Thursday, May 13, 2021

Trump's Endorsement of Youngkin Speaks Volumes, None of It Good

Donald Trump's horrific four years in the White House demonstrated to anyone with open eyes what happens when someone with no political experience and ties to oligarchs and the super wealthy takes office and thinks he knows everything.  No doubt Younkin will pretend to be a populist and call himself a "business man."  One reader provided a telling reminder of Youngkin's business:

It should be noted that this guy acquired much of his couple of hundred million dollars of wealth through a quarter-century of work at The Carlyle Group, notorious for advising oil sheiks, dictators, the sovereign wealth funds of a number of countries, and some extremely wealthy individuals on which American companies (and industries) to buy into -- and which to sell out. Think of Mitt Romney's Bain Capital, but then some.

We know that for 25 years this Trump wannabe -- but SUCCESSFUL -- has had the financial interests of foreign entities as the focus of his energies. Has there even been any indication of the level of his interest in human Americans other than as units of labor?

Also of deep concern is Younkin's far right religious beliefs and his ties to some of the worst extremists in Virginia (he was wildly endorsed by nefarious Family Foundation, the descendant of pro-segregationists behind "Massive Resistance" in Virginia.   Like Trump he will likely seek to wage war on LGBT Virginians, deprive citizens deemed "other" by evangelicals of voting rights, resist equal pay for women, and give a wink and a nod to white supremacist elements in the Virginia GOP.

If there is any good news about Younkin it is that his endorsement by Trump may help make him radioactive to many Virginians, especially those in the critical "urban crescent" extending from Northern Virginia south through Richmond and then southeast to Hampton Roads which will largely determine the winner in the November general election.  A piece in Politico looks at Trump's endorsement of Youngkin.  Here are excerpts:

Less than 12 hours after Glenn Youngkin locked up the GOP nomination for Virginia governor on Monday night, former President Donald Trump barreled into 2021’s most competitive statewide election.

"Glenn is pro-Business, pro-Second Amendment, pro-Veterans, pro-America, he knows how to make Virginia's economy rip-roaring, and he has my Complete and Total Endorsement!" Trump wrote in a statement Tuesday morning that was circulated by his political action committee.

But unlike states like Arkansas or South Carolina — red states where Trump has already made endorsements in a 2022 gubernatorial race — the former president’s support in Virginia carries more risks than benefits.

Trump’s presidency ushered in an era of defeats for Virginia Republicans: a Democratic sweep of statewide elections in 2017, the loss of three swing congressional seats in 2018 and, finally, Democrats flipping both state legislative chambers in 2019, giving Democrats complete control of Richmond for the first time since 1994.

Youngkin and his Republican opponents embraced key parts of Trump’s legacy as they courted the support of GOP activists in last week’s “unassembled convention.” But the next six months before the general election will test Youngkin’s ability to create enough distance between himself and Trump in a fast-changing state that has repeatedly rejected the modern GOP. It’s an early trial run for whether Republicans can claw back territory they lost in the 2022 midterms.

[Youngkin advertises himself as]  a very faith-based Christian,” said Ron Wright, a Republican state central committee member and a co-chair of the Northern Virginia Republican Business Forum. “And I think that he’s a good retail politician.”

At a post-primary launch event Tuesday afternoon in Richmond, Youngkin leaned on his Christian faith and business record, and he promised to lead the state’s post-pandemic opening. Notably, he did not mention Trump’s endorsement — nor did his campaign acknowledge it in its press releases or on its Twitter accounts, where it trumpeted the support of other Republican figures . . .

He did, however, address the Trump endorsement in a local news interview published later Tuesday night. "I'm totally honored, and I appreciate it this morning," he told WVEC-TV, the CBS affiliate in Hampton Roads, saying it reflects the party coming together.

One of his earliest moves in the race was creating an “election integrity task force” — an echo of Trump’s repeated false claims that the 2020 election was stolen from him — and Youngkin wouldn’t explicitly say that President Joe Biden fairly won his election. He pledged to push for a voter ID requirement for Virginia's elections in his post-nomination speech.

Democrats are eager to tie Trump’s legacy — and his endorsement — around Youngkin’s campaign while their own nominating process still plays out.

“Glenn Youngkin is the epitome of a pro-Trump Republican, who has demonstrated complete allegiance to the former president’s most dangerous conspiracy theories. Where Trump leads, Glenn follows,” state Democratic Party chair Susan Swecker said on a call with reporters on Tuesday.

The challenge for Republicans in the state is being able to shake Trump’s unpopularity, given how rapidly suburbs have moved away from them during Trump’s presidency. Republicans hope they can claw back some support in the suburbs — first in Virginia, then in other states in 2022 — with Trump off the ticket and out of office.

In a February poll from The Wason Center at Christopher Newport University, a majority of Virginia voters said that Trump was “definitely worse than most” of the past several presidents. Among Virginia Republicans, 37 percent said he was “one of the best,” and an additional 41 percent listed him as “better than most.”

In addition, 68 percent of Virginians surveyed said that they believed Biden won the election legitimately. But just 27 percent of Virginia Republicans agreed, with over 60 percent echoing Trump’s lies that Biden did not win legitimately.

McAuliffe — who was prevented by law from running for a second term in 2017, when now-Gov. Ralph Northam won with McAuliffe’s support — spent Tuesday gladly tying Youngkin to Trump.

“I've defeated extremists like Glenn before, and I've got the big bold policies and broad, diverse coalition to do it again,” McAuliffe said in a statement following Trump weighing in, and his campaign also released a digital ad highlighting the endorsement.

And it points to the awkward Trump dance for Youngkin.

When asked about McAuliffe calling him a “Trump loyalist” by Fox News Channel during an interview on Tuesday morning, Youngkin demurred. He did not raise Trump’s endorsement of his bid, which was made public minutes before the interview, and instead attacked McAuliffe: “All you get from Terry McAuliffe is division. That's not what we'll do in our campaign.”

Youngkin's demurrer when asked about Trump's endorsement and his refusal to admit that Biden was legitimately elected are more than enough to repel many Virginians.  Throw in his allegiance to Christofascists and white nationalist and the man is a clear and present danger.  He - and Trumpism - MUST be defeated in November.

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