Chap Petersen and Ben Tribbett, the proverbial Batman and Robin of Fairfax Democrats, have gone all in on the Redskins Pride Caucus, and Democrats don't seem thrilled about it. I must admit, I take particular glee in seeing Northern Virginia libs tie themselves into knots over this, it is a delicisou taste of irony. The Democrats up to now are Petersen, Louise Lucas, Lionel Spruill, and Michael Futrell. Here are some brief snippets:
So, who's going to jump on the bandwagon and form a few more "pride" caucuses here in Virginia? I mean, it's not like there's other work to do or anything, plus these poor, beleaguered (actually wealthy and powerful) corporations need SOMEBODY to stick up for them, right? (end extreme snark)
P.S. How about the Persecuted White Straight Christian Males Pride Caucus next?
From Chap's Facebook page (I'm not publishing the names):
I can't decide which is worse: did you know or did you not know that Ben was working with Snyder for this job while you all were putting together this coalition?
I'm stunned. Especially because you and Chap are both smart enough to know that the name WILL be changed, in the end. It can be done with grace and humor. Or it can be done -- like this: Offending people whose only transgression is that we put feelings before "tradition."
But the pain that I feel over this slur against my ancestors being used for a sports "tradition" is real. And you have no right to challenge it. Or to challenge whether I have the "right" to have these feelings.
I certainly don't challenge whether or not the members of this Caucus have the right to feel bad that they may have to lose a tradition that they love. I just think that using a slur against a group of people has more importance then losing a sports tradition.
Chap - I'm a supporter of yours and disappointed to see you taking such a prominent role for such a stupid cause. It's hard to find unanimity among any group of people, but from what I can tell a significant number of Native Americans finds the Redskin name offensive. They reject the name because they did not choose it for themselves and because it was historically applied to them by people who saw them as less than fully human and fully equal citizens; people who demonstrated that view time and again from the "sale" of Manhattan to the Trail of Tears to the massacre at Wounded Knee. A team name will never "unify" people -- to unify people takes the hard work of careful listening, empathy and mutual respect. I would ask you to do that work, weigh the equities, and see who has more at stake in the naming of the team. I don't think it is people with a sentimental attachment to an superannuated team mascot. This is a huge waste of time and should be beneath you. Please get back to work on issues that actually affect your constituents' lives.
And on and on it goes ... I actually think the reaction is pretty muted because so many liberal Democrats are on board, Dems aren't eager to call their own racist. For me, I think the name needs to change. I apply a simple criteria .. would you call a Native America on the street a "redskin." If you say yes, well ... Dan Snyder, Chap Petersen, and Ben Tribbett are your guys I guess.
Yay diveristy! Yay Democrats! Yay Washington Warriors!
He huffed, he puffed, he threatened, he vetoed, he screamed and he tried every trick he learned as a party hack, TV mouthpeice, and pretend-politician. Terry, your governor now, you should really act like it.
I wonder how much damage this might cause him? The only reason I'm blogging about it because I am frankly shocked that any Democrat with a scintilla of ambition would so publicly latch themselves to a cause that, frankly, is lost. I think the Redskins should change their name because it is going to happen and the longer we fight it the worst it will get for us as fans and the players. The distraction will only grow and grow ... just get rid of it and be done with it. Concentrate on fielding a great team and the fans will be there.
But seriously, Chap? Also .. .Louise Lucas, Michael Futrell, and Lionel Spurrill are apart of this, all African-American members, not sure what that means but I feel like it kind of means something. Right?
I normally do not cut and past from politicians but this response from Mark Obenshain was outstanding and this is the exact kind of leadership we need moving forward. No more of old failures sharing burgers together, we need leadership like this. Any Republican who talks like this will get my vote, and if Obnshain continues to lead he'll be our nominee for governor in 2017:
HARRISONBURG—Today, Senator Mark Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg) denounced Governor McAuliffe’s announced intention to govern independently of the General Assembly, in contravention of the fundamental principle of the separation of power.
“The Governor is free to negotiate with the General Assembly, to disagree with the General Assembly, even to lambaste the General Assembly,” said Obenshain. “What he is not free to do is ignore the General Assembly. Under our constitution, neither the Governor nor the General Assembly has the authority to act unilaterally—yet today, that’s exactly what Governor McAuliffe said he plans to do.”
