May 23rd, 2001


The first good thing to happen in politics this year?

Ladies and gentlemen, meet the most influential person in Washington! ...and a mighty "huzzah!" was heard from the huddled masses!

In a move that would throw control of the evenly divided Senate to Democrats, Vermont Sen. James Jeffords has told others he is leaving the Republican Party, presumably to join the Democrats. Why? He has strong disagreements with the new administration. After fighting for more education spending than the president wanted, and helping force Bush to scale down his tax cut, Jeffords apparently feels that the White House tried to punish him in numerous different ways, including not inviting him to the Teacher of the Year ceremony at the White House, even though the educator being honored was from Vermont.

When these punishments didn't keep the honorable Senator in his place, a White House official began threatening to block the Northeast Dairy Compact, perhaps Vermont's most critical issue. In other words, the White House threatened to hurt all the people of Vermont (not to mention five other New England states) in order to muzzle a duly elected representative. This, of course, is blackmail and corruption... and it's perfectly legal too!

Obviously, having people in office that vote their conscience is a dangerous thing for this administration. Don't think. Stay in line. Loyalty will be rewarded, and free thought will be punished. Imagine a criminal trial where bribing or threatening the jury was a legal act... oh, wait. You don't have to imagine it. That's what our political system is for...