Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Shumlin’s Double-Eye Poke to the Left

You know, sometimes you just can’t make this stuff up. Because no matter how hard you try to make slick pricks look like slick pricks, they always do you one better. They are, after all, the slick pricks.

I’m speaking, of course, of Peter Shumlin, the leader of the Vermont Senate – one slick prick, for sure. Shumlin’s the Dem leader with the super-majority in the Senate who has been matching his cohort in the House, Gaye Symington, stride for stride in doing absolutely nothing with their new-found power. But at least Shumlin’s been able – until now – to make the total and complete lack of a Dem agenda look like Symington’s fault. In other words, Shummy’s been able to push Symington over the political cliff every time he feels the heat getting close to him.

Until now. Yep, Shummy’s luck has run out. Because, sooner or later, you run out of people to shove over the cliff in Vermont politics and – voila! – you’re left looking pretty lonely and very guilty on the edge of that cliff. Oh Shummy, your time is up.

The mighty phony Shummy machine hit all time lows today in the Statehouse. And you could tell by the excessive shiftiness in his eyes that he knew the gig of saying one thing and doing another was near an end.

Shummy, you see, was backed into a rhetorical corner by the impeachment crowd. He was the one who threw gasoline on their fire earlier in the session by grabbing the metaphorical microphone and yelling to the state: “I support impeachment!” But, the funny thing is, the people of Vermont took him seriously, not realizing that the slick prick was just being himself. Because when the impeachment crowd asked Shummy for just a wee-bit of action on that mighty rhetoric of his, he huffed and he puffed and acted like they just asked him to go hunting in a t-shirt. Oh wait, he’s already done that. Yawn.

“The Senate does not have time to take up impeachment,” Shummy declared. And slam went the door. Never mind the rhetoric, the headlines and the false promises, you dopes.

But now let’s fast-forward to today’s action in the Statehouse. Two things were swirling in the air under the gold dome: the impeachment folks were demanding some action from Shummy, and the Douglas administration was demanding some action on his stalled “affordability agenda.” And guess which one Shummy pushed? Yep, Shummy kissed some Guv-ass like it hasn’t been kissed since – oh – Montpelier’s new rep., Jon Anderson, got on his knees to say “thanks, guv” by jilting his party and siding with Douglas on the veto override of the budget bill.

Ah, the coveted two-finger poke! One to the impeachment crowd and one to the mainstream Dems who would like to see someone – anyone! – stand up to Douglas and, better yet, push a plan of their own that shows some Dem leadership. Thanks, Peter!

So, in case you’ve got paint fumes on the brain like I do, let me summarize: The Dem leader Shumlin declared that he doesn’t have time for an impeachment issue that he declared belief in but, on the day the impeachment crowd came to beg him, he threw a favor to the Republican governor by allowing one of his economic packages to pass the Senate and, thus, take up lots and lots of time on an issue Shummy has declared disbelief in. Ah, welcome to the wonderful world of Dem leadership.

And, yes, that’s laughter you hear coming out of the Guv’s office. Because they’re celebrating the fact that the super-majority Dems continue to do little but piss on their base and hand him one victory after another.

Thanks, Peter.

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