Paul Dame: Democrats have imperiled democracy

This commentary is by Paul Dame, chair of the Vermont GOP.

This fall Rep. Peter Welch kicked off his run for the U.S. Senate with a video that used a phrase that still disturbs me. He, and now other Democrats, have used the talking point about our “Imperiled Democracy.” But I don’t think he realizes that Democrats have done more to imperil democracy in Vermont than they are willing to admit.

Paul Dame, chairman of the Vermont GOP

Fundamentally democracy has at its core the idea that people who live under a set of laws have input on either the laws themselves, or at the very least direct oversight of the people who make those laws. If someone making a law cannot be removed by the people whom that law affects, then it is hard to honestly call that a democracy.

This was the foundational idea behind the American Revolution. The British Parliament was making laws over the American colonies, yet these same British politicians were completely insulated and unaccountable to the people who had to live under those laws.

In the last 10 years under the Democratic supermajority, Vermont’s Legislature has developed an alarming desire to separate the decision making from voters — and it’s beginning to get out of hand.

It may go back farther, but I think the 2010 Green Mountain Care Board was a pivotal moment in this trend towards legislating by bureaucracy. It was the first time the Vermont Legislature basically said “We know we want to do something that voters may find unpopular, so we’ll get people who aren’t elected to make the tough decisions.” And in the first round, a few of the very legislators who supported the bill were named to the Board so that they could effectively legislate without having to worry that voters might toss them out. Thankfully even liberal Gov. Shumlin pulled the plug on the plan because it was impossibly expensive.

Then just 2 years ago Democrats put together another massive, un-elected board who would develop policy (the kind of policy that SHOULD be happening with diverse and equal representation across the state in the legislature) through the Global Warming Solutions Act. This law, which was opposed by House & Senate Republicans and vetoed by Governor Scott, created yet another, even more powerful board of appointees who cannot be voted out by Vermonters if they put forward policies that voters disapprove of. The Vermont Climate Council was given the power to tell every future Governor’s administration what rules they SHALL promote – even if the Governor and his staff don’t agree with them.

In order to protect our democracy and ensure that government remains accountable to voters, Republicans stand opposed to this kind of dereliction of legislative duty. New laws ought to be fully and publicly debated by the full legislature – not done off to the side by an un-elected body of appointees. It is hard enough to follow the over 700 House bills that are publicly available on the legislature’s website – but when we begin to add more and more organizations developing policies that are in a strange gray-area somewhere between the legislative and executive branch it becomes nearly impossible for honest citizens to know what is going on until it’s too late.

If Democrats are going to talk about our “Imperiled Democracy” this election to take the focus off of the struggling economy, record inflation, troubling public safety trends and a host of other issues then Republicans need to be able to point out that in Vermont our candidates are the best hope for restoring democracy by taking it out of the hands of these politically connected and voter-insulated decisions makers – and giving it back into the hands of the voters of Vermont.

In our state we all still have a close connection to the purest, most true and most sensible form of democracy – the local town meeting. Better, more thoughtful decisions are made at the most local level possible which are the farthest removed from professional politicians and bureaucrats, and closest to the people they affect. While Progressive Democrats will continue to add new and complex layers of government higher and higher in the chain – Republicans are committed to providing Vermonters a path forward from the bottom up that give voters the final say.

Image courtesy of Public domain
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17 thoughts on “Paul Dame: Democrats have imperiled democracy

  1. Newsflash: If VT Gop does not reject anti VT GOP Nolan by allowing and or supporting a challenger I for one am done with yalls and as sad as I am to see the dumber than dogsh**t duped and decived so-called “Republicans” will leave the dumb and dumber to your own fate, pull my meager financial support and support NH candidates GTH Rino AWs and kindly stay there

  2. When you speak of saving “our democracy” that shows your cards sir,

    you are on the same side as the democrats, as the marxists, as the socialists, as the NWO pimps, as the globalists as the Uniparty……

    We are a republic, ruled by laws. Any elected official, anyone dealing with any political, anything in our country and declares we are a “democracy” should be removed from office for the most basic of incompetence at least and traitor at best.

    Vermont, this is your sign on why we are so f’d up.

  3. A basic problem is that a legislative body is not capable of handling the details required for much of what government has been asked to take on or in many cases been pushed into by those who want to control others via government. The more government is tasked with the more we move toward tyranny, regardless of the intentions. A legislature simply is not capable of that task and so other entities are given oversight and rule making authority. It is even worse at the federal lever, where more and more powers that belong in Congress have been given to the executive branch.

    Lastly, it is very important to distinguish between democracy and what the framers setup, which is a constitutional republic. Even Mao understood that democracy was part of the road to socialism.

