UPDATE 6/12: Here’s Sen. Petersen’s response.
Just when you think Sen. Chap Petersen (D?) can’t top his last crazy move, he…does exactly that. We’ll get to that in a minute, but quick background: this Tuesday, Petersen filed a lawsuit against Gov. Northam, claiming “a continuing violation of the United States and Virginia Constitutions.” That came after Petersen, for months, has been railing against stay-at-home orders, business closures, and other measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic (which he has repeatedly minimized).
Now, though, Petersen may have topped all that in terms of outrageous, frankly offensive, rhetoric. See below for audio of Petersen’s latest appearance, this morning, on Trumpster Radio (“The John Fredericks Show,” which Petersen has sponsored for years, by the way), in which he had the following to say:
- Apropos of nothing, Petersen exclaimed, “I hate Zoom, it’s a terrible, terrible thing.” Wuuut? LOL
- Petersen talked about filing for “mandamus” with the Virginia Supreme Court, because we supposedly have a “constitutional crisis” that requires “a ruling immediately”; and also filed suit in federal court, because supposedly his small business clients’ property rights have been violated without due process.
- Petersen asserted that Gov. Northam just needs to repeal his executive orders and call the legislature back in session so they can debate “certain rules and measures.” According to Petersen, at least then we’d have a “democratic process as opposed to 90 days of just imperial edicts.” Petersen said the governor has suspended ordinary rule of law, and he’s not allowed to do that. What next, he asked, “smoking is an emergency?”
- Petersen talked about how “sad” he is at the situation in Richmond, with “graffiti sprayed on the walls of the Supreme Court…the Pocahontas Building…”
- Petersen said what’s going on in Richmond – people spraying graffiti, pulling down statues without police intervening, etc. – is “very emotional,” “demoralizing,” “very scary,” “shocking,” “very frightening.” Petersen added: “at the end of the day, you’re gonna have a situation [where] people are gonna be like, ‘I’m done with it, I’m not gonna live in this town,’ and that’s kind of how it was in the 60s, that’s why a lot of people moved out of the cities, and that had a huge impact on American life for the next generation…in some ways, cities have kind of slowly come back from that, it took about 40 years, and I’m afraid that’s maybe what’s happening now.”
- Petersen said he thinks “a lot of what’s going on is not coming from people that live in Richmond…especially the…violence and destruction…”
- Petersen said that if Confederate monuments are all pulled down on Monument Avenue, they will be “empty spaces for years and years…who will ever reach consensus of what to put there?”
- Petersen said the governor “did not have power to close the schools,” that it’s been the “biggest collective failure…we have to provide in-person instruction…and it’s going to begin at the regular time...the actual statistics show there were no children who died of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth…the idea that we’re going to continue putting our children last without scientific basis…has got to come to an end.”
- Petersen topped it all off with these comments: “It’s the ultimate irony that here
we spent all this time talking about racial inequality in America…we spent weeks on it, and yet this whole time we’re talking about it our school systems are shut down…It just gets me angry, you’re gonna make me angry…I will tell you, as a parent, the whole school situation has been outrageous, it has been disgraceful, and it’s an embarrassment that we’ve allowed this to happen. You know, all the people that we talked about that…Jim Crow, segregation, Massive Resistance, all those people, look, there were some bad decisions made, but at least they had a school system, ok, at least they had a functioning school system. And we don’t even have a functioning system at this point. I mean, it’s amazing, we can’t even maintain a functioning school system. Let’s do *that*. And then, you know, we can move on…until you have a functioning school system, I don’t even see how you can talk intelligently about whatever equality, progress you want to make – how do you do it without a functioning system?…You don’t.”
P.S. “Functioning school system” in the Jim Crow era? Is Chap referring to “separate but unequal,” segregation, etc? WTF?