This should be…uh, fun? bizarre? freak show? an excuse to make a bunch of hot-buttered popcorn? Enjoy(?) Full video below the live blog….
UPDATE 7:56 pm: Closing statements (thank goodness this is almost over!). Freaky Freitas says the Nazis and white supremacists in Charlottesville were not “the right…period, the end.” Freitas says liberty and small government are the answer, but it’s “being eroded from within,” as more and more young people are being convinced that “socialism is the way to go,” even though socialism is “predicated on the use of violence.” Neo-Confederate Corey talks about the pact between the people who govern and the governed, and how if it’s broken, there’s not even a democratic form of government anymore. Corey waxes rhapsodic about the Second Amendment. He claims that those rights have never been more threatened than they are today, with the left supposedly exploiting “every tragedy” to suppress Second Amendment rights. “That punk, Mr. Hogg…has been brainwashed,” according to Corey. Finally, Ewwww talks about some students wanting to cover up the statue of Thomas Jefferson because he was a slave owner. Ewwww says we shouldn’t denigrate our history, because this is the country where a “son of slaves” can run for U.S. Senate. Ewwww says his vision is to “honor what the constitution actually says” as well as our “Judeo-Christian values.” Ewwww denies that he wants a theocracy and claims he doesn’t want to “hurt you” if you’re “gay or transgender,” and how it’s “the left” trying to hurt people. Uhhhhhhhhhhh….
UPDATE 7:49 pm: On the events of August 11-12 in Charlottesville, Freitas says that people marching with Nazi flags and for white supremacy was “absolutely abhorrent” and it “turns my stomach.” Having said that, Freitas says we need to protect the right to freedom of speech, including “hate speech.” You combat a “bad idea” with a “good idea,” in Freitas’ view. Corey says what was “interesting about Charlottesville” is that there are “two sides” that “turned to violence” and Trump was “absolutely right” that there were “two sides” – the Nazis and Antifa (“Tim Kaine’s son is a member of Antifa”; “did the media ever condemn Antifa?”). Corey claims Charlottesville was a “failure by the Democratic governor.” Ewwww says he “found the whole thing abhorrent” and condemned “both sides” – “two different groups of nutcases.” Ewwww then goes on a riff about Martin Luther King, Jr. Yeah, don’t ask. Oh, Ewwww says he also condemns Louis Farrakhan.
UPDATE 7:44 pm: Regarding the “war on terror” and the use of drones, Ewwww says (of course) that Trump’s approach is better than Obama’s, because supposedly now we’re seeing “results.” Freitas says “a drone is a tool,” the problem is that Congress has abdicated its responsibility regarding warfare, FISA, etc. Corey says “U.S. national security interests first” should always be our policy, not nation building; “we need to scale back.”
UPDATE 7:39 pm: On North Korea, Corey says we should remind them that if they ever launch a nuke against us, there would “no longer be a North Korea.” Corey claims he’s an expert at international relations (hahahaha) and that a dictator only respects “strength and power.” Ewwww says Ronald Reagan “put a missile in [Qadaffi’s] bedroom,” and that changed his tune. So…be prepared for war, which President Obama supposedly didn’t have the “fortitude” to do. My god. Oh, and Ewwww is “very glad” that John Bolton will be the new national security adviser. Shuddddderrrr. Freaky Freitas says South Korea can defend itself against North Korea, other than the nuclear threat. He claims, falsely, that Clinton and Obama demonstrated weakness against dictatorial regimes like North Korea.
UPDATE 7:35 pm: Regarding Trump’s tariffs on China, Freitas says correctly that tariffs are a tax and that they are regressive, plus they kill jobs in industries that use the products that have been taxed. Freitas does feel the need to throw in the obligatory praise of Trump as supposedly good at negotiation, which of course is completely laughable. Corey says you have to follow through on your threats or nobody will ever respect you. He claims he believes in free trade, but then basically says the exact opposite. Ewwww says he’s it’s a “tax” to watch a grown man “stand in front of you and cry” about his job going overseas due to “government policies.” Ewwww claims “the President is on to something” with his tariffs…
UPDATE 7:29 pm: Oh god, question in “illegal immigration”; this is going to be a nightmare. Ewwww says he “absolutely, absolutely” supports cracking down on “illegal immigration” and goes on a rant about immigrants raping, murdering, etc. Also, Ewwww thinks we should prosecute public officials who will not cooperate with ICE. Freaky Freitas says we should move towards a “merit-based immigration system.” He says it’s dangerous to federalize local law enforcement. Corey says Nick didn’t answer the question, attacks him for not being tough enough on illegal immigrants and on officials in “sanctuary cities.” Corey brags about his xenophobic crackdown in PW County.
