Circling the Political Wagons

I have refrained from commenting on the ongoing political disaster proceeding in Virginia and I plan to continue my forebearance. It’s none of my business. I will, however, point out some good observations by David A. Graham at Atlantic:

Virginia has styled itself as a moderate, even at times progressive Upper South state—far away from the social conservatism of the Deep South—in part thanks to the Democratic tilt of Northern Virginia. Democrats have disavowed the white supremacy of Harry Byrd, once the dominant politician in the state. Yet race has been a central issue in Virginia’s recent elections. The white-supremacist march in Charlottesville in August 2017 is an obvious spark point, but the march also showed the strength of racism still within the state, and helped bring out other elements. Corey Stewart, a Republican who espouses a neo-Confederate platform, unsuccessfully ran for the gubernatorial nomination in 2017, losing to Ed Gillespie but driving Gillespie to defend Confederate monuments. Gillespie lost. Stewart won the U.S. Senate nomination in 2018, and was routed by Senator Tim Kaine.

If those elections showed that Virginia still has a very real race problem, the past week has shown that it is not confined to the Republican Party.

Then he goes off the rails. I attribute that to making sweeping generalizations based on limited and inadequate experience.

I will only add this. You cannot determine an individual’s character solely based on the letter that follows his or her name. That the Virginia Democratic Party did not exercise due diligence is incontrovertible. You determine the level of due diligence required in the same way that you decide whether there’s enough light in the reading room. When there’s enough light to read, it’s enough. When easily discovered but disqualifying facts are being discovered, you haven’t done enough.

6 comments… add one
  • Andy Link

    To me, it is just more evidence of the corruption in our two parties. I’m just glad I don’t live in Virginia. What a shit-show.

  • walt moffett Link

    When a pary’s candidates are picked at the ballot box, what is the role of the Party in vetting candidates? What does it say to the voters when the grandees vet and pick candidates?

  • AFAICT the state parties have complete control over who can or cannot run under the party banner. If they fail to do so, they deserve whatever they get.

    Republicans had the same issue here in Illinois last year. A neo-Nazi was running as the Republican candidate for seat as a U. S. Congressional representative. I took it as an object lesson of just how feckless the Illinois Republican Party has become. Are they Nazis or just plain stupid or both?

    What does it say to the voters when the grandees vet and pick candidates?

    It says that there are actual party organizations and they mean something.

  • Andy Link

    It depends on the state as well – in most states, primary voters have the ultimate say. There are tons of examples of candidates picked by the party establishments who were soundly defeated by activist primary voters.

  • walt moffett Link

    Indeed, in Alabama, a R ran on the D ticket won the nomination, a party committee struck him from the ballot and bang Alabama’s first R governor was elected since the 1870’s. they topped that by deciding state law permitted the Central Committee to hand pick candidates after court ordered redistricting, only to see numerous write ins and Rs win and the time a neoconfederate ran for AG, carried the Black Belt. Seems an advocacy group didn’t hand out a sample ballot. The party here only cares if you got the filing fee and buy the voter list from them.

  • CuriousOnlooker Link

    The Virginia Democrats are just trying the Trump Crisis PR strategy – create a new crisis to replace the last one until people get confused about which one to be outraged about.

    I see Jeff Bezos has decided to try it out as well….

    Not sure it works for anyone but Trump – but you know, I don’t see any elected official resigning; and the Democrats will probably win the state legislature in the fall.

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