Diary

New Hampshire's Inside Joke: We Hate Vermont, so Bernie Sanders for President

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New Hampshirites—at least the pure ones—are barn-sour curmudgeons who choose people they think would jam a stick in the the rest of America’s eye, especially in Washington, D.C., which might as well be Moscow when you’re looking at it from Rochester or Amherst or even Wolfeboro (which has somehow become an enclave of the rich and powerful, because the Romneys like to vacation there).

And now from the planet Venus: Dudley Dudley has endorsed Bernie Sanders for the Democratic nomination, thus ensuring that he’s the furthest left candidate seeking a “blue” nomination.  In fact, Bernie is so far left he’s back to red—as long as you add a hammer & sickle, or a yellow star.

Dudley Dudley is from New Hampshire, which every four years becomes the intense focus of candidate glad-handing, speechifying, and photo-op foolery.  New Hampshire’s got the entire nation punk’d, and has done it for decades.  You see, Granite State voters no more represent the nation than Germans represent Greeks.  Oh, and New Hampshirites hate Vermont (mostly because it has a border with New York, the source of everything evil).

Sanders is from Vermont, greenest of the greenie states (even the mountains are Green) and home to liberal ice cream moguls Ben & Jerry (or at least their cows).  Vermont is also a state with a pure New England streak of populism, capped by a Second Amendment “Constitutional carry” law that you’d never find in, say, Colorado (aka West Vermont).

Dudley is known for being an earthy-crunchy snap pea who saved Great Bay from the terrible onslaught of industry in the 1970’s, when Aristotle Onassis planned to build a huge refinery there.

Some disclosure:  My family moved to the seacoast of New Hampshire in 1976, when I was just a boy, and did much of my growing up there.  I have lived on Great Bay. I went to college at UNH in Durham, on the Oyster River, which feeds into Great Bay.  I’ve canoed on the bay, collected horseshoe crabs, and generally enjoyed life there.  Would I have wanted the world’s largest crude oil refinery on the bay?  As a kid, probably not.

Today Great Bay has become an ecological disaster, with nobody to pay the tab except the taxpayers.  We might think a huge oil company would destroy the environment, but in reality, they’d be holding the bag to fix what they broke.  Great Bay is dying, there’s no oil refinery there, largely because of Dudley Dudley and her envirokooks, but the envirokooks haven’t done much better in keeping New Hampshire’s seacoast the pristine shore they wanted to preserve (don’t get me started about Seabrook Station).

Dudley Dudley was known as “liberal liberal” for years, a phrase coined by Republican Rep. Bob Smith.  Over her long liberal career, she has supported the leftest of the lefties: McGovern, Udall, Tsongas, Wesley Clark, and of course Obama.

If Dudley Dudley endorsed anyone else other than Bernie Sanders, I would have been very surprised.  From CNN:

“He’s very believable. A lot of people seem to say a lot of things that don’t come to pass. I feel that he is compelling and trustworthy and I’m hoping that he will get the nomination,” Dudley told CNN. “I particularly like what he has to say about Citizens United, about the need to have a more just tax system in this country, and to even out the income inequality. He has a way of stating it in a way that is no nonsense and so straight forward.”

Martin O’Malley could not have expected Dudley’s endorsement, but managed to get some photo-ops out of the deal when he attended a house party at Dudley’s Durham home.

By the way, that’s a pretty nice home for someone who believes we should all live green, simple lives.

To political pundits, New Hampshire is full of contradictions and surprises, but really it’s all very in-line with how the state actually works.  If it works, don’t fix it.  If it’s broken, leave it until someone else hauls it away.  If you want a curmudgeon to react a certain way, he will do everything in his power to do the complete opposite.  And when it comes to presidential politics, New Hampshire residents love having them visit, as long as they don’t stay.

Dudley Dudley may be a far-left envirokook, but she’s a New Hampshire envirokook, and that means her endorsement is as much an inside joke as the voters in Dixville Notch (who must be first) predicting the outcome of an election season, where the state’s 4 electoral votes get lost in the ballot stuffing in a single Philadelphia ward.

So to Vermont, here’s a stick in your eye, and to Bernie Sanders, you got your rubber-stamp leftist endorsement.  Now get the hell out.