Virginia Politics Is a Very Narrow Ideological Segment Where Inside Clubs Play


Posted originally on the conservative tree house on October 26, 2021 | Sundance | 277 Comments

There is a great deal of political media time devoted to the Virginia gubernatorial election that takes place next week.  There is also a major disconnect in the analysis of Virginia politics and what takes place there, so it’s worth pausing and reminding everyone about its unique status.

When an event happens in New York City, the scale of media coverage is so disproportionate to the issue it has historically been laughable.  The media are centered in NYC, so the media focus on events in NYC as if the rest of the country cares.  We don’t.  A waterline break in a NYC subway station gets the scale of national media coverage as if Hoover dam collapsed; most Americans just roll their eyes.

However, because of the proximity to Washington DC, and because of where almost all the federal workers inside the DC system live, that same scale of skewed emphasis is also evident in Virginia when it comes to anything political.

Virginia politics is where the UniParty swamp creatures argue among themselves.  In Virginia the elites in the DNC club debate their high-brow outlooks with the elites in the RNC club.  Virginia is where the traditional DC political establishment of both clubs gather socially to pontificate about their importance in the world of everything political.

Is the whole state like this?  No.  However, the DC beltway is so influential and so populous the other parts of the state are essentially irrelevant to election outcomes.

As the U.S. federal government grew, so too did the swamp physically expand to make room for all the high-minded bureaucrats who run the machine.  Northern and Eastern Virginia were taken over and absorbed into the swamp, the rest of Virginia was cast into the role of Oliver asking for a bit more soup.

When Peter Strzok and Lisa Page were talking about smelly WalMart people, they were really just encapsulating the reality that exists in Virginia, elites -vs- proles, they were not lying; they just said the accepted quiet part out loud and a lot more people saw it, that’s all.

What passes for an acceptable Republican in Virginia is the Mitch McConnell, Mitt Romney and John McCain brands.  There is almost no difference between an establishment Republican and an establishment Democrat in this region. They eat together, hang out together, party together and generally live their best swamp life together.   As a result, their election debates are usually on nuanced cultural issues.

In the widely covered current governors race, the difference between former governor Terry McAuliffe (Democrat) and first-time Republican candidate Glen Youngkin, is very small.   The clubs keep it that way; and no, they do not care about your opinion.  Anyone who challenges the internecine club system in Virginia will quickly see themselves removed, and the club(s) will modify the party rules to avoid any further encroachment.

Democrat Terry McAuliffe messed things up for his club when he said parents should not be able to influence what happens in their children’s schools.  Republican Glen Youngkin seized on that opportunity to enhance his club….. and as usual, that’s now the central focal point of the Virginia race.

Notice, neither candidate talks much about forced vaccines, workers losing their jobs over vaccines, vaccine passports, tax punishments, job losses or inflation, because the club leaders have instructed the club candidates to chew the fat on an educational and cultural issue they deem to carry national importance.  Additionally, notice how Youngkin will not talk positively about Donald Trump and has not wanted any support whatsoever from Trump because his consultants believe the MAGA mindset is too controversial for the electorate.

You may remember a similar scenario in 2014 when Tom Cotton was running for the Senate in Arkansas and the GOeP club (writ large) told Cotton to tone himself down to a light pastel in order to appeal to “moderate” and “women” voters.  Unlike Youngkin, Tom Cotton refused the consultant advice and went full wolverine against the democrat incumbent Mark Pryor.  Throughout the race club pollsters and DNC media said the Arkansas race was tight and Cotton would likely lose if he kept being aggressive and pro-constitution (a Tea Party theme) in his campaign.  On election night, Cotton won by 17 points.

This milquetoast approach to elections is where the terms “suburban women’s vote” or “suburban soccer moms” comes back into play, as both clubs debate which club has better parenting skills.  Meanwhile, the political consultants are paid to figure out which catch-phrase has the best cultural acceptance rate. Watching this level of political theater is almost as painful as being forced to watch CNN cover a blown water main in New York City, because inevitably we are going to hear the same tired narrative from the Republican pundit class…. “This has national implications.”  No, no it doesn’t.

Vote for Youngkin because at least you’ll have a fighting chance and he’s not a communist.  But don’t consider a state-wide race in Virginia, fraught with nuanced shades of purple, to be a referendum on how the nation feels as a whole.  In Virginia the grassroots divisions are bold, but the party club divisions are almost invisible.

The Virginia Governor’s race is akin to two lovers debating whether Mercedes or BMW will be their next SUV….

…..And that is exactly why RNC President Ronna McDaniel is willing leave the spa a little early, put down her white wine spritzer, walk away from the crustless triangle sandwich buffet and give everyone her opinion on what really matters to American voters.

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