They’ve Got Issues: Tarrant and Sanders

I just recieved a nice little newspaper in the mail today from Bernie Sanders, the wild-haired guy who always talks about health care in Congress.

I looked at the education section just praying to find an error . . . and I found one. How wonderful. How glore-ee-us. It says,

“Bernie is fighting to make sure that our kids have decent paying jobs and educational opportunity.”

Note that last word? “opportunity.” It’s a singular noun paired up with a plural noun “jobs.” I guess you could possibly make “opportunity” pass, but I was always taught to make the nouns parallel. It should read “opportunities.”

This is what happens when Julie goes to knitting night. Now everyone is going to scan this post for errors . . . I may have to put some in just to make it more fun.

With my curiosity going, I decided to do some research into the Sanders and Tarrant campaigns and decided to compile a list of innane issues for comparison.

Why do this you ask? Because in Vermont you can’t tell Republicans and Democrats apart. No angry battles over abortion, no rainbow flags waving over gay rights, and no vocal Christian right worth noticing. BORING!

This is nothing like elections in Pennsylvania. How am I supposed to know who to vote for? I mean, if it doesn’t boil down to one or two issues, I’ll actually have to do research and think. Everybody in Vermont who wants to be elected to any kind of office has to:

1. Work for better health care and use vague terms about how to improve it.
2. Work for more affordable homes in Vermont.
3. Work for better jobs just in case they can’t make homes more affordable.
4. Work for a cleaner environment. (And may I take a moment to poo poo all of the oil-lovin’ folk out there who oppose wind power for the sake of the “skyline”. Wilkes-Barre, PA is ahead of you on this one. For shame.)
5. Support farmers and say how much they like farmers. Milking a cow is mandatory.

So with everyone taking the same basic approach to “THE ISSUES,” I’ve decided to find my own issues.


Web Site (overall)
Winner: Sanders
Bernie uses WordPress. Nuff said. WordPress is cool, clean, and open source. That’s a nice touch. And it’s nice to see that someone in Sander’s orbit knows enough to put hyperlinks at the top of the issues page so you can click on the one you want to read. Tarrant, what were you thinking with all of that plain font?

Web Site Header Picture
Winner: Sanders
Bernie looks kind of nuts, but a determined kind of nuts. Tarrant looks way too posed. Way too weasily. Bernie also has a covered bridge. People like covered bridges, so they should like Bernie. Tarrant’s sign covers up most of the Vermont landscape in the header, which shows not only a lack of imagination on the part of his web designer, it also foreshadows the evil impact that Tarrant will have on Vermont.

Most Mud-Slinging
Winner: Tarrant
Bernie does not have too many negative comments about Tarrant on his site. Well, he does say, “Rich Tarrant is running the most dishonest and negative campaign in Vermont history.” But that’s it. Tarrant has LOTS of negative stuff about Bernie. Tarrant also has some really priceless pictures of Sanders looking like a drunken nut. The Bernie Blog reports that Vermonters think Tarrant is negative.

Display of Divided Loyalties
Winner: Sanders
Bernie’s campaign uses WordPress, the ultimate blogging and web site tool for the campaign home page, but they put together a blog on Typepad, a nice but overpriced blogging tool. That reveals waffling and indecisiveness. Tarrant’s blog is unsightly and just plain awful, but at least he has stayed the course. What kind of message would it send to his followers if he admitted that he needed a new blog on his site?

Best Use of Flashy Little Buttons
Winner: Sanders
Tarrant has some random buttons scattered on his home page without explanation. Sanders has his clunky little buttons neatly arrayed off to the side. Neither side did a good job here, but at least Bernie’s don’t try to pass for actual content. They’re just part of the sidebar. Just goes to show that somebody knows how to use WordPress.

Stance of Abortion
Winner: Tarrant
Wow, Tarrant actually brought up abortion! It almost feels like home. I think he has a fairly balanced perspective, especially as the father of two adopted daughters:

“I would like to reduce the number of abortions to virtually zero. I believe this is best accomplished through increased education, parental notification legislation, and promoting adoption.
Yet, like Chief Justice John Roberts, I recognize that the law on this issue is settled and must be respected.” (From the issues page)

Pictures on Web Site
Winner: Tarrant
I like Tarrant’s use of pictures. You just scroll down and can view them in a few moments. Sanders has them all bunched together. I don’t want quantity, I just want to give it a quick look and then move on.

Well, with the IMD polls closing, it seems that Sanders is in the lead. Actually, he clinched it the moment I noticed he used WordPress. But it was still fun to bring up innane issues and act like they really mattered.