Home 2018 Elections Why Does Comstock Lie? It’s Her Nature…

Why Does Comstock Lie? It’s Her Nature…

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When it comes to her political opponents,  Barbara Comstock has had a consistent pattern throughout her career: spinning deceptive yarns and, often, even outright lying.

Whether it was in Comstock’s professionalization of GOP dirty tricks politics in the 1990s into the 2000s (dogged efforts to undermine the Clinton presidency, creating yarns about Al Gore, …) to the story-telling about her direct political opponents (Margie Vanderhye, John Foust, LuAnn Bennett, and now State Senator Jennifer Wexton), Comstock’s stock in trade has been skillful deceit rather than truthful engagement.

As to Comstock’s “reprehensible record” in her own election campaigns, some examples

  • In her first campaign in 2009, for  Virginia House of Delegates, Comstock accused her opponent of abetting child molesters. In truth, the opponent had voted for an austerity budget that provided for early release of non-violent offenders.
  • In 2011, running for re-election, Comstock maintained that her opponent had supported raising taxes –even though the opponent had never held public office.
  • In 2013, running for a third term in the Virginia house, Comstock painted her opponent as a tax cheat. The reality is that the opponent’s spouse had been late paying a property tax bill.

In 2016, Comstock’s NRCC surrogates misrepresented (lied about) a successful LuAnn Bennett project that create jobs and a beautiful mixed-use community.

In 2018, Comstock has directly lied, on radio, about Wexton. Comstock’s own ads falsely claim she’s independent while she votes 98% of the time with Trump. NRCC surrogates have been running atrocious advertisements that, for example, attack Wexton for legislation passed BEFORE she held public office (note that alignment with 2011 above …) and twist Wexton’s opposition to tolling on I-66 into support for those tolls.

Et ceteraet ceteraet cetera

It seems that one has to adopt that old adage of “there are lies, damn lies, and statistics” to add in, as a last category, “and the things that Barbara Comstock says about her political opponents.”

In trying to figure out how to write up Comstock’s lying, her stock in trade, I entered into a discussion with a savvy observer of Virginia politics who summarized it with, like the scorpion, it’s her nature:

scorpion asks a frog to carry it across a river. The frog hesitates, afraid of being stung, but the scorpion argues that if it did so, they would both drown. Considering this, the frog agrees, but midway across the river the scorpion does indeed sting the frog, dooming them both. When the frog asks the scorpion why, the scorpion replies: “It’s my nature.”

Comstock’s entire career has been embedded in political warfare, in partisan “strategic influence” to shape “narratives” to advance partisan Republican operatives and interests — truth and truthful engagement have been, consistently, a distant second to the necessity of political warfare.  As one might put it otherwise, for scorpion Barbara, the ends justify the means.

After two terms in Congress, Barbara Comstock should campaign honestly on the strength of her record. For example, she should explain why her 98 percent pro-Trump voting record is in her constituents’ best interest. Or she should tout her fealty to the NRA and proudly point out that she is a top recipient of campaign donations from the NRA. Or she should draw attention to the fact that she, along with the rest of the GOP, has done nothing to make healthcare more affordable and more available. I don’t realistically expect her to do any of these things.

And, to top it off, it is clear that Comstock can’t win with the truth — to achieve her ends of raw partisan political power, Comsotock cannot tell the truth because VA10 voters (writ large) won’t be happy with that truth.

Defeating Comstock Relies on Truth,

Truthful Engagement, and Truthful Reporting

In conceiving this post and considering how to write it, I realized something.

Extremist Comstock votes with Trump

One doesn’t need to deceive or lie to speak to Virginia’s 10th District voters about why Barbara Comstock doesn’t represent them and is not the person they want in Congress from the District.

A truthful engagement about Comstock’s record should be more than enough to convince roughly sixty percent of the district’s voters.

    • Comstock votes roughly 98% of the time with Donald Trump.
      • This is the second largest gap between district voter preferences and voting record across the 435 members of the House of Representatives.

        Comstock’s alignment with Trump at odds with VA10 voters (538.com 7 June 2018)

Simple truth

Comstock’s record ((political operative spinning deceit), extremist voting record, refusal to meet openly with constituents)) can’t win enough votes so she (and her surrogates) rely on deceit and lies in an effort to trick voters.

This time around, it looks like Barbara’s deceit won’t work.