Benning, Benning, Benning!

Midway through the comments section on, Republican state Senator Joe Benning made a comment worth noting concerning Lt. Gov. candidate Dean Corren’s campaign kick-off. Benning’s response was to Corren’s observation that the VTGOP is “long gone.” Specifically this bit raised his ire: 

“In case anyone is nostalgic about losing the last statewide Republican office, Vermont cannot afford to be a museum for moribund political parties,” Corren told his supporters. “The Republican Party that many of us knew had a whole different relationship with — that had a Dick Snelling, George Aiken and Jim Jeffords who was forced to leave the party because it left him — that party is long gone.”

That must sting, but it should amount to zero surprise. Senator Benning, who is not ready to surrender, quotes WWII’s Japanese Admiral Yamamoto.:

I am reminded of the words of Japanese Admiral Yamamoto as his fleet turned away from a successful attack on Pearl Harbor: “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.” Message to Corren: We’re still here and we’re waking up!

There is substantial doubt Yamamoto even said this. The “quote” in this form was made popular in the 1970’s action movie Tora, Tora, Tora about Pearl Harbor.

The VTGOP, taken by surprise? Did they just notice that they only have seven seats in the State Senate and that Phil Scott is the only Republican still standing in a statewide office? Sleeping? Maybe.

But go ahead, VTGOP, give us the elevator pitch: It’s a sneak attack! Pinned down in conservative foxholes, Vermont Republicans suddenly wake up to find the harbor full of sinking candidates.

Cast: Joe Benning, co-starring Ronald Reagan and Whit Bissell (‘cause it’s a ‘B’ movie). They turn off the alarm, put on coffee and madly search for their “terrible resolve.” Perhaps they shall return … or just hide out on their tiny little island.

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