The following campaign ad – by Republican State Senate candidate Wayne Coleman (running against Democrat Lynwood Lewis for the seat currently held by Lt. Gov-elect Ralph Northam) – (unintentionally) illustrates a great deal that’s wrong with today’s Republican Party, and with candidates like Wayne Coleman. Among other problems, it’s internally illogical/self-contradictory, confused, mean-spirited, and just plain stupid.
For starters, the ad touts the fact that Coleman’s former employee had health insurance through her employer – Coleman, that is. That’s great, except it’s also kind of odd coming from a Republican, given that Republicans and conservatives for decades have expressed their preference for individual-based health insurance as opposed to employee-based (in fact, the Republican alternative to “Hillarycare” emphasized the individual mandate over the employer mandate, in part as an expression of the core conservative belief in “individual responsibility”). It’s also worth pointing out that an employer covering his or her employees with health insurance is not exactly some sort of heartwarming, altruistic act, as portrayed in this ad. In fact, it’s basically been the private-sector standard in this country for a long time (in addition to public-sector Medicare, Medicaid, and military-based health coverage), so that NOT covering one’s employees’ health care is more the exception than the rule.
Anyway, it’s not exactly something to brag about that you provide your employees with health care coverage. But that’s not the most jarring part of the ad. That comes at the end, with the assertion by the employee (the one who said she was grateful to have health coverage) touting the fact that her former employer, Wayne Coleman, would fight efforts to expand coverage to hundreds of thousands of his fellow Virginians if he’s elected to the State Senate. In sum, it’s the classic, mean-spirited, short-sighted Republican formulation: “I’ve got mine, the rest of you are
s*** out of luck can fend for yourselves.” Lovely, huh?
P.S. Fortunately, it’s unlikely that Coleman will win this election. Remember, this is the same guy who claimed that desegregation busing ruined the schools. It’s also worth pointing out that Democratic candidate Lynwood Lewis has been endorsed by the major local newspapers (the Daily Press – which called out Coleman for his “amazingly short-sighted and wrong-headed remark” on desegregation – and the Virginian Pilot – which says “Coleman’s refusal to discuss his philosophy toward governing and his positions on specific issues makes it impossible to recommend him for an office that empowers him to vote on policies affecting all Virginians.”).