A couple weeks ago, I posted on conservative Virginia political blog Bearing Drift‘s panel discussion, in which they opined that they didn’t think Trump would win reelection; bemoaned that the Virginia GOP is being “held hostage” by far-right State Sen. Amanda Chase (who one of the panelists referred to as “George Wallace in a skirt”); argued the Virginia GOP is now all about “grievances” and “emotional catharsis,” and that kind of a party “enjoys losing elections more than winning them”; etc.
Now, the Bearing Drift folk are out with a new edition (see video and highlights, below), and there’s some interesting material in there; if nothing else, it tells us how Virginia “never Trumpers” are thinking these days. Also, nice job by former Del. Chris Saxman (R) moderating these panels; I probably don’t agree with him on almost anything politically speaking, but the panels are lively and interesting, which is pretty much what you want from these things, after all…
- What are the chances that Donald Trump can still win the 2020 election? On a scale of 1 to 10, ratings ranged from -1 to +3. Basically, “there’s plenty of time for Donald Trump to turn it around, but there’s no reason… to believe that he can even if he wants to.” Also, as Chris Saxman puts it: “I don’t think they have a message, I don’t think they have a path forward…the calendar is shrinking…it’s really two and a half before…early voting…I don’t see what right now well does it look like it’s winnable.” There was also some speculation that Trump could drop out, that Trump doesn’t seem to “want it.”
- Who do they think Biden’s strongest VP pick would be? There seemed like a lot of sentiment for for Sen. Kamala Harris being Biden’s strongest VP pick, and also for Rep. Val Demings. There was one mention of Stacey Abrams and another for Susan Rice. Nobody seemed to think that Sen. Elizabeth Warren would be the strongest pick for Biden.
- Can any Democrat beat former Gov. Terry McAuliffe for the 2021 VA gubernatorial nomination? One panelist argued that it’s possible McAuliffe could still end up in the Biden administration. Another panelist argued that either Sen. Jennifer McClellan or Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy could beat McAuliffe, but only if the anti-McAuliffe vote consolidates around either McClellan or Carroll Foy. Another (Brian Schoeneman) argued that Sen. McClellan would be the “most formidable” Democratic nominee because “she has the experience, she’s well known…and her identity fits the time.” Chris Saxman argued that McAuliffe “is in the best position in a five-way race, I don’t think it’s even close.”
- What about the 2021 GOP gubernatorial race? Chris Saxman mocked Amanda Chase, saying sarcastically that her “numbers were so good for fundraising, she’s gonna share them in two weeks, that’s always a good sign.” Haha. Saxman also ripped Chase, saying that she “called the people who are tearing down their statues and monuments, she compared them to the Taliban and al Qaeda…I don’t think people who lost friends and family on 9/11 are gonna take up that that comparison too easily.” Saxman also said that Chase “underperformed her district in the last election” big time. If Chase does win the GOP nomination, and there seems to be a lot of sentiment that she’s the GOP frontrunner, the consensus among the panel was that she’d get wiped out in the general election – predictions ranged from 27% in the general election to 37%, with *nobody* thinking she’d break 40% in a general election (“there are not enough Confederate reenactors to get her to 40% – lol). Other GOP possibilities mentioned – Pete Snyder, former LG Bill Bolling, former State Sen. Bill Carrico, State Sen. Emmett Hanger, Rep. Rob Wittman, Rep. Denver Riggleman.
- What do they think of the Confederate statues? None of them seem to be fans of keeping them up, certainly not defending them or embracing them. As Kristine Nohe explained very well: “The argument that keeps getting made is that we’re erasing history, and the truth is that those monuments were the things that erased history – they erased what was actually going on in the Confederacy, they were put up during the time of Jim Crow…right around that time period where the Virginia General Assembly was passing anti-miscegenation laws…that’s the time period that they belong to. They may be statues of Confederate generals, but they’re monuments to Jim Crow…[the neo-Confederates] who put these up…did it to build their own mythology so when they’re being defended, that’s the era were defending, not the Confederacy…I just don’t understand how the party of Lincoln can be the party defending the Confederate monuments.”
- Final comments – Kristine Nohe nails it again: “I would say that if the Republicans want to have a future politically in Virginia, they should actually go out and vote for Joe Biden, because Trump is a cudgel that beats every candidate who tried to run.”