by Adam Short, a student at John Tyler Community College in Midlothian
As a lifelong Central Virginia Democrat, I have a terrible confession to make: for years I have had a grudging respect for the Senator from the 11th district, Amanda Chase.
It took grit and hard work to start a campaign firm using a small business loan and to place herself at the center of the “Tea Party,” helping to create the successful insurgent campaign of that movement’s standard-bearer, former US Representative Dave Brat. Chase ran a fearless campaign in her own right in 2015, which is why she is a senator now. In short, Amanda Chase is good at what she does. That’s why it is so troubling to see her acting a coward and playing the victim to duck accountability for her actions.
When Amanda Chase carried a firearm into the General Assembly to present a bill during session, I took her at her word that she feared for her safety. Even though she was in a room where only law enforcement personnel were carrying weapons, I gave her the benefit of the doubt. She told reporters that certain of her constituents were “over-exuberant” and had made her feel threatened. Though I question whether it is becoming of a senator to imply that she needs to be armed in order to protect herself from citizens, I recognize that in Virginia, Senator Chase has every right to arm herself if she feels that is what is necessary.
This week Senator Chase is in the news again, this time because she berated Capitol Police and became belligerent when she was not allowed to park her car in a restricted area at the General Assembly, and she is once again claiming that concerns about her own safety prompted her bizarre behavior. Apparently the senator’s fear of the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia is such that she is afraid to park in the normal parking area where all the other legislators park.
Some on the Democratic side have questioned if perhaps Senator Chase’s anxieties might not be genuine, and that she might be manufacturing these incidents for political gain. I have never known Senator Chase to engineer these kinds of stunts, so I once again take the senator at her word. I believe that she is afraid for her safety when she is on Capitol grounds and that she wants to take action to make herself feel safer.
That said, I do take strong issue with Amanda Chase’s unconscionable attempt to vilify the Capitol Police. I have been on Capitol grounds for a many different reasons over the decades. In every one of these instances the police have not only conducted themselves with the utmost professionalism. It is very hard for me to believe Amanda Chase’s version of what happened, that she was polite but Capitol Police were unprofessional and rude.
Ultimately, though, if Senator Chase says she does not feel safe under the protection of Capitol Police, I must once again take her at her word. Perhaps Senator Chase can use some of the vast amounts of money she receives from dark money groups like the NRA to hire herself some personal security. One hopes they will have better luck finding somewhere to park without needing to shout obscenities at law enforcement personnel. If not, perhaps she can find somewhere to work that feels more like a safe space. But when it comes to some conspiracy by leftist operatives deep within Capitol Police to frighten poor little Senator Chase:
Sorry, Senator. I’m just not buying it.