Not only does the Virginia Republican Party support a theocracy of sorts - despite the prohibitions in the U.S. Constitution against an established religion - but it is increasingly anti-democratic as reflected by its efforts to disenfranchise as many voters as possible (minorities are the favorite target) and the efforts of the Christofascists/Tea Party elements to turn nominations into coronations by a select few who support the theocratic, anti-democracy agenda. Sadly, in the highly gerrymandered districts pushed through by the Virginia GOP, the party extremists continue to win in elections. In statewide contests, however, Virginia's changing demographics make victory for GOP candidates increasingly elusive. The Virginia GOP's solution? Double down and get even more extreme. An editorial in the Washington Post looks at the phenomenon. Here are highlights:
THE FIX was in from the start when Virginia Republicans picked their ticket for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general in 2013.Hard-line conservatives who control the state party apparatus decreed that the nominations would be determined not by primaries but by a convention, a mechanism well suited to limit the number of participants.
In the event, just 8,000 of the Republican faithful showed up — representing perhaps half of 1 percent of the party’s sympathizers in the state — and the right-wing ticket they picked was swept in the fall by the Democrats, who held much more widely attended nominating primaries.
Virginia has not elected a Republican to any statewide position since 2009, nor has it elected one to the U.S. Senate since 2002.
That string of losses has coincided with venomous internecine divisions in the Republican ranks, in which hard-liners generally have prevailed by forcing nominating conventions, most of which have yielded hard-line candidates.
Rather than rethinking that losing strategy, Virginia’s conservative activists now seem inclined to double down on it. They are pressing for the GOP to hold a convention rather than a state-run primary to choose a presidential nominee in 2016.
That move would be designed to favor more ideological candidates, such as Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas or Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, and handicap more moderate candidates, such as former Florida governor Jeb Bush.
In addition to giving more extreme candidates a leg up, the effect would be undemocratic. Tens of thousands of moderate Republicans — the sort of voters who might go to the polls for a primary but are unlikely to travel dozens or hundreds of miles to a convention — would be excluded.
Tens of millions of Americans might not be committed to one party or the other, but surely most would favor more participatory elections and more moderate candidates. By pressing for a process that would produce neither, hard-line Republicans are pursuing a losing strategy — not just for themselves but also for voters.
Unfortunately, the Virginia GOP is becoming akin to a insane religious cult - something not surprising given the reality that The Family Foundation for all practical purposes authors GOP policies in Virginia. Until the Christofascists' stranglehold on the Virginia GOP is broken, expect things to become progressively worse.