Bucknam: Three cheers for Deb Billado

By Deborah Bucknam

Deb Billado, the chair of the Vermont Republican Party, recently wrote two pieces in support of President Trump. In them, she objected strenuously to the overheated and nationally coordinated rhetoric directed at him by Democrats and their media allies. Good for her. Supporting a Republican president is her job.

Of course, some rushed to criticize her for this, claiming her own rhetoric was divisive and her tone was harsh. Really? How does one respond to unfounded accusations of something as odious as white supremacy and racism, or to assassination fantasies and attempts at overturning elections, in kind and gentle tones?

Michael Bielawski/TNR

St. Johnsbury-based attorney Deborah Bucknam

And if Vermonters were really concerned about the tone of today’s political rhetoric, then why the silence over the last 40 years about Bernie Sanders’ language?

In his mid-1990’s memoir, Sanders called Republicans “crazy,” “wacko,” “berserk,” and the “lunatic fringe.” He called Republican policies “irrational,” “ugly,” “garbage” and “perverse.” According to Sanders’ memoir, Republicans are “selfish, cruel and immoral” as well as “racist, sexist, homophobes, anti-immigrant.”

Sanders’ rhetoric has not toned down. Today, he uses exactly the same words he used a quarter century ago. President Trump is a piker when compared to Sanders’ calumny against tens of millions of Americans.

Not to be outdone, the Vermont Democrat Party just this week told its followers that the President of the United States “incites white nationalism and violence.” Whew! That suggests the 60,000-plus Vermonters who voted for the president in 2016 on the way to becoming violent racists.

None of this is new to the Trump presidency. There were no calls to tone down harsh rhetoric when two Vermont towns voted to arrest President Bush for war crimes, or the Vermont Senate voted to impeach President Bush.

Finally, some have stated that Deb Billado should be focused on local races rather than defending the president. Yet in VTDigger alone over the last five days, there were five anti-Trump commentaries, many with wild claims and ugly rhetoric about the President and his followers — and, of course, no pro-Trump commentaries. Democrats are not concentrating on local races.

So civility goes both ways. Democrat leaders should be voicing their concern at the repugnant language and destructive attacks of national Democrats, state party leaders, and the Vermont Commentariat.

Meanwhile, three cheers for Deb Billado for denouncing the vile and defamatory rhetoric directed at the President of the United States and all his supporters.

Deborah Bucknam is a St. Johnsbury-based attorney and former Republican candidate for state attorney general.

Image courtesy of Michael Bielawski/TNR
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15 thoughts on “Bucknam: Three cheers for Deb Billado

  1. Just for the record, VT Digger is running a ‘news’ report:

    Scott joins criticism of state party chair Deb Billado’s statement quoting he describing Trump foes as “mob of hate-crazed, fear-driven people who have become deranged…” and Governor Scott as saying “Activating the base with this type of rhetoric probably isn’t new, it’s being used by both parties in many respects,…”.
    https://vtdigger.org/2019/08/22/scott-joins-criticism-of-state-party-chair-deb-billados-statement/?is_wppwa=true&wpappninja_cache=friendly

    I submitted the following comment.

    “Activating the base with this type of rhetoric probably isn’t new, it’s being used by both parties in many respects,…”. You think?!

    “VT Republican Chair Billado has a reasonable gripe. Just look at the constant barrage of repugnant Danziger cartoons and like-minded commentary VT Digger publishes, while, at the same time, censoring criticism of it. If Digger publishes this comment, I’ll be pleasantly surprised.”
    Comment awaiting moderation
    3 seconds ago 8-23-19 1:50pm

    Perhaps needless to say, I was not pleasantly surprised. VT Digger continues to reflect everything that Deb Billado is pointing out and Governor Scott is, apparently, buying into it.

    • Typo correction:

      Scott joins criticism of state party chair Deb Billado’s statement – quoting her as describing Trump foes as “mob of hate-crazed, fear-driven people who have become deranged…”

    • Taking them along time to read that comment Jay……have you been “moderated”?????? I’m not seeing your comment, maybe they are just holding it for tomorrow, yeah that’s it.

      It would make a great baseball hat, I’m tired of being moderated. VT GOP….

      It’s really comical, how much they do it. They even moderated me on commenting about the Winooski Onion talking about giving deer birth control. It’s too much, guess we can never have too much moderation, lol Maybe that’s what Scott wants when he says moderate republicans!!!

  2. Thank you Deb Bucknam for that fine piece of analysis and writing about Deb Billado. She speaks truth, has integrity and should have our open support. She fairly deals with all Republicans and supports all incumbents (IMHO that requires a saint like persona). Well done and thanks again.

  3. Deb should stop wasting political capital and time defending Trump. We who support him know his accomplishments and the truth about the media propaganda. He won’t win Vermont anyway so let’s focus on gaining seats in the legislature and running true Republicans for lt. governor and governor. The progressives must be stopped if we want to return Vermont to an affordable place to live.

    • I strongly disagree Deb is wasting political capital defending President Trump, it is important to those of us who support him to know the party is behind him and not trying to undercut him at every turn as some Vermont Republicans have done.

      Deb has correctly identified the one thing needed to turn out the votes and that is getting behind a leader that inspires us. Who will inspire these so called true Republicans to run for the legislature in 2020 without Donald J Trump to energize them?

