Montpeculiar Drumbeat | Freyne Land
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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Montpeculiar Drumbeat

Posted By on Thu, Mar 29, 2007 at 6:31 PM

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Meet Buddhist Sister ICHIKAWA. She's the one on the right beating the drum.

Shot her around 11 a.m. today in Montpeculiar, Vermont. She is, god bless her,  on Day Six of a Nine-Day "WALK FOR A NUCLEAR FREE FUTURE." Started March 24 in Greenfield, Massachusetts. At Johnson State College on Friday and in Burlap this weekend.

That's Hattie Nestel seated behind the good sister. Hattie's with Citizens Awareness Network. More here.

I'm telling you, Sixties flashback-fever starting to break out all over.

"End the War in Vietnam, Bring the Troops Home!"

Ooops, Iraq.

However, inside the Statehouse, not a single soul was aware of the good sister's peace protest out front. It was the usual political, Inside-baseball soap opera, and Republican Gov. Jim Douglas was in the zone.

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The tiny six-member House Progressive Party Caucus tried to upstage Gov. Scissorhands' one o'clock weekly with a nooner of their own in Cedar Creek. Their message?

According to Burlington Prog Rep. Chris Pearson, "The Governor is a master illusionist. He talks circles around issues and has been beating on the legislature - getting away with half-truths, empty promises and clever phrases."

Pretty catchy, eh?

That's Progressive Reps. Dexter Randall (Troy) and Susan Hatch Davis (Topsham) behind the rather cutesy "shell-game" prop.

The "Master Illusionist," himself,  was around the corner wowing the fifth graders from Fair Haven. The State of Vermont's most successful Republican then proceeded into his weekly face-off with the press in his State House Ceremonial Office, and in the first two minutes got in every one of those clever phrases that make Jim = Winner.

The Douglas "Affordability Agenda" and the Douglas "Pathway to Progress" and "Promise Scholarships" are all part of what make Jim Douglas successful.  Redundancy, repetition and catchiness produce results in politics.  Just ask Bernie Sanders, eh?

Look, the fact is neither the Democrats nor the Progressives under the Golden Dome are going to change that. What they have to do is come up with a few catchy phrases of their own.

Washington County Sen. Bill Doyle's annual Town Meeting Day poll results are out.

Question 12: "Do you believe Governor Douglas is doing a good job?

50 percent answered "Yes."
29 percent answered "No."
21 percent were "Unsure."

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Press: "Put any credence in the Doyle Poll numbers?"

Gov. Douglas: "Well, it's not scientific, but I think it's always over time an interesting reflection of the views of Vermonters who respond to it, who go to Town Meeting and take it up. So it's instructive but not dispositive."

Press; "50 percent think you're doing a good job.  Do you have a problem with that?"

Gov. Douglas: "Well, I think probably statewide it's even a little better than that, but it's well above the General Assembly's approval ratings, so, I'm pleased with that."

Yes, indeed.

Doyle Poll Question 13: "Do you believe the VT Legislature is doing a good job?"

38 percent "Yes."
35 percent "No."
27 percent "Not sure."

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About The Author

Peter Freyne

Peter Freyne

Peter Freyne, 1949-2009, wrote the weekly political column "Inside Track," which originated in the Vanguard Press in the mid 1980s; he brought it to Seven Days in 1995. He retired it shortly before his death in January, 2009. We all miss him.

More by Peter Freyne


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