There’s certainly a LOT to “unpack” in this email from far-right, insurrectionist VA State Senator Amanda Chase (R). First, though, a bit of background, specifically that Chase already has two Republican opponents (former State Senator Glen Sturtevant, former VA07 GOP primary candidate Tina Ramirez) lined up to face her next year, when she runs for reelection in solidly “red” (57% Youngkin) SD12, which is located 91% in Chesterfield County.
So now that the 2022 Virginia General Assembly session has adjourned, Chase is (wisely) turning her attention to defending her seat, including sending out “red-meat-for-the-far-right-base” fundraising letters like the following. Of course, given Chase’s target audience, and given what she’s all about, we shouldn’t be surprised that her email is chock-full of falsehoods, bizarre statements, conspiracy theories, anti-“establishment” rhetoric, grievance, the “Big Lie,” typos…the “full monty” of Trumpism, so to speak. For instance:
- Chase rails through the email against the Republican “Establishment” (she capitalizes the word for some reason), which she also refers to nebulously (and ominously) as “they.”
- She frames this race as the choice between herself – a “Firebrand” (she capitalizes the word for whatever reason) who “can think for myself,” who “chose to put the interests of the people above party politics,” who is willing to “speak the truth to power” (“instead of what is expedient or politically correct”) – and “a placeholder” (whatever that means); “a failed Congressional candidate who has been running for Congress for years, only to finish in last place”; and “a one term former Senator who compromised on both the 2nd Amendment and ushered in the so-called Equal Rights Amendment which had nothing to do with Equal Rights and everything to do with enshrining abortion into our Constitution and creating gender fluidity.”
- She spews out falsehoods and conspiracy theories, such as that “the 2020 Presidential Election was stolen” (wild lie); that we need “access to ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine” (we absolutely don’t); that supposedly it was “discovered that masks are actually hazardous to your health and make you more likely to contract Covid” (nope!)
- Apparently, one of her top selling points for her far-right, Trumpist base is that she “was the ONLY legislator to introduce legislation to call for a FULL forensic audit [into the 2020 presidential election].” Which is, of course, bats*** crazy. Another top selling point is that she was “the ONLY legislator to be illegitimately censured for attending the January 6 rally to exercise my First Amendment right to participate in a ‘Stop the Steal’ Rally with President Trump.” Yikes. And as if all that wasn’t appealing enough to her far-right/Trumpist “base,” she also brags that she “was the ONLY legislator to be canceled on Facebook” (yeah, except that she’s been posting regularly on Facebook for months now).
- Also, check out the fun typos, including – naturally! – using “your” instead of “you’re”; saying she was “striped [sic] of seniority”; randomly capitalizing stuff (just like Trump!); etc.
So anyway, this is where today’s Republican Party’s collective head seems to be at, certainly in intra-party primaries – on the “John Birch Society”-style, far-right fringes, aka, crazytown. The question for Chase’s opponents will be whether they try to out-extremist and out-crazy Chase, or whether they try to appeal more to a more traditional, conservative ideology…the kind that used to exist before the “Tea Party” and the rise of Trumpism. What’s scary is that, in safe “red” districts like this one, whoever wins the Republican primary is almost certain to be elected in November, which is how we end up with elected officials like Amanda Chase, Bob Good, Lauren Boebert, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Madison Cawthorn, etc. Scary and dangerous times for American democracy…