Tuesday, December 19, 2006

An Open Letter To My Friends In The Vermont Press Corps

I like you guys (and gals). Most of you are hard working, decent and fair reporters. And those of you that are not, well, you print outrageous things that make me laugh and so I consider us even.

The good, the bad and the ugly of the 2006 election is behind us. There were winners. There were losers. And there were casualties who are just now trying to get back into the game. God bless all of them.

I think that we can all agree that the Iraq War was the deciding topic of the Vermont U.S. House Race. The candidate that won the election, Peter Welch, promised to take America in a "new direction in Iraq" and "hold President Bush accountable".

Not surprisingly, you and your brethren seemed to like writing about the Iraq War. No question was too small and no candidate answer too complete to remove the topic from your queue.

My personal favorite were questions that dealt in hypothetical hypotheticals. Such as: "Candidate X, if you knew what you know today and if you were a Member of Congress when the vote to authorize the President to go to war was taken, how would you have voted?"

No doubt valuable questions from the valued Fourth Estate.

My purpose with this tongue-in-cheek open letter is not to pick a fight with you. You buy your ink by the barrel, have teams of corporate lawyers just waiting to pounce and I have more than enough skeletons in my closet that I would like to see stay there thank you very much.

My purpose of this letter is to ask a simple question of you. Three days ago it became public that President Bush is planning on sending between twenty and thirty thousand more American troops into Iraq and I want to know what does our Vermont delegation think about this?

What does the anti-war candidate Peter Welch, a man who just today had two large news articles and one large editorial discussing the freshman's take on the DC housing market, have to say about this?

Twenty to thirty thousand more troops? Not only is this a radical development in the Iraq War as a whole, but is this the "new direction" that Peter promised the voters?

We won't know until you ask him and write about it.

Look, its hard for me to. Its hard for me to believe that one of our Senators is Chairman of the Judiciary Committee. One of our Senators was labeled by USA Today as "one of the most important members of the Senate". And our freshman Congressman is on the Rules Committee, which is as inside-the-beltway as you can get.

All three are "shot callers". Our delegation has the power to raise a big stink over the current troop increase the President is calling for if they so choose.

Help our delegation stay honest. You don't have to go back to the hypothetical hypotheticals. But less comment on the real estate market and more comment on how our elected officials are keeping their campaign promises would be appreciated.

Many thanks and merry Christmas!