Home Virginia Politics Video: Intense Exchange in VA House of Delegates; Republican Rips “Marxist Apologist...

Video: Intense Exchange in VA House of Delegates; Republican Rips “Marxist Apologist Socialist” Bernie Sanders, Communism, etc.; Delegates Lee Carter, Ibraheem Samirah Fire Back

"I must object to the delegate from Virginia Beach referring to socialism as incompatible with membership in the Democratic Party, and yet here I stand!!!"

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There was an intense, pre-Super-Tuesday exchange in the Virginia House of Delegates yesterday. First, Del. Jason Miyares (R-HD82), whose parents fled Fidel Castro’s Cuba, ripped Bernie Sanders, who Miyares said is “not even a Democrat, who is in fact a Marxist apologist socialist.” Miyares added that several of his Republican colleagues are “cheering on Bernie Sanders, because they feel like Bernie Sanders would mean victories up and down the ballot this fall,” but argued, “l for one do not share the enthusiasm,” because he doesn’t think “it’s healthy for one of the two major political parties in this country to embrace socialism and embrace somebody who has apologized or excused virtually every Marxist regime in modern history.”

On and on Miyares went along these (wildly exaggerated, misleading, absurd, overheated, over-the-top) lines. After he finished, Del. Lee Carter (D-HD50), who describes himself as a democratic socialist, jumped up and exclaimed:

“I must object to the delegate from Virginia Beach referring to socialism as incompatible with membership in the Democratic Party, and yet here I stand!!!”

A few minutes later, Del. Ibraheem Samirah (D-HD86) stood up and responded to Del. Miyares, speaking in support of Bernie Sanders and adding:

“I also want to make sure that we reject any anti-Semitic tropes that may be brought up in this building. This is potentially the first Jewish president…and we are associating him directly with something that he does not claim to be, something that has been used against Jews time and time again, calling them communists…This is one of the why the Holocaust ended up happening and we continue to hear that time and time again in this Commonwealth, and that needs to end…”

Del. Lee Carter (D-HD50) followed Samirah:

“We hear very often on this floor, particularly from the other side of the aisle, a very narrow, limited understanding of history…that puts out of sight and out of mind the atrocities that have been committed by *this* country…the genocide of Native Americans…the 100s of millions of Africans that were brought across the Atlantic and did not make it…what  happened in Spain in the 1930s…the million socialists that were murdered in Indonesia in the 1960s…the socialists that were murdered by this government and people that this government supported in Central and South American throughout the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s…the atrocities committed by the Contras…the socialists that have been murdered by the United States government here in the United States…It fundamentally denies that people who believe what I believe, that people have a right to own and democratically operate their workplace, that’s all, people who believe that folks have a right to own and democratically operate their workplace and to not go hungry in the streets have been rounded up and murdered in this country…I’ve ignored these comments for far too long. I have not mentioned on this floor how members from the other side of the aisle repeatedly talk about cultural Marxism as if that is not a chapter in Mein Kampf. I have not spoken on this floor yet about how, when I released a plan to guarantee health care for all 8 1/2 million Virginians, a member of that party’s leadership sent out a mailer to 11,000 homes that compared me to Joseph Stalin…I will no longer stand here and allow them to revise history…”

Intense stuff. Personally, I’d prefer delegates to focus on getting work done for the people of Virginia rather than getting into heated debates about fascism, communism, etc.  As VAPLAN tweeted yesterday in the middle of this:

“There’s some… uh… stuff being said on the House floor right now. It doesn’t have anything to do with Virginia legislation. When they dissolve into a debate on the evils/joys of Democratic Socialism, well, it’s a good argument for doing away with points of personal privilege.”

That will never happen, of course, but after that debate yesterday, I’m more than ready to get back to debate over the fine points of transportation funding, renewable portfolio standards or whatever.