This could be the only debate in VA-07 this year, depending on how terrified “Freedom Caucus” right-wing extremist Dave Brat is of Democrat Abigail Spanberger. So check it out, and particularly pay attention to every time Dave Brat’s lips are moving, because that means he’s almost certainly lying, distorting, spewing far-right nonsense, etc. I’ll have comments below the video…
UPDATE 8:01 pm – I thought Spanberger did great, but I do wish she had said “Trump/Brat,” since Brat won’t stand up to Trump on anything. I also wish that Spanberger had mentioned the Orwellian-named, extremist “Freedom Caucus” and also Brats BFF Jim Jordan, who was accused by numerous college wrestlers of standing by and doing nothing as they were sexually abused by the team doctor.
UPDATE 7:49 pm – Brat’s closing statement, basically, is Fox “News”/Orwellian “Freedom Caucus” buzzwords and phrases, utter nonsense and idiocy. It’s utterly mind numbing. And one last time, “Nancy Pelosi liberal policies.” Again, how can anyone listen to Brat for more than 5 minutes? Blah blah blah…”socialism”…”Depression”…”double your taxes”…blah blah blah…”results instead of resistance.” OK, finally, Spanberger’s closing statement. Spanberger says that pulling out of the Paris Accord was to the detriment to our own country and to relations with countries around the world. Spanberger notes, correctly, that clean energy jobs are booming. Do you want the federal government putting debt on the backs of your children and grandchildren? The largest holder of U.S. debt is China, and that’s detrimental to our national security. Spanberger wonders if Brat knows which Democrat he’s running against…she says she is her own woman, not Pelosi, Obama, or anyone else Brat claims she is. She is committed to fiscally responsible policies that make the district stronger. She says it’s absurd for Brat to talk about fiscal responsibility, when he voted to massively increased the deficit/debt. “Abigail Spanberger is my name!” For some idiotic reason, Brat gets a rebuttal to Spanberger’s closing statement. WTF? Brat then lies about his record and Republicans’ record on the deficit/debt, says yet AGAIN “failed Pelosi agenda.” AND he blames everything on increased spending, good Tea Partier that he is. My god..
UPDATE 7:44 pm – Question on climate change (finally!) and the environment. Spanberger says protecting the environment is an economic, health care and ecological imperative. She says the threat of global climate change is REAL because the SCIENCE says it’s real, the military says it’s a threat, etc. (I’m afraid to hear what Brat says, as we know he’s a climate science denier nutjob). And now comes Brat…who goes back to the past question and completely mischaracterizes what Spanberger said. LIAR. Brat claims everyone cares about the environment, and supposedly a “free market” will solve every problem. Apparently, Brat never studied natural resource economics. Brat then spits out “Nancy Pelosi,” “the United Nations,” “Paris” and “Obama” as if they’re curse words. Brat then completely mischaracterizes/lies about clean energy. “I don’t think the left gets it.” No Dave, YOU don’t get it. Anything. You are COMPLETELY CLUELESS. And yes, I’m shouting, because listening to Brat for more than an hour – heck, more than 5 minutes! – is cruel and unusual punishment. Ugh…
UPDATE 7:39 pm – Question on promoting more worker-owned businesses. Of course, Brat says “grow the economy,” another one of his favorite stock phrases. It’s just insufferable listening to this guy; really hard to understand how he doesn’t just get laughed out of every room he’s in. Brat actually claims it’s “morning in America” due to “our tax cuts.” Hahahahahaha. Spanberger asks, what stops people from starting small businesses? The answer: things like having health care coverage that protects for preexisting conditions. That’s why she supports a public option, strengthening our health care system, tax incentives for people who want to take risks, a strong workforce based on a strong educational background.
