Monday, December 17, 2012

Thomas H. Naylor: The Extreme Makeover Begins

When I saw last week in the Seven Days political blog, Off Message: Vermont Politics & News, the piece on the passing of secessionist
Thomas H. Naylor from Vermont's political scene, a scene that he'd had virtually no impact on whether the subject was office holders, public policy or, frankly, being a politically relevant "mover and shaker." His moving and shaking consisted of endlessly repetitive essays that he published at his own website, as well as at a number of other anti-Semitic and racist websites, and an ever evolving series of plots and schemes that usually consisted of a half dozen to a score of similarly addled secesher cohorts in costume of some sort. Naylor's own personal favorite was a green blazer with a Vermont National Guard battle flag pin that he'd purloined for use as his own Second Vermont Republic standard, all topped by his affected Quaker Oats guy hairdo. When he was feeling particularly frisky, in a Gilbert & Sullivan kind of way, he'd top off his costume, over the shoulders, with a full-sized, regimental Vermont National Guard battle flag. Unfortunately, the 7Days piece had the whiff of tribute about it, right down to the secesher book plug for the source, Vermont Commons blog publisher, primary Naylor reputation and secesher activist fluffer, and likely heir apparent to the throne of the "emerging" principality of Vermont or whatever these assholes intend to call their Empire next, Rob Williams.

The tone of the 7Days piece, right down to the journalistically unusual headline, "R.I.P. Thomas Naylor," prompted Naylor's groupies, running the gamut from sciolistic to snarling partisans, who were already desperately trying to burnish the Thomas Naylor image, to wax apoplectic when commenters at the blog weren't, in their estimaton, sufficiently mournful or barfing up praise for possibly one of the most mean-spirited and hateful individuals in Vermont, their hero Thomas Naylor. In a post that did a far better job of summing up the life of Thomas Naylor and his impact on Vermont politics at a different political blog, Green Mountain Daily, right down to the lump of coal that Naylor's conduct here in Vermont has so richly earned, publisher jvwalt wrote:
(A lump of coal for) "(t)he late Thomas Naylor of the secessionist group Second Vermont Republic, for leaving a legacy of lies and bitterness behind him. Some may say it's unkind to speak ill of
the recently deceased; my view is that we should speak plainly of their lives for good and ill. And in Naylor's case, primarily ill."

"When Naylor first formed SVR, he attracted a variety of Vermonters from across the political spectrum, including quite a few leftists who were disgusted with the Bush war on terror. Turned out that he had allied himself with some southern neo-Confederate types, and had some very questionable views on the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln, and the Southern Poverty Law Center. And when confronted about his views and associations by blogger "Thomas Rowley" and front-pagers here at Green Mountain Daily, he reacted with angry denials and furious counterattacks, and an attempt to undermine the career of at least one of his critics."

"And in the process, he made it clear that he held some pretty noxious views. Afterward, a lot of his associates broke ties with him and SVR. The group continued to sputter on, but it ceased to be a meaningful force in Vermont politics. And in the immortal words of Louis Armstrong:"

"When you're lyin' six feet deep,
no more fried chicken will you eat,
I'll be glad when you're dead, you rascal you."
I could not have said it better. Plans are underway over at Vermont Commons for remembrances about Naylor, in what'll likely be an effort to gloss over his many negative qualities and to commence a canonization process. I intend to speak truth to that effort. Yesterday I received an email from a prominent neo-Confederate researcher who wrote,
"(Naylor) had lived a long time in Virginia and in (the) community in which he had lived for years (he) search(ed) for a white fantasy republic in a strange land. (Naylor) fled Virginia to flee African Americans and Vermont was to be his white refuge."

"He descended into madness."
So true. Vermonters are about to witness a small, perfect storm of the false consensus effect as the minuscule remains of the Vermont secesher movement whip themselves into a wailing frenzy over their now quite dead baas.

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