    “Taken as a whole, the Chinese revolutionary movement led by the Communist Party embraces the two stages, i.e., the democratic and the socialist revolutions, which are two essentially different revolutionary processes, and the second process can be carried through only after the first has been completed. The democratic revolution is the necessary preparation for the socialist revolution, and the socialist revolution is the inevitable sequel to the democratic revolution. The ultimate aim for which all communists strive is to bring about a socialist and communist society.”

    That is the third paragraph here http://large.stanford.edu/history/kaist/references/marx/mao/c3/

  4. “We were the first to assert that the more complicated the forms assumed by civilization, the more restricted the freedom of the individual must become.” – Benito Mussolini. The Progressives have been at it for a long time. Fascism was idealized in the early twentieth century as the wave of the future – but started to lose its charm (except for the Progressives) in the late thirties. Venezuela is a modern Western example of why.

  5. Remember that Phil Scott has aided in the progressive destructive path with his being in lock step with them on many issues and not using his influence to promote good republican candidates.
    It’s just very very sad that republicans either couldn’t see or don’t care the damage he has done to the party.
    Case in point: Benning being a credible republican candidate for lt. governor? He should be running as a D just like Phil should have every time.
    Too late now. I hope I’m wrong, I hope Greg Thayer can prevail but my optimism is very weak now.

  6. They aren’t getting voted out anytime soon. This is only going to get worse and the progressive takeover folk are fine with it. Is there actually anything that can be done?

    • Actually, there is something that is very doable. That is to elect a net gain of five more Republicans to the Vermont House. This would provide the ability to sustain the record numbers of vetoes made by Governor Scott including of the flawed Climate Bill. It would severely limit impractical new legislation that would not even be introduced knowing that it would not have a chance of becoming law.

  7. Legislators who give their law making duties to boards should be removed from ever representing
    citizens ever again. The reason they do it is shirk their responsibility to the tax payers for any
    repercussion for bills not accepted by the tax payer. If your making law unpopular with the public
    the public should have the option to send you walking. (which they never seem to do)
    When Democrats bring out the R’s are doing this or that to our democracy you only have to
    replace “democracy” with Socialist Democrats to get the real meaning of what their whining
    about. I personally have a problem with any using the word Democracy when our form of
    government is a Representative Republic… Democracy is mob rule which we are close to having but held at bay by the laws our forefathers wrote.

  8. After reading the comments below I would have to add that what the legislature has done is unconstitutional pertaining to the Vermont constitution. Why hasn’t the republican party here filed lawsuits against these boards and commissions. As it stands now, we have taxation without representation. We elect representatives and county senators to do the making of laws. If boards and commissions formulate rules with the power of laws, the legislature has abdicated it’s oath of office and the people have no recourse to fire those creating the rules for the legislature. If the republicans do not have a lawyer capable of defending the rights of the voters we are in said shape. The Vermont supreme court should be allowed to rule on these unconstitutional boards and commissions and shut them down.

    • Clearly, Mr. Dame has no other cards to play. If he were at all imaginative, he’d be promoting and differentiating conservative candidates and their policies with those of progressives like Peter Welch. Note that there’s not one mention of Christina Nolan in his missive. Go figure.

  9. Folks, Mr. Dame is so right about this. We’ve watched the legislative culture evolve a disturbing pathology. Legislation has come to mean RULING…the pursuit of the majority’s agendas…minorities be damned. There is reduced attention to REPRESENTING the broader constituency. All too often majority agenda legislation is pursued when there is still impassioned opposition, a consensus hasn’t been developed, and constituents are feeling intruded upon. With REPRESENTATION as opposed to RULING, legislative prudence would see this as a sign that a issue is not ripe for action.

    • Vincent is right!
      Ruling is different from representing – and our Democrat legislators love to rule.
      Never guidance, or a path – – just mandates and fines, fees and permits, regulations,
      . Demands, mandates and taxes are the Democrat’s agenda. You will Obey! you will Pay !!

  10. Mr. Dame –
    I am glad to see that you have caught on to this pattern of the overwhelming legislative majority taking advantage of their position: setting their agendas in motion by creating carefully selected, unaccountable, all powerful Boards and Commissions. And that it is growing. They hope that these entities will be permanent.
    It allows the current legislators to advance their radical policies without their fingerprints on the disasters they create. It allows their agenda to advance, no matter what their own futures hold. It will be very difficult to undo this.
    As an aside… I would recommend that you use a more serious photograph that does not make you look like a smirking know it all.

  11. These elected officials forgot two things, the oath they took and that they work for the
    voters and not special interest groups or an agenda.

    When we start voting them out maybe, just maybe they’ll come back to reality, but then
    again I doubt it !!

    How far are you willing to let them go to destroy the State ??

  12. The Commiecrat party is antithetical to a republican form of government, they despise the Constitution and America.

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