Democrats can’t drive the wedge between moderates and conservatives in Virginia because to their utter shock, there’s no wedge to drive anymore.
By: Shaun Kenney
One really has to admire the play — or at least the attempt — by the Dems.
Last week, the Washington Post has been telling readers that Virginia Republican gubernatorial nominee Glenn Youngkin is tacking to the center, thereby abandoning social conservatives on issues such as the right to life and the Second Amendment.
Enter Audrey Falhberg over at The Dispatch who leans quite heavily on the same two progressives sources for information that the Washington Post does on how Virginia might be leaning — Democratic prognosticators hoping for the best what-if scenario they could obtain, one of whom happened to be the architect of macaca in 2006 and looking to do the same in 2021.
Church-hopping Republican candidates often have the reputation of delivering fire and brimstone speeches at their rallies. . . . But there was something peculiar about Youngkin’s stump speech last Monday: Not once did the Trump-endorsed candidate mention socialism, cancel culture, or the former president, who lost Virginia by 10 points in November.
There are a lot of Republican operatives who like to cozy up to these bastards — too many in fact. They brag about it while drunk. These guys pump the gullible for information which is then weaponized and shared with left-wing reporters to whack Republicans.
It’s an old tactic that we used to call blogswarming.
The nickname for it is the Grand Unified Theory of Information Warfare: simply put, that themes turn into narratives; narratives turn into stories. The how-to is simple: get any comments section, Facebook thread or series of Twitter accounts (mostly bots) writing and liking something you want in the media.
Get digital media on the job. Get two or three digital articles on the job. Get the press writing stories based on the mood in the comments sections, hearsay, digital press stories (no one uses blog anymore), op-eds and the like? Now television stations come to play.
Congratulations, now you have generated a story for your client and have an introduction into practically all political communications and public affairs work.
…and they brag about it.
One small problem with this effort.
This mirage these guys are presenting? It just ain’t the case. Youngkin is as solid as a rock and the base is pretty darned united. Spinning up the moderates and then hoping the conservatives get ticked off? Cute — but we have seen that trick.
Here’s the gambit:
- Get Republican moderates in a big mood about being able to impose their will on the 65% of Republicans who didn’t vote Youngkin in the first round. It’s a sophomore move; mostly performed by people who flunked out their sophomore year of college. Zing!
- Start imposing this theme that there is a division in the GOP base. Of course, it doesn’t have to be true — you just have to talk about it. Just keep spinning it up and bouncing it around, right? It’ll gain momentum eventually…
- Get the Washington Post and conservative media to talk about it. Again, it doesn’t have to be true. We just need a theme turned into a narrative here.
- Get the Youngkin campaign to overcorrect. THIS IS THE IMPORTANT PART, because it only happens if you, dear reader, buy this Democratic-fueled fever dream that Youngkin somehow is more center than right and force the campaign to break out of its lane. Which — of course — won’t happen because there’s no reason to jump through hoops just because the WaPo and two Democratic operatives say so — right?
- Should Youngkin overcorrect, show suburban moderates how they were betrayed. Not just that Youngkin is tacking to the right, but that he is betraying these self-centered and self-important political hacks looking for a paycheck. That’s right — the same handful taking photos and begging for jobs with the Youngkin campaign that the Democratic progressives spun up convincing them it was a new day? They’re the suckers at this poker table — and if you’re sitting at the poker table and don’t know who the mark is, it is probably you.
And that’s it.
Once again, we are faced with Democratic opposition that thinks all Republicans are either evil or stupid. They run with the caricature of Republicans hoping that someone — anyone — will fit the bill. Then they look for anyone who wants five minutes of fame and POOF — you have yourself a narrative turned into a story.
Now if you’re like me and find yourself a bit too old for fairy tales? Let’s go back to the reason why we’re not seeing 15 different polls showing T-Mac up by 20 points right now. Because if the Virginia Dems were even close, the media would be screaming and hammering it home right about now, wouldn’t they?
Guess why the media isn’t saying a word?
