In this morning WaPo, the always-excellent Greg Sargent nails it yet again, this time on “the Zombie Trumpism that continues to afflict GOP governors,” as exemplified – in horrific, deadly fashion – by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ willy reckless, irresponsible, deadly approach to the COVID-19 pandemic in his state. Of course, as we know, Glenn Youngkin has stated very clearly that he’d emulate DeSantis on mask mandates. Hell, Youngkin’s even argued that “DeSantis has done a lot of really impressive things to lead” (WTF?), adding “Watch Ron DeSantis stand up and say what’s right and what’s wrong.” (again, WTF?). Also note that Youngkin’s close ally, VA GOP Chair Rich Anderson, has argued that DeSantis represents “the face of real leadership” (ditto on the WTF?).
So obviously, unless you want to turn Virginia into right-wingnut disasters Florida or – at least as bad – Texas, make sure you vote Democratic up and down the ballot this election (note: early voting starts 9/17). As Greg Sargent explains:
“This is why we should pay close attention to the Virginia gubernatorial contest. It is providing an opportunity for Democrats to prosecute the case against this sort of derelict governing — which, if successful, could offer a model for Democrats to get more aggressive in taking it on elsewhere.
The Democratic candidate, Terry McAuliffe, is placing public health questions involving masks and vaccines squarely before the electorate in a way that’s all too rare among Democrats. He is excoriating Republican opponent Glenn Youngkin for opposing vaccine and mask mandates, and casting this as a holdover of Donald Trump’s deranged approach to covid.”
“You’d think such Democratic voters might get engaged by this lingering Trumpist derangement. Youngkin has tried to style himself as a pro-business Republican, to mute that Trumpist taint a bit in a blue-trending state. But Youngkin has fallen prey to the same absurdities that other GOP governors have.
Youngkin, like GOP governors DeSantis and Greg Abbott of Texas, constantly justifies opposition to any and all mandates with empty pieties about liberty and individual responsibility. But these Republicans cannot seriously explain why they selectively oppose mandates in the particular case of covid.”
The bottom line is that Virginia is an early test for whether Democratic voters and activists, post-Trump-presidency (but absolutely NOT post-THREAT-of-Trumpism-in-America) will stay involved and engaged…and most importantly VOTE in large numbers. As Sargent explains, “If Democrats can successfully prosecute the case against Youngkin here, that may persuade them to lean harder into these arguments against Republicans elsewhere.” In short, this is a great opportunity for Virginia Democrats to lead the country yet again, just as we did in fighting back against Trump, starting in November 2017 (when we won the governorship and gained 15 seats in the House of Delegates) and continuing into November 2018 (when we picked up VA02, VA07 and VA10), November 2019 (when we took back the House of Delegates and State Senate) and November 2020 (when we helped Joe Biden carry Virginia by 10 points over Trump). Let’s do it!