.
Mermel’s gaslighting lamp is overflowing. How did he become President of Ethan Allen Institute? What is HAPPENING?! Mermel conflates Vermont’s history of libertarianism with evolving Marxism falsely labeled as Democrat/Progressive. I’d like a poll on how many Vermonters voted for Scott as the lesser evil.
$$$. These folks navigate their way through the political system lining their pockets and eventually buying positions that endow them with even more money, power, authority, and status. Sad, isn’t it?
This is a bigger truth than people realize. It is true at every level, but starts on the local level where self-organized activists lobby town councils for every globalist energy, conservation and social justice Agenda 20/30 item. They demand a committee be established, for which they then conveniently “volunteer”, to identify town and private property they want to control (which is all of it). The committee is funded with a budget that includes hiring “experts” like engineers or college professors in wildlife/biology or whatever discipline they choose for their studies and assessments and conclusions (which always support their agenda); and new paid staff to “facilitate” as they enact new regulations which become law in zoning — and for which they act as judge and enforcement in any appeal on behalf of the town council, who always go along to get along and remain at arms length by claiming it’s the will of the people.
As the saying goes, all politics is local.
I wonder if Ethan Allen gave them permission to use his name. I have a feeling Ethan would have sent this group back to New York were they make the big time money before landing in poor little Vermont. If you are a small fish in a big pond, it’s better to find a little pond where you can be the big fish. That’s why 2/3rds of our current legislature got to Vermont. They were little fish before coming here.
Scott was just saving face here. He knows the Democ”rats” can override so he figured to try to win over Republicans. He works for the Dems. Let’s not forget he voted for Biden. So he is all in with their crazy agendas. If not, prove me wrong Mr. Scott. Where is the man that had so much passion for stock car racing? My point? All these crazy agendas about gas stoves, gas autos, etc. Someone that had so much passion for racing wants to ban sales by 2035. Hey Scott, don’t charge me sales tax then when I buy mine in New Hampshire. Killing jobs like a good Rino.
Mr. Mermel is proof that Conservative Vermonters have no representation in VT.
Phil Scott just signed a Bill into Law that grants an exemption for non residents to come to VT for assisted suicide.
Scott has given Millions of Vermonters tax dollars to planned parenthood while not providing One Cent for Pro Pregnancy Centers in Vt.
Scott supported and voted for Article 22 which provides for abortion on demand up to the moment of Birth.
Scott supports H 89, the Bill that protects anyone that provides an abortion whether they have a medical license or not and for anyone that participates in the sexual, chemical, physical and psychological destruction of children, regardless of their age and without parental consent.
It also provides for the State to remove the child from their parents care and potentially could cause the parents to be arrested for trying to stop the State from taking their child. It also provides for charges against any Health Care professional that refuses to participate in the mutilation of the child. Including jail or suspending the right to practice in VT.
24 transrepublican VT State Representatives voted for H 89.
Benning, Parent and other transrepublicans also support the State’s right to take your child despite your efforts to protect your child from these predators.
Vermont has become a destination State for death. The slaughter of the unborn and those who choose suicide are being welcomed by the satan worshippers in Montpelier.
Here’s a note for those that praise Scott for saying he will Veto
S 5, and for those praising the transrepublicans that voted for the destruction of children but are standing against S 5.
If you support any of them, you are proving that you care more about your oil bill than you care about the unborn and the children.
Here’s another note…… Scott can’t define the word Woman. That put every Female in VT at risk. Ask the Randolph Girls Volleyball team. Ask any Female competing in sports.
Paul Dame , VTGOP Chair and Tom Koch, VTGOP Rules Committee Chair support all those transrepublicans. Including the 24 who voted for H 89. Dame writes its great pride that Scott is the most popular Governor in America.
What he doesn’t say is that Scott receives 60 – 70% support from Democrats.
Conservative Vermonters have no representation in Montpelier.
No longer is VT the Green Mountain State.
Vermont’s hills will be covered in Blood.
Oh, lets see, he gives tons of our dollars to planned parenthood, but nothing to pro-life groups, signed gun banning legislation, doesn’t follow the constitution or the Republican platform and YOU want to shake your finger at us??? Nope I think not. What is that saying? “If you stand for everything, you commit to nothing” Scott gets around 70% support from Democrats, so……
Oh, yes and HE PROUDLY VOTED FOR BIDEN!!!
How is this guy running the only “conservative” institute in Vermont? His arrogance and contempt for conservatives is off the charts. Myers Mermel is literally commanding us to be “loyal” to Phil because lots of Democrats vote for him every 2 years.
He writes like a failing 8th grader. “1820 was becoming “a colony from New England” said President Timothy Dwight of Yale with some glee.” What??
“Surprisingly it is his own party who approves of him least.” It’s got to be surprising to Johnny-come-lately who showed up here from NYC in 2021, ran for US Senate in 2022, then became head of Ethan Allen 6 months later.
“Republicans controlled the state for most of the 19th and the 20th century. But they were fiscal conservatives who at the same time presided over many socially liberal policies.” Poor Johnny never did his homework. Proctor wing Republicans wouldn’t be impressed. Luckily for this New Yorker, Mr. and Mrs. McClaughry are. Brown-nosing Phil will totally get his donors to save their institute. Totally.
A governor who walks hand in glove with Democrats and Progressives on aborting babies up to the moment of birth, PAS, allowing both abortion and trans tourism, allowing children to go through transitioning with school and medical personnel without their parents’ knowledge or consent, is NOT a man I admire or want to follow. One of the few things he did right this session was to veto the “Unaffordable Heat Standards” legislation, but that was far too little compared to the other heinous things he has allowed to be foisted on the people of this state. Phil Scott is a Neville Chamberlain. He tiptoes down the middle of the road, continually drifting to the left. He goes along to get along so he can continue to be elected time and again by the Democrats and Progressives who love him so much. Don’t use terms like “socially liberal” to cover the specifics of what that really means, Myers. Killing unborn babies. Chemical and physical mutilation and castration of minor youth and children. Supporting assisted suicide. Socially liberal “Republicans” who say they are economic conservatives are not telling the truth. If you are a social liberal politician who supports unlimited funding of Planned Parenthood and similar organizations with a liberal social agenda, you are NOT an economic conservative. You are an economic liberal as well. Phil Scott in neither a fiscal nor a social conservative. He is a social liberal and a mushy middle fiscal something hard to pin down. Definitely not a fiscal conservative. A Progressive wearing an R label.