- Republicans just served up the most diverse ticket in Virginia history on May 8th. Those are just facts, folks.
- Virginia Democrats are in a bloody civil war between progressives and the Byrd Machine — and they know it. These guys are about to nominate a candidate endorsed by a guy in blackface (McAuliffe), a guy who actually wore blackface (Herring), and a lieutenant governor’s candidate with ties to Hamas.
- Youngkin’s team is well aware of the dynamics of this race. Youngkin is pro-life, pro-2A, and pro-education reform. Critical Race Theory will not get oxygen in a Youngkin administration, police will be fully funded, small businesses will be given spurs — not saddled.
- McAuliffe is going to be outspent, outworked, and outmuscled come November and we all know it. The generic ballot in Virginia is D+2 — a 10 point freefall from the November 2020 elections.
- Michael “Rubles” Bills isn’t the only one who can build political infrastructure in Virginia. Progressives enjoy the effusive patronage of Michael Bills and Clean Virginia for a myriad of think tanks, digital media outlets, and counter-conservative messaging. Youngkin’s team is neither deaf nor blind to this, and the counterpunch — when it comes — will bring screeching from left-wing outlets who conceded their objectivity decades ago.
The problem for Virginia Democrats — if one remembers the Three Virginia’s hypothesis — is that they have tacked too far to the left on social issues and cannot right the ship. Far easier for conservatives to tack left on fiscal issues than it is for progressives to tack right on social issues.
Moral conservatism — not fiscal — is what is going to unite the Republican coalition again. No, this doesn’t mean that we are charging into people’s bedrooms and telling them how to live. But it does mean that coercion in the service of ideology is not merely intolerable, but tyrannical. That live and let live isn’t just a throwaway line, but something we deeply and fundamentally believe you can do here in Virginia better than anywhere else in the world.
That means that the key to Virginia Republican victory in November isn’t going to be by abandoning social conservatism, but rather using rural values to ground suburban ones and reject progressive coercion in the public square. Increasing the rural vote from anywhere to 5-7% not only puts the entire ticket over the top, but it nabs the Virginia House of Delegates as well.
The reason why Youngkin isn’t tacking anywhere for this sole reason. Why would he?
In fact, ask the deeper question here. Why would his campaign mess with success? Unless, of course, the Washington Post and a couple of progressive operatives succeed in dragging folks by the nose with tactics that worked 15 years ago — but not today.
You know how Youngkin united Virginia Republicans so quickly? Blind man could see it, and it’s the same reason Republicans liked Trump. Youngkin can’t be bought by Richmond or Washington is why.
Youngkin is honest — conservatives are going to give him all the latitude in the world on all the issues we care about, precisely because Youngkin doesn’t tack in the wind.
Democrats don’t know what to do with that — do they?
The reason why is that Virginia Dems can’t see it? They think everyone is for sale.
C-list moderates (and I mean the truly weenie moderates; not pragmatists who link moderation and wisdom) can’t see it because they are for sale. The rest of us who are Republicans for a reason see it clear as day, and there’s no point explaining it to folks who just don’t get it.
There will be no switch hitting in this campaign, folks. Youngkin is precisely the center-right conservative he says he is. Virginia Democrats are bleeding themselves dry as they march towards the June 8th primary, while Virginia Republicans are resting, confident, and in a clear position to link suburban issues with good ol’ fashioned Virginia rural values.
The Democrats don’t have any of that at any level of government. I’d be quick to whip up any narrative I could if I were them. Fact of the matter is that most Virginians are tired of the riots, the shattered economy, and the Critical Race Theory crammed down the throats of our kids to tell them they are all racists.
The Northam-McAuliffe era is over, folks. Virginia Democrats are going to try defending the indefensible from June ‘til November — and there’s nothing defensible about what they have done to Virginia.
The only thing that beats Republicans at this rate are Republicans themselves.
Shaun Kenney is the editor of The Republican Standard, former chairman of the Board of Supervisors for Fluvanna County, and a former executive director of the Republican Party of Virginia.
Reprinted with permission, please leave comments on the original article linked here!