UPDATED 9/22 noon – Rashid responds to Wittman’s “dangerous and personal attack ad,” see video at the bottom of this post…
Last night, Democratic nominee Qasim Rashid debated Rep. Rob Wittman (R-VA01) in their final debate of the election year. You can watch it, below, and it’s a pleasure listening to Qasim Rashid. Having said that, fair warning that listening for more than a few seconds to Rep. Wittman could cause serious rotting of brain cells, as well as possible injury from banging your head on the table, as you are subjected to an incessant barrage (a “Gish gallop“) of lies, hysteria, demagoguery, idiocy, etc. Just a few examples include:
- Wittman, a right-wing ideologue who’s done almost nothing positive – and a LOT that’s very negative – for his district and the country since he’s been in Congress, laughably claimed that he offers “real solutions that are both pragmatic and inspired” and even more laughably that he’s “focused on tackling the real challenges” people face.
- Wittman spewed out dishonesty about his record on the COVID-19 pandemic (Rashid called him out: “my opponent has refused to acknowledge the fact that he sent out false and misleading information [about COVID-19]”) and about supposed “false smears” by Rashid about Wittman’s purchase of “between $1,001 and $15,000 of stock in the pharmaceutical company AbbVie Inc., on Feb. 27, the day the company released a statement saying it had donated one of its antiviral drugs to China as an experimental option for treating the coronavirus and that it was exploring a research collaboration on potential treatment options.”
- Wittman claimed that Rashid had asserted “capitalism is not the answer”; Rashid responded, calling it a “wild accusation” and not “something I’ve ever endorsed.”
- Wittman really ramped up the dishonesty on his environmental record, going on and on about he cares about the environment, even as the League of Conservation Voters gives Wittman a disgraceful, pathetic 10% lifetime environmental score and just 3% for 2019. In short, Wittman’s not only NOT an environmentalist, he’s appalling bad on this issue.
- To demonstrate how horrible Wittman is on the environment, he refused in the debate to say whether humans are contributing to the climate crisis (correct answer: we are, enormously, and it’s not a matter of scientific debate whether that’s the case). Wittman also talked about promoting natural gas, which is a fossil fuel that emits both CO2 *and* methane, a highly potent greenhouse gas.
- Wittman ranted and raved about the Green New Deal, throwing out all the usual right-wing buzzwords and bulls***, like “far-left socialist agenda,” “it costs $93 trillion,” “it calls for the elimination of cows [and] air travel [and] combustible [sic] engine cars,” etc. There’s no sense even debunking this “Gish gallop,” but for more on the absurd “$93 trillion” right-wing talking point, see here if you’re interested. Also, see here for a debunking of the “Three Pinocchio” air travel canard; and here for some discussion of the “farting cows” idiocy.
- Wittman of course fear mongered on “defunding the police,” which Qasim Rashid hasn’t advocated. As Rashid said, in response: “I have not said to reallocate the salaries of our law enforcement department; what I have said is that we need to ensure we provide additional resources to those who are suffering from mental illness, those who are suffering from addiction, those who are suffering from homelessness – get them the support that they need. That doesn’t require defunding the police as my opponent has voted to do; that requires making sure our tax dollars are better allocated to truly serve the needs of our communities.”
Anyway, this is just a flavor from last night’s debate, in which Qasim Rashid was the *overwhelmingly* better-informed, detailed, specific, fact-and-reality-based candidate, while Rob Wittman flailed, demagogued, fear-mongered, and had little if anything of added value to contribute. Just like his entire Congressional career, in other words, which VA01 voters should put to a merciful end this November 3.