UPDATE 7:29 pm – On maintaining a low unemployment rate, Spanberger says that central Virginia is a wonderful place to live. Spanberger says the average worker in the 7th district will not benefit from the GOP tax bill, that the billions in tax savings to big business didn’t trickle down. 98% of the tax savings corporations got are going to stock buybacks. We need a strong middle class. Brat attributes the low unemployment rate in the 7th district to good economic policy, which of course in Brat’s warped view began the day Trump took office (even though 95% of the economic recovery took place during the Obama administration). Brat claims his position is “pro growth,” when in fact Brat’s position is anti-worker, pro-massive-deficit, pro-big-corporation. Brat then mischaracterizes Spanberger’s positions, again and again, just lies through his teeth. And yet again, Brat says “Nancy Pelosi liberal agenda.” He basically sounds like he’s on Fox “News,” just spewing out utter nonsense. Spanberger notes, correctly, that wages are stagnating for middle class Americans. Spanberger also notes that corporations got PERMANENT tax cuts, while tax cuts are TEMPORARY for regular people. Spanberger notes that the deficit Brat voted to crank up will be passed on to our children. Brat again says “liberal Nancy Pelosi agenda,” as if that actually means something. I guess it does to this far-right, Fox “News”-watching base. Other than that though, it’s utterly meaningless drivel. Again, for an “economist,” Brat knows ZERO about economics or how to grow an economy…
UPDATE 7:25 pm – Question on affordable internet accessibility. Brat says he’s been working on rural broadband internet since he came into Congress. Says there’s a model in Orange County on providing broadband. Says he’s worked with rural communities on this issue. Brat claims Spanberger doesn’t even KNOW about the work that’s been done. Spanberger says she knows that Brat has voted against every opportunity to actually fund programs to provide rural broadband. Zing! 😉 Spanberger notes, correctly, that differential access to broadband will also create a healthcare divide. Internet connectivity allowed her to move back home; this is an economic issue, health care issue, educational issue.
UPDATE 7:20 pm – On education, Spanberger says all across the district, people are talking about the need for strong public schools. Spanberger strongly supports public schools. Teacher shortages are caused by the fact that teacher pay hasn’t gone up, while housing costs HAVE gone up. By the way, let me just note that Spanberger is knowledgeable, articulate, super smart and 100% reality based. Brat is none of those things. If people would just LISTEN to these two candidates, Spanberger should win 100%-0%. No comparison whatsoever. Different leagues. Brat says the problem is “one size fits all education bureaucracy on the left.” Another meaningless right-wing talking point, in other words. Brat keeps saying “major heavy lifting,” even though Republicans have done none of the sort.
UPDATE 7:17 pm – Asked about immigration, Brat babbles about Nancy Pelosi, “sanctuary cities,” and other Fox “News” talking points. And then Brat mentions Pelosi again, also “sanctuary,” “violent crime,” “sanctuary” again…ee gads, he’s bonkers. AND now Brat lies about the supposed “compromise” immigration bill, which was actually a far-right “Freedom Caucus” bill. Alternate universe. Spanberger says that Republicans compromising with themselves is not bipartisanship. Spanberger notes the obvious, that she does NOT – repeat, NOT! – support any sort of “safe havens” for criminals or gangs, as Brat keeps outrageously/falsely claims.
UPDATE 7:10 pm – On access to quality health care, Spanberger says she’s visited health clinics across the district. What we really need is more competition – greater access to affordable health care. She supports protecting people with preexisting conditions, adding a public option (“Medicare X”). She says she doesn’t support the Bernie Sanders plan, even if Brat keeps claiming that she does. Brat lies about the far-right health care bill, which of course would have been a disaster. Brat again repeats the name “Nancy Pelosi.” The audience groans, as does everyone with a brain listening to this debate. Brat ignores the fact that Republicans have sabotaged the Affordable Care Act. Brat lies yet AGAIN about Spanberger and preexisting conditions, even after Brat got called out today by the Washington Post fact checker. The guy is simply pathological. How do you know if Dave Brat is lying? Yep, his lips are moving. Oh yeah, he got the phrase “government takeover of health care” in again. This guy REALLY needs to turn off Fox “News” and get with the real world occasionally. Spanberger notes, correctly, that Brat’s favored health care bill would have jacked up prices for people with preexisting conditions. Spanberger reminds Brat that he’s running against her, not against a Democrat in Pennsylvania or against Nancy Pelosi. Big applause from the audience! Brat then lies, lies and lies some more, mischaracterizing what was in the AHCA, mischaracterizing what Spanberger supports, uses the far-right phrase “total government takeover,” etc. It’s just crazyland with this guy. Oh, and Brat gets the phrase “Nancy Pelosi agenda” in there again. This guy’s a walking, breathing parody.
UPDATE 7:04 pm – Question on student loan debt and higher education funding. Brat notes that he was a professor, which is really mind boggling when you listen to this guy. Brat then goes off on “federal mandates,” because that’s what Brat does. Basically, Brat has nothing constructive to offer on the question that was asked. Brat again goes with the clown approach, babbling about “failed Pelosi policies.” Spanberger goes back to the school safety issue, says we need red flag laws. On education, Spanberger says there’s more student loan debt than credit card debt in this country. She says she’d support allowing students to be able to refinance their loans to get the most competitive rates. She’d support incentivizing employers to paying off student loans. She says she’d support apprenticeship programs and other alternatives to four-year colleges. She notes that Brat voted against these types of programs.
