CBS6 Richmond reports, “Several windows were smashed at the headquarters of the Republican Party of Virginia in downtown Richmond Thursday night… the second time the windows have been smashed this summer.”
As you can see below, Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney (D) quickly condemned this, writing that while he “may not agree with this party’s stances, violence and vandalism have no place in this city,” and that “destruction is not how we win arguments.” My guess is that >99% of Virginia Democrats agree with that statement, and rightly so. Also, note that the news story doesn’t mention any motive or suspects in this case, so we really have no idea *why* it happened. In other words, there’s very limited information, but we all know it’s wrong to smash a political party’s office windows, or to resort to violence of any kind.
All of which makes it even more striking that the Virginia GOP *immediately* went into DEFCON 1 mode, as you can see in the screenshots below. Among other things – and without any apparent evidence – the Virginia GOP claimed that:
- This crime is related to a supposed “violent wave of crime that has infected Richmond for months.” Wait, is this one incident – whoever did and for whatever reason – actually “related to” any of that? Who knows. But more to the point, actual Richmond crime statistics for 2020 tell us that there have been 699 violent crimes in Richmond so far this year (through 9/6), which is actually DOWN 13% from the same period in 2019. That’s right, violent crime in Richmond is DOWN from 2019! As for property crimes, the stats indicate that they’re also DOWN from 2019, in this case down 10%. So…wait, *what* “violent wave of crime?!?” Looks like the Virginia GOP conjured that one out of whole cloth. Oh, and by the way, why use a loaded word like “infected?” Anyway, bottom line, crime in Richmond is actually DOWN significantly from 2019, so the VA GOP’s point about a “violent wave of crime” is just flat-out false.
- “THUGS attacked the Republican Party of Virginia’s headquarters in Richmond.” Again, we have no idea who did this and why. Might have been a drunk person. Might have been a burglar. Might have been something else. But to immediately assume it was done by “THUGS” (in bold, all caps) is obviously just an attempt to elicit anger, fear…and donations to the Virginia GOP, since this was included in a fundraising pitch from the Virginia GOP’s new Chair, Rich Anderson.
- “This is a preview of Joe Biden’s America. You will not be safe. Your family will be in constant danger. It’s up to you to fight back” OK, this is just completely nuts. Again, their office’s window was broken by someone, for some reason, and that’s most definitely *wrong*. But this has absolutely nothing to do with “Joe Biden’s America” – last I checked, Donald Trump is president, sad to say – nor does it in any way/shape/form mean “you will not be safe,” let alone that “your family will be in constant danger.” That’s just wild, hysterical demagoguery and fear mongering by Virginia Republicans, which is pretty much what Trump does – “scare tactics” and instilling/inciting fear and anger. Our job is not to fall for this crap.
- “While the damage to RPV Headquarters was limited to the glass frontage of the building, it was a clear attempt to induce a sense of terror in Virginia Republicans.” Again, there’s no evidence of that. See previous point.
- “Virginia Republicans will now restore our headquarters—just as we now resume the fight to restore good government in Virginia, defeat extremist General Assembly Democrats in 2021, and repeal every destructive bills they passed in 2020.” This is completely over-the-top lunacy. First off, we *have* good government in Virginia right now, by Democrats, in *stark* contrast to Trump’s kleptocracy and corruption. Second, Democrats in the General Assembly are very much in the mainstream; look at the polling on any issue you care about, and see which party’s in sync with the majority or plurality of Virginians/Americans. Third, what “destructive bills” do Republicans want to repeal? Promoting LGBTQ equality? Protecting women’s right to choose? Accelerating Virginia’s transition to clean energy? Putting into place common sense gun violence prevention measures? Increasing the minimum wage? Banning deadly chokeholds by police? Putting resources into public education? Expanding transit and broadband? Expanding affordable housing? Making it *easier* for people to vote? Other? Or, more likely, all of the above? Bottom line: let’s never let these folks back in power here in Virginia, unless you are a fan of their torrent of lies, hysteria, anger, fear, etc.