In a press conference announcing his intended actions on the budget, the Governor announced his plans to use his veto pen to abolish the bipartisan Medicaid Innovation and Reform Commission (MIRC) and short-circuit the methodological reforms it is overseeing. He also announced that he will move forward with Medicaid Expansion in Virginia absent any legislative authorization whatsoever.
“The legislature created MIRC, on a bipartisan basis, to facilitate the reform and modernization of Medicaid, and to assess whether the legislature’s conditions for Medicaid Expansion had been met. But instead of letting MIRC do its job, Governor McAuliffe has decided to abolish it—leaving vital reforms incomplete,” Obenshain added.
In his wide-ranging budget press conference, McAuliffe also announced his plan to veto appropriations for the Virginia Conflict of Interest and Ethics Advisory Council, despite having already signed the legislation creating the council. “Already under scrutiny over allegations of selling access through his PAC, the Governor has decided to stop ethics reform in its tracks through a back door budget action—even after signing the bills creating the new commission,” observed Obenshain.
Added Obenshain, “Despite near-unanimous agreement on the need for more judges, McAuliffe even announced a veto of $19 million in funding for new judges merely because he wants the authority to select them himself—despite that being the General Assembly’s prerogative. Our Governor would rather see no new judges than let the General Assembly exercise its constitutional authority to elect them.”
“Today’s press conference was an outrageous show of executive arrogance,” said Obenshain. “Maybe that sort of thing works in Washington, but here in Virginia, we take separation of power seriously. The Virginia General Assembly is not an advisory commission. I know that we’re now on a tight schedule due to the fact that Senate Democrats refused to permit any action on the budget for well over two months, but perhaps the Governor should find some time to read the state constitution. He might learn something.”
Obenshain concluded, “At his press conference, McAuliffe said, ‘I’ve always said that if the federal government changes in any manner, we change, plain and simple.’ And that’s exactly what he’s done—bringing the worst of Washington-style politics to Virginia.”
My Facebook timeline has blow'd up with pictures of Ed Gillespie on stage with Bill Bolling and Mitt Romney, while Bob McDonnell was lurking in the crowd. Not a good look, Ed. I'm not even talking about this from the establishment point of view. But to be on stage with a two-time presidential loser, a former lieutenant governor who pretty clearly did all he could to submarine our statewide ticket last year, and our ex-governor who is now under indictment and fighting for his freedom. I'm not sure that is the karma you want heading into an election where you are hoping to topple Mark F'ing Warner. More seriously, it is Ed surrounding himself with Republican losers, traitors, and potential felons. While everyone there looked like they were enjoying themselves, it was just a complete showcase of the failures of RPV. Romney, Bolling, and McDonnell are frankly the politics of the past and a past that has not been kind to Republicans. I said before that I thought the best move for Ed Gillespie was to immediately campaign with Dave Brat and show he understood where the party was going. Instead he apparently wants to spend time with the pity party caucus who all look back and what-could-have-been but instead dragged the GOP down with them in some form or fashion.
Come on, Ed. Your better than this.
(Also, and this is unconfirmed, but I heard Dave Brat was attending this event that was in Glen Allen. If so ... come on, Dave. Your better than that.)
Perhaps I'm over-stepping my bounds talking about a district I don't live in, so excuse me if I'm off base here. But some things have happened that have made me think Rep. Hurt is glad he's been renominated already and that he better hope things calm down in two years. Let's go over it shall we?
Young Guns-led Campbell County slating
Incredibly nasty race for 5th district chairman, where slating was upheld and the YG candidate won
The 5th district is the only district Shak Hill carried at the 2014 convention in Roanoke
Dave Brat defeated Eric Cantor, a far bigger fish than Hurt and effectively killing whatever juice Young Guns had.
Bill Stanley just authored the amendment to ensure that the Gov cannot enact Obamacare by fiat.
1. Stay away from national media. Your the darling of the hour, but these people are no friends to you or your ideology. Stick to strictly local news outlets and national conservative outlets. There is no reason to let Chris Hayes or Anderson Cooper try and turn you inside out just to embarrass you. Your the exact opposite of Cantor so stay that way ... keep it simple.
2. Your first call should be to Ed Gillespie. Nothing, and I mean nothing,will unite this party like the sight of Brat and Gillespie climbing down out of a campaign bus. He needs you and you need him. You are now the two biggest names running for federal office this year in Virginia. Of course you want to try and win over Cantor but Cantor isn't at the top of your ticket, Gillespie is. The party really needs something like that.
