Apres Jim, le deluge

Our former Governor, Jim Douglas, has cast his gaze upon the landscape and the tiny people below, and experienced a spark of insight:

Things would be so much better if only we had heeded the wisdom of Jim Douglas.

He imparts this pearl by way of a VPR commentary:

I have to admit that Governor Shumlin’s inaugural address left me with mixed emotions. His renewed focus on education as the key to a more informed, just and contributing society is welcome; it can surely strengthen our economy and improve Vermonters’ quality of life. In fact, I found little with which to disagree, but it also sounded very familiar.

Yes, dear Vermonters, Jim Douglas is about to remind us how blessed we were to have experienced the leadership of Jim Douglas. And how ungrateful!

Governor Shumlin’s vaunted education program? A faint and belated echo of Jim Douglas’ pedagogical insights, which were hatefully cast aside by a churlish opposition too stupid and blind to realize the sheer genius of Jim Douglas.

Prepare for a three-minute onslaught of egotism.  

In 2006, my own administration proposed a program called ‘Promise Scholarships,’ whereby a Vermonter would have a portion of his or her college expenses paid in exchange for living and working in our state.

…But the legislature opted instead for a study commission that recommended a much smaller program that was approved the following year. It helped a few students, but was far less robust than I had hoped.

I was very pleased to hear the Governor emphasize a curriculum known as STEM: science, technology, engineering and mathematics. …In 2007 I proposed the creation of regional STEM schools named for Senator Robert Stafford, a national champion of education. Nothing much came of the idea then, but perhaps there’s more support now.

He pauses to crack open a new bottle — his fourth. His wife Dorothy casts a glance his way. “Oh, Jim,” she says reproachfully. “You know how you get when you drink that much Yoo-Hoo.”

He continues:

I hope the same will hold true for the Governor’s commitment to early education. My administration launched the Building Bright Futures program in 2004, but when I recommended a 20% increase for child care subsidies in my final budget 3 years ago, the legislature approved only a 15% hike, while passing completely on a comparable request for higher education. And I can’t help but wonder if we’d still be experiencing a declining labor force and population if we had launched a significant scholarship program 7 years ago.

You lousy liberals. I hope you’re pleased with yourselves. If only you’d bowed at the feet of Jim Douglas, Vermont would already be the sylvan and prosperous earthly paradise that Peter Shumlin can only dream of.  

By stealing the brilliant ideas of Jim Douglas, God among men.

For those keeping score: in a three-minute commentary, Douglas said “I” eleven times, “my” four times, and “me” once. What a humble guy.

13 thoughts on “Apres Jim, le deluge

  1. “I also thought it would be great fun to rip apart Vermont’s critical public services at a time when they were needed most. By the way, how is that working out these days for all my humble Vermont servants? And they wanted to use the Rainy Day funds? Pshaw…”

  2. Former Governor Douglas is just polishing his brand, keeping it shiny.  Check out the brilliant finish:

    The decline in collegiality in Washington is legendary. And I worry that some of that discord may be seeping into state legislatures, too. It’s high time, I think, to insist that our elected officials consider ideas based on their merit, rather than on who proposed them – and their party affiliation.

    What is he running for?

  3. If you look back through the archives of Douglas’ VPR commentaries, you’ll find this kind of self-serving attempt at legacy polishing is the common theme of almost all of them.

    Unlike other some prominent commentators on VPR (Gov. Kunin for example), Douglas doesn’t attempt to use his podium to raise discussion of issues he cares about. Instead it is always self-referential, full of self-important stories about his time in office.

    I’ve written to VPR in the past complaining about their willingness to offer valuable airtime solely in service of Jim Douglas’ public image. I’d love to see a more ideologically (and demographically) diverse group of commentators on VPR than the selection they currently offer – but giving Jim Douglas 3 minutes of free advertising for himself every few months doesn’t serve that purpose in the least.  

  4. I agree with the point about his clearly self-serving image polishing- but how come there’s no focus on the fact that Shumlin The Liberal is proposing a whole host of re-hashed GOP ideas?  If Douglas was the thinking GOPer’s GW Bush, does that make Shumlin the not thinking Dem’s Douglas?

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