UPDATE 7:23 pm: On student loan debt, Corey makes a pathetic crack about majoring in “gender studies” and not being able to find a job. The answer? Change what we’re teaching to useful stuff, like working with your hands, instead of “politically correct curriculum.” The moderator notes that 97% of his students who graduated last year are gainfully employed. Ewwww makes the profound point that somebody has to pay for education. Wait, there’s no “free ride?” Who knew? Oh yeah, and the answer to everything is “get the government out of the way.” Uh huh. Finally, Freaky Freitas (R-NRA) says the problem is the government giving out “free money” as opposed to making you “work hard” or whatever. Who the hell knows what he’s blabbering about.
UPDATE 7:18 pm: Question on Social Security. Freaky Freitas says any politician who says they won’t touch Social Security is lying to you, that it’s kinda like a “Ponzi scheme,” that the federal government has “no constitutional authority” to “manage your retirement.” Freaky Freitas also talks about phasing out Social Security. Craaaazy! Corey claims Social Security is “unsustainable” and “has to be changed” because we’re “headed for a brick wall at 80 miles per hour.” Of course, Corey doesn’t mention the massive tax break for rich people and corporations the GOP just passed. Craaaazy! Ewwwww jokes that he’s filing for his Social Security tomorrow, says Social Security is “a sacred promise” even if it’s been “perverted.” Oh, and we need to consider “privatization” of Social Security. Craaazy!
UPDATE 7:13 pm: On the recent “Omnibus” spending bill, Ewwww says “it was horrible,” that he’s “deeply disgusted by it,” that Trump should have vetoed it and that he is “tired of being betrayed” by supposed conservatives in Congress. Oh yeah, and stop funding Planned Parenthood…”that’s a no brainer.” Alrighty. Freaky Freitas says the Omnibus was “something of a betrayal” and as a veteran is “really tired of being used a political prop.” And of course slash the federal government, because….FREEDOM!!! Corey says it was “really the Chuck Schumer bill” – liberal priorities, no “wall,” blah blah. Corey says we have to “take [Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer] down” and have to “take back our party” from those who have “betrayed us,” like Mitch McConnell.
UPDATE 7:08 pm: On combating drug abuse, neo-Confederate Corey immediately segues to the border with Mexico and “building the border wall.” Corey is a fan of medicinal marijuana, one thing I actually agree with him about. Ewwww gives an anecdote about going to the doctor and how faith in god can cure/prevent drug addiction. Gotcha. As for freaky Freitas, he says we need to “rethink the war on drugs” and that he actually passed a bill about drug addiction in the General Assembly. Congratulations.
UPDATE 7:04 pm: Yet another question on climate change, this time on carbon dividends. Freitas claims scientists “immediately go into a policy discussion,” which of course is false and ridiculous. Oh, and of course the “free market” (which doesn’t exist and never has) is the answer to everything, in Freitas’ warped worldview. Stewart says insanely that the most developed countries are the “least polluters,” which is 180-degrees false (in fact, the US has BY FAR emitted the most greenhouse gases over the years). Ewwww cracks a “joke” about carbon credits making “Al Gore rich.” Hardy har har. My god this is mindnumbing; feels like a far-right Twilight Zone. Oh, Ewwww crack another “joke” about polar bears going by on icebergs or something. Gack!!!!
UPDATE 6:59 pm: Ewwww asked about climate change and sea-level rise. You know this will be a nightmare, and of course it is, as Ewwww claims there are “differences of opinion” among scientists regarding climate change, that the climate is “homeostatic,” doesn’t believe that “driving SUVs is going to cause the planet to spin off its axis,” blah blah blah. Yep, the guy’s bonkers. Oh, he’s also change the name of the EPA to “Department of Environmental Stewardship.” As for Freitas, he says climate change is “used as a political football,” that the real answer is “private property rights.” Huh? And not surprisingly, Corey Stewart goes for the completely batshit crazy response, claims climate science “is a hoax.” Corey also goes on a riff about “free speech,” claims that if you say you don’t “believe in climate change” you are “berated” on college campuses. What a lunatic.
UPDATE 6:55 pm: Corey keeps attacking the Virginia General Assembly, including Del. Nick Freitas, previously on how it’s basically worthless to talk about putting in bills, this time on funding Metro. Apropos of nothing, Ewwww says we shouldn’t pay attention to Trump’s tweets. Freitas basically uses the transportation question to attack the federal government.
UPDATE 6:50 pm: So far, it’s pretty much what you’d expect – Freitas talking about FREEDOM!!! (except for women to control their bodies, LGBT people to love who they want, etc.); Corey Stewart talking about how nasty he’s going to be, insulting the university that’s hosting the debate he’s participating in, etc; and Ewwwww rambling about weird/crazy shit (e.g., something about how “My great great grandparents were born slaves here in Virginia but little did they know they were entering the greatest experiment in freedom” — except for the fact that they were…slaves??? Hello??? LOL)