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Correspondence

On Correctness and Collegiality

It all began in February, when one disgruntled Vermonter started a blog to attack the Second Vermont Republic, the four-year-old secessionist organization in our state.  He was apparently prompted by hearing Rob Williams, then cochair of the SVR, attacking Abraham Lincoln on the radio for the illegal suppression of Southern secession, and his political-correctness genes kicked in: This sounds like the “neo-Confederate movement,” and they’re bad people.  He did a little research and discovered that the SVR had a web-link to the League of the South, which some professional liberal foundations like to call a “hate group,” and besides, it had suspicious right-wingers on its advisory board.  So up goes the blog, posted pseudonymously as from one Thomas Rowley (originally one of Ethan Allen’s Green Mountain Boys), and out flow the accusations and innuendoes.

This was just the meat to feed one John Odum, a Democratic Party hack and campaigner for Sen. Bernie Sanders, apparently part of the Vermont political establishment that has taken a dim view of the SVR’s successes, including a recent article in the mainstream Bur-lington Free Press.  He promptly repeated the Rowley findings on his long-standing blog, which he claims has 400 readers per day, and sent them out to his list, along with “some of my own digging.”  A half-dozen of his regulars...

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