      Like him or not President Trump is a once in a lifetime leader and perhaps the only person capable of beating the progressives at their own game, we must take a stand with him and take advantage of his momentum!

      I for one believe he could win in Vermont if we are not too timid to publicly support him, but we must get the attention of all Vermonters and make them aware that there is greater support for him in this state than people might think.

      When people realize they are not alone they will participate because they will no longer be afraid to speak.

      We can’t stop the progressives without President Trump, Deb Billado understands that!

      • I agree with Mr. Edmunds to this extent. Most of us who take the time to promote a specific point of view aren’t doing so to ‘preach to the choir’. We’re commenting to at least demonstrate to others, who know no better, that these alternative points of view at least exist and warrant consideration.

        I’m encouraged, for example, with the extent of the conservative commentary on clearly biased platforms like VT Digger. While there are many reports of censorship, including my own, many alternative points of view are being published. And thank goodness for that. One need only see the myriad repugnant Danziger cartoons published exclusively on Digger to realize it’s our duty as citizens to express a reasonable alternative point of view.

        • You can do both, both sides of the Republican Party can be correct, they are not mutually exclusive. Trump can be the best President our country has ever had, ever. What would you bet on a presidential election between Trump and Bernie in Vermont?

          What about Nationally? You know Trump will win nationally by a landslide, but what of Vermont? We need to understand why? why? These people are not stupid, so why?

          Our down ticket is most important for our state. There is a drastic difference between being right and winning. You can loose and be 100%’correct, we should know that by now. We can play onto their propaganda and plans being 100% correct, Trump would never, never do that why should we?

          Vermont is so ripe for change, it would be ashame to miss the opportunity.

        • One of the most exciting and hopeful moments was watching our President speak out against socialism in State of the Nation address. He gets it, he knows the game plan, the game plan Vermont has been beat at for 30 years.

          One has to ask the question, how would Vermont vote between a match up of Bernie and Trump? If you were willing to be the farm that Trump would win, might you at least concede that it would be close?

          Myself and so many friends in the Republican party last year. These were excellent men and women. They loved their fellow Vermonter, wanted the best, had good reasonable solutions for Vermont, they understood our Education Problems, Our Affordability Problems, Our Drug Problems….all of the metrics of these problems continue to go in the wrong direction for Vermont. These people were left on the battle field, we weren’t decimated it was an all out slaughter of epic proportions. Many of us paid too much, many of us are still suffering from the attempt to change Vermont’s direction.

          It is one thing to lose, it is another to not learn from it. Some of us have learned, learned a lot. There is such weakness in the platform of the DNC, in Vermont particularly. There is also massive, ENORMOUS strength in the current Vermont majority. We as a group need to take hold of the narrative, instead of defending ourselves against stupid platform ideas that win popularity contests.

          The minority in the state house can and could do so much to tee up for the next election. A small group could put the Vermont Democratic party on their heels and set them up for an easy defeat, but we can’t keep taking their bait. We need to call them out, their own word will defeat them if we only frame the conversation, instead of being framed once again. I apologize for being vague in this post, but it would not make sense to publicly post their Achilles heal.

          In a note from President Trump,…..together we will prosper and we will get the job done. He wants us all to work together.

          As he has asked Rangel and others, take care of your own area. We aren’t rat infested, but we’ve got issues of our own to solve. Affordability, School Funding, Drugs and many others.

          I hope an pray, my brothers and sisters aren’t put out for slaughter on the political play ground of Vermont politics. It was brutal last time, brutal.

    • There is HUGE support for Trump in Vermont. The “Truth Booths” at the fairs are revealing it. As more people step up, more people are encouraged acknowledge their approval of the reality of the Trump success being revealed. This is no ordinary “ho-hum” presidency. President Trump is fighting a “Guerrilla Warfare” battle because the “disbelievers” (and “swamp dwellers”) have not voted him an Army to get the job done. As Trump cleans out the swamp (how about a little help, please?) and gets the USA back on track there won’t be the need this verbal “hand-to-hand” combat and this very timely and necessary rhetoric can be toned down. Eventually to be abandoned, which is how he runs his business world. The “lightweights” still don’t get that. Personally, I love it when he “rattles their cages” with some off beat “semi-obscenity” that sends the “Looney-Left” scurrying and blithering into the underbrush. Bernie has a “hissy fit” (and drops 2 points) every time Trump fires off another salvo. Hopefully, strong support for Trump can finally wean Vermont from its absurd infatuation with Bernie, the millionaire who never worked a day in his life. We can do better and we will.

  4. Thank you Deb and Ms Billodo. As a moderate conservative politically, I have often criticized Trump for onerous, un-Presidential behavior and actions of his that go way beyond the way and values I received growing up in Lyndonville, VT.
    However, having said that, the Bernista socialists and progs have a well-documented history of amnesia when confronted with ugly and irresponsible behavior and verbiage in their camp.
    Sadly, Unseemly behavior on both sides seems de rigueur these days.

  5. It does not seem to occur to Democrats that a Republican might actually be insulted by being called a racist—and now a white supremacist as the Democrats, both national and local (see Kia Morris video), crank up their rhetoric. Those of us who lived through the Civil Rights Movement in the 60s have been supporting the movement since before many in the righteous left were born.

    • Having survived nearly 25 years on active duty in the United States Navy, I only have to consider the source of ugly comments. When they come from our poorly educated and historically ignorant progressives and Democrat hypocrites, they can always be ignored.

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