3. Keep your campaign the same. You'll get more money and more attention, which means more infrastructure. But please resist the temptation that will no doubt be whispered in your ear to add conslutants and staff. This is a Republican district, as long as you don't make any gigantic mistakes you'll win. Stay with who brought you.
Northern Virginia Democrats once again tonight showed their commitment to diversity. For the record, here is their lineup:
VA-8: Don Beyer, age 63
VA-10: John Foust, age 63
VA-11: Gerry Connolly, age 64
Meanwhile ... the GOP nominated two accomplished professional women (Barbara Comstock and Suzanne Scholte) and an African-American US Marine in Micah Edmond. In Beyer's race there were three young white progressives (Hope, Levine and Shuttlesworth), a gay state senator (Ebbin), a black female former head of the Urban League (Catham), and ablack mayor (Euille). Maybe the Republicans can run Stan Parris next time.
Dave Brat has defeated Eric Cantor for the 7th congressional district seat. I cannot believe it. On Facebook I guessed 60-40 because, I mean, there was no way Brat was supposed to win. I saw absolutely zero evidence from anyone I trust that this was going to happen. Let me just say that I am THRILLED. Nobody is entitled to anything and nobody should just be able to buy a congressional seat. Cantor was long past his usefulness, a politician desperately trying to balance Congress and his district without showing us what he actually believed in. He was ham-handed, did not have a strong connection to his district, and insulated everyone's intelligence with that "liberal professor" garbage.
I've said this on Facebook today and I'm sitting here listening to Fox News and they are going on and on about the Tea Party and amnesty and all of that, which is valid. But Eric Cantor would still be a congressman tonight if he had not unleashed his Young Guns goons on local county and congressional districts all across the Commonwealth. What did Eric Cantor need from Campbell County or Virginia Beach? He made enemies across the state, and this isn't a state where its not that difficult to get in your car and drive to Richmond. Brat was only listened to only because Cantor had just pissed off so many people needlessly. He started fights to consolidate power in his orbit and the folks out there weren't happy. For god sakes, wasn't a sitting delegate slated?
Slating is bullshit. Slating was celebrated by A LOT of people in this party, who sneered and laughed off the Tea Party for losing control of their precious conventions ... well, how do you like primaries now?
Eric Cantor just got slated.
(P.S. Ray Allen should never work in Virginai again)
I had written an entire long piece about how nominating Ed Gillespie was the right thing to do and how the Tea Party needs to develop greater sophistication in grooming and running candidates that can translate our values to everyone instead of banking on our small numbers to win convention. Then I drove home from the in-laws in Stafford back home to Herndon.
In the famous words of Blazing Saddles ... Nevermind that shit, here comes (a Republican State Senate).
Sen. Phil Puckett just resigned and Democrats are apoplectic. Frankly, I don't blame them, we lose our shit when Watkins or Hanger throw us under the bus. I'd be be pissed too. So that means now Republicans control the State Senate 20-19. It's also pretty clear from what is on Blue Virginia that Puckett resigned to keep a judgeship for his daughter and grab a fat state salary for himself. For those who might not know, this shit happens all the time. I believe when you are a state employee you can get pension and said pension is based on your salary the last three years of your employment. Since state delegates and senators are state employees but also back dogsh*t in salary, these guys often take state jobs and resign when they are hitting that 20 year number. Its how Jim Gilmore finally flipped the House of Delegates at the turn of the century, if I am not mistaken. I'm not ready to call it corruption because its legal, but its certainly a shady practice. Looks like his daughter gets to keep her judgeship and he gets a place on the state tobacco commission. It does make me laugh hearing Terry McAuliffe complain about dirty politics, though. So man, your usually the master at this game, don't be mad you got beat.
Let me say this though ... be careful what you wish for fellow Republicans. Legal or not, this is a dirty deal. Karma can be a bitch sometimes.
The name I'm hearing is Del. Ben Chafin ... I know absolutely nothing about Ben Chafin so we'll see. This is "great" new for nows, but it smells really dirty and I'm not sure this will be over for awhile.
I ask this because I am in some debate on Facebook today that is truly making me shake my head. Somehow the conservative movement in Virginia has reached a point where Shak Hill is now the candidate "we" are going to die for in this ongoing fight with the "establishment." A person who has never held office in Virginia, never had any name or impact in Republican politics past being a volunteer and a minor local political official. He has no money, no statewide campaign, no infrastructure, and no message past "outsider" and "constitution." Do we even want to win elections anymore?