UPDATE 7:00 pm – Question on gun violence and school safety. Spanberger notes that she carried a gun every day as a law enforcement agent, also grew up in a household of sportsmen. She says that even most NRA members support universal background checks. She says we need leaders in Washington willing to have hard conversations. “I understand the responsibility of gun ownership.” Gun lobby tool Brat talks about everything but guns, of course. On guns, Brat again uses the phrase “Nancy Pelosi liberal agenda.” The audience laughs at him, for good reason. What a buffoon. Also, the “blue states” supposedly want to “take away your guns.”
UPDATE 6:55 pm – On trade agreements, Brat of course says he’s for “free trade,” then he bashes China and lies that the U.S. paid for the entire “liberal world order.” It’s really hard to listen to Brat, as it’s mostly just word salad/meaningless blather and Ayn Randian-style nonsense. Spanberger says the updated version of NAFTA has some positive aspects, but the notion that we’d move towards zero tariffs by starting a trade war (as Trump has done) makes zero sense. Spanberger says China holds the most amount of our debt, which Brat just voted to increase by trillions. The Trump tariffs have NOT been great, Spanberger notes, but have hurt American jobs, the price of soybeans, etc. “Farmers don’t want bailouts, they want to sell their crops.” Trump’s trade war is “reckless foreign policy” which damages our standing in the world.
UPDATE 6:49 pm – On immigration, Spanberger says we need bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform that secures our borders and points of entry (note that she has worked on narcotrafficking issues), gives certainty to DREAMers, etc. Unfortunately, Spanberger correctly points out, Brat has supported a right-wing, hard-line immigration bill, NOT the bipartisan solution that was available. Brat again lies about a “huge amnesty bill,” also shows zero understanding of economics – ironic that he touts himself as a great economist, because he doesn’t know shit about economics. Brat then, of course, mentions Obama, Clinton, and “the left,” for no apparent reason other than to rev up his far-right base. It’s fascinating listening to Brat’s phony narratives on everything, including in the case of immigration. Brat’s trying really hard to paint Abigail Spanberger as “far left,” which is beyond laughable, but that’s all he’s got. Oh, also that what Spanberger is advocating – comprehensive immigration reform, which the vast majority of Americans support – is somehow “radical.” Yes, Brat is bonkers. Spanberger rebuts Brat’s nonsense, sarcastically thanks Brat for explaining federal law enforcement to her, given that she’s worked in that field for many years. Spanberger says it’s “comical” for Brat to imply otherwise.
UPDATE 6:45 pm – Question on health care and pharmaceuticals. Brat lies that Republicans achieved results on health care. Brat again lies and spews out “total government takeover of health care” and says “liberal Nancy Pelosi agenda” over and over again. What a complete tool, buffoon, etc. And then corporate-and-special-interest-funded Brat, of all people, complains about special interest money. What a joke; truly amazing this guy was ever elected to anything. For her part, Spanberger says the rising cost of health care is the #1 thing people are talking about in the district. Spanberger says we need more competition in the marketplace, ability to negotiate prescription drug prices. Overall, need to strengthen our current health care system, including with a public option. Spanberger notes that in the 2017 GOP tax bill that added trillions to the debt, pharmaceuticals got huge tax cuts. Spanberger note that Brat voted to add trillions to the deficit/debt.
UPDATE 6:42 pm – For her part, Abigail Spanberger talks about the three most influential people in her life: her father (taught her there’s nothing more important than service to our country, which is what she’s done her entire life); her mother (from whom she learned the value of hard work, determination and grit); and her WW2 veteran grandfather (from whom she learned about optimism and belief that tomorrow can be better). We need people in Washington who are committed to this country, who is willing to work for our country, put country over any party/person/special interest.
UPDATE 6:38 pm – Dave Brat kicks off by lying about a “liberal amnesty bill” (aka, comprehensive immigration reform). Brat also goes to the standard-issue right-wing talking point that a vote for Abigail Spanberger is a vote for “the liberal policies of Nancy Pelosi.” Brat then lies about the Republican tax cut, which of course went to the wealthiest people and corporations in the country. Brat also wildly distorts about the economy, giving Trump and the Republicans 100% credit for the relatively strong economy we currently have, while bashing Obama (natch). Brat then lies about Spanberger and gangs, as well as about “government takeover of healthcare.” Basically, not a single word Brat says is even remotely accurate.