This tweet, by 2013 Republican Lt. Governor candidate (and former Chairman of the Stafford County Board of Supervisors) Susan Stimpson, is a perfect example of why it’s almost impossible to reason with Republicans these days. For starters, to paraphrase Daniel Patrick Moynihan, they simply operate off their own set of “facts,” better known as “demonstrable, verifiable falsehoods.” For instance, Stimpson in this tweet is clearly arguing that Virginia Democrats never “compromise” (not sure why she puts the word in air quotes) with Virginia Republicans, yet again, it’s a demonstrable FACT that Virginia Democrats have compromised with Virginia Republicans on pretty much everything for…well, forever, pretty much.
The reason? Simple: Republicans have controlled the Virginia House of Delegates since 2000 (by huge margins during most of that period), which has meant that compromise was absolutely required to get anything done. In addition, of course, Republicans controlled all levers of Virginia government for much of the period from January 2010 through the end of 2013.
So, obviously, Virginia Democrats have had to compromise over the years – or even completely give in – on issues ranging from transportation to taxes/spending to redistricting to energy/environment to women’s reproductive health to LGBT equality to Medicaid expansion to…basically everything. Yet in Susan Stimpson’s world, and in the world of many people who think like Susan Stimpson, Democrats have never “compromised” (again, not sure why she feels compelled to use the air quotes, other than the very concept of compromise disgusts her). Which, of course, couldn’t be further from the truth. Which brings us back to the headline of this post: can we even reason with people like this?