Glenn Youngkin’s challenges to becoming Virginia’s next governor were immense Not since 2014 had the state voted for a Republican governor. And the last Republican president Virginians voted for was George W. Bush in 2004.
Old Dominion’s cultural divide between suburban progressive north VA and Appalachian conservative southwest VA is perhaps the widest with any single state, argues Matt Purple in SpectatorWorld.com, where he also claims the McAuliffe campaign was weird. Really weird.
That weirdness helped enable McAuliffe’s downfall on Tuesday at the hands of Republican Glenn Youngkin. And, according to Mr. Purple, it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.
Weird, with a Little Help from Terry’s Friends
There was McAuliffe’s infamous remark that “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.” There was his subsequent attempt at damage control when he gushed about how he’d raised his five children in the wonderful Virginia education system — except that four of them had gone to private schools.
There was Joe Biden’s bizarre statement at a McAuliffe campaign rally that extremism can come “in a smile and a fleece vest,” a reference to Youngkin’s (rather normal) clothing choices.
There was the even more bizarre fundraising email from longtime Democratic operative James Carville that barked “I hate guys like Glenn Youngkin” in part because Youngkin used to work at a “private equity firm” (as opposed to Carville’s far nobler history of maligning Bill Clinton’s accusers).
And, of course, there was the scheme, delegated to the geniuses over at the Lincoln Project, to tag the Youngkin campaign bus with fake white supremacists, one of whom for some reason was black.
Matt Purple recaps by listing the many constituencies McAuliffe managed to offend in just over a month:
- First-time voters
- Finance guys
- People who get cold in the fall
- White people
- People of color
- Anyone whose intelligence gets insulted by lying
Possibly that left one or two childless, racially fluid, moronic hyperthermiacs in Arlington for them to court. But for everyone else, McAuliffe has come off mostly like that Tom and Jerry GIF where the cat can’t stop upending a pair of rakes into his own face.
Democrats: the Party of Privilege
Mr. Purple contends that this speaks more than just McAuliffe’s big mouth. Democrats, who wield immense celebrity and great institutional power, also have “ceased to be progressives or liberals so much as a small clique of obsessives who fret about bizarre and boutique causes.”
Manufacturing Claims of Racism
In Democrats’ world, “gender must exist on a spectrum, children must be indoctrinated against whiteness, and racists must lurk behind every fire hydrant — even if that last claim needs a little manufactured help.”
McAuliffe himself doesn’t especially espouse this stuff, but he does lurk at its margins. He also buys in to another elite tenet: that politics is war, that anything goes in the fight against the other side. Hence the endless and obvious lies.
Battling Imaginary Klansmen?
Except it turns out the voters have priorities other than battling imaginary Klansmen. They’re worried about inflation and classroom radicalism, both of which Democrats say aren’t real problems. They want more than just another hymnal of ritual Trump denunciations and scorched earth against perceived enemies.
Sahara Sized Gap between Common Sense and CRT
Which is about all McAuliffe ever had. This campaign has been another reminder of that Sahara-sized gap between the priorities of American elites and those they claim to represent. By embodying the sheer weirdness of the former, by trying even to stigmatize what so many consider to be common sense on matters like critical race theory, McAuliffe threw open the door to Youngkin.
Matt Purple allows that he is not in the habit of lavishing praise upon millionaires. He does, however, give full credit to Glenn Youngkin for barging on through.
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