Sunday, May 26, 2013

Does November matter to the Virginia GOP?

The most extreme ticket in Virginia history

The previous post looked at the disaster of the Bush/Cheney years.  Here in Virginia, the Virginia GOP has nominated a slate of candidates that makes Chimperator George W. Bush look sane, reasonable and wholly in touch with objective reality in comparison.   The embrace of extremism and ignorance is breath taking - and terrifying.  I continue to hope that Virginians will open their eyes to the extremism of this ticket and grasp the damage that will be done to Virginia if any of the GOP triumvirate of insanity is elected in November.  A column in the Washington Post looks at the recent GOP state convention and the batshitery on display.  Here are highlights:

One should note that a state convention is first and foremost the ultimate congregation of the party faithful. Delegates travel from every county to be there; they don’t have to be asked or recruited. They joyfully attend because they are ideologically driven or rabidly partisan.  In this case, the one and only definitive requirement for winning their support was that you be conservative.

Each of the candidates dutifully sought to out-conservative the others. Businessman Pete Snyder had a poster that said, “Wanted: Conservative Outlaw.” Corey Stewart, chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors, proclaimed that he was “Pro-life, Pro-gun, Anti-tax, and Won’t back down.” A flier from Susan Stimpson, chairman of the Stafford County Board of Supervisors, asked, “Who will stop Mike Bloomberg, Chuck Schumer and the gun grabbers?”

To be anything but conservative in this setting was a political death wish.  One candidate stood out right away. There was a sea of red baseball hats with yellow lettering bearing the name “Jackson” and the slogan “Let liberty light the way for Virginia.” No other candidate had hats. Hats carried the day!

E.W. Jackson was a political nobody when he ran in 2012 against George Allen for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate. Relegated as “fringe,” he finished a distant fourth. But last weekend Jackson was the story, the steak and the sizzle. He gave a stemwinder of a speech. Even country-club Republican Jay Garner of Westmoreland County, attired in seersucker with a perfectly tied bow tie, told me Jackson was the only candidate that “brought them to their feet.” He said that Jackson “can rally folks” and “tells it like it is.”

The Republican Party establishment in no way wanted Jackson on the ticket. Maybe I should amend: His running mates Cuccinelli and attorney general nominee Mark Obenshain did not want him on the ticket. But the convention delegates loved what Jackson was serving up. He led on every ballot and finally got a majority on the fourth.

This Republican convention went out of its way to position itself to the far right. 

In the early 1970s, the Democratic Party had a faction that called itself the New Democratic Coalition. These people were to the left of George McGovern. The New Democratic Coalition was universally called NDC, for short. Many thought that this moniker really meant “November Doesn’t Count.”

If the Republican Party of Virginia is not careful and doesn’t move to the center fast, November won’t count for it either.

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