I've been a lukewarm supporter of conventions in the past but its time to let this form on nomination die. When we have gotten to a point where the party very well might nominate a candidate who has absolutely no qualifications to be a US senator and even less a chance of winning, its time to pack it in. Hill could put the party back ten years. People point to EW Jackson as the reason why we should get rid of conventions but that wasn't really fair. I honestly don't think any of the seven dwarfs running last year could have done any better. Conventions have become this bizarro world where you are punished for raising money, have a large statewide campaign, and a broad coalition of supporters who maybe can't all drive five hours that will eat an entire weekend while school is still open.
But back to what I'm talking about. We want to a conservative party, a party of principles ... but we also need to win. RPV seems to have somehow gotten to a place that we are absolutely willing to lose elections so we can feel good about ourselves and say we are protecting the Constitution. Well, you'll be defending the Constitution with Harry Reid as majority leader. Congratulations. Please don't confuse me with being an advocate for Ed Gillespie, but I know a disaster when I see one coming. If Shak wins the nomination (and he can), he will be painted as a right wing extremist for five straight months without anyway to fight back.
There is also a certain obtuseness in the right-wing that is pushing for Shak. My advice would be to make Gillespie owe you, make him know that you are part of the reason he get elected. By predictably backing a sure-fire loser, all the tea party and conservatves do is further alienate themselves. Think of if Gillespie did win the Senate seat, and you were busy dogging him for five months? Will he give a damn about the tea party? Will he care what any of you think? Ed is a canny enough politician where he understands The Game and how its played. I don't think he will forget his friends who supported him and you will have more power over him by supporting him now should he get elected than constantly bitching about him while doing nothing to help him. The tea party is in dire need of getting smarter at actual politics.
Lets be real here, we are nominating a candidate who will probaby lose. What we are talking about here is one candidate who could get us to about 45-47% of the vote compare to someone who might not get 35%. Mark Warner will beat Ed Gillespie, but Mark Warner will destroy Shak Hill. We cannot have two monumental embarassments that can be used against every candidate that runs in this state two years in a row. If we don't put up a fight it will catastrophic for the future. Nominating Shak Hill via convention will turn RPV into a national laughingstock. Nobody will invest in this party. I agree with Jeanine, if Shak wins conservatives will lose any power within the party moving forward. How can anyone take us seriously if conservatives in conventions deliver EW Jackson and Shak Hill in a 12 month span?
Please, delegates who might read this ... stop the bleeding and nominate Ed Gillespie.
I have the utmost respect for Shak Hill as a person. From what I know he's an honorable man who has taken in scores of foster children. People who know me know that I have no problem spoiling for a fight against the establishment of our party. If I were in the 7th right now I'd be out right now for Dave Brat. But unfortunately, Hill has shown that what he can do best is simply reiterate and recite the tea party cant of outsider, anti-DC. It appeals to me, though I due chuckle when I hear people tell me how much they hate DC while trying to get elected to serve there. He has run a respectable campaign that hasn't gone overboard. But a sure sign of a losing campaign is advertising the endorsement of Alan Keyes. When someone told me that Ron Meyer raised more money in a two week sprint for a local state senate nomination than Hill, I found it incredibly embarrassing.
As for Ed Gillespie, he it what he is. Do I think he'll slide right into the Senate should he be elected as "one of the boys?" Sure. But Mark Warner has voted 97% with an administration that has shown repeatedly that they really do not know what they are doing. Will Gillespie be ready to join the Pauls and Lees of the world to fight for true limited government based on a strict interpretation of the Constitution? No, probably not. But the conservative triad of tea party, libertarians, and social conservatives need to learn that sometimes the best politics isn't the scorched earth kind. Is there plenty to scorch Gillespie on? Sure ... but seriously, are you willing to burn a guy who could raise a couple million dollars and give Warner his roughest electoral fight since the 90s just so we can feel better about ourselves? Come on. I also think Gillespie understands where the world is going and I would not expect him to be hostile to conservatives and libertarians, especially if we rally and give him our steadfast support. If a conservative alternative had presented itself that could do better than Alan Keyes, maybe we could talk. Ben Cline or Morgan Griffin or Rob Wittman or Ryan McDougle or Mark Obenshain ... that would be worth the fight.
Incidentally, it looks like I will not be going to Roanoke this weekend. I'm no longer a good conservative anymore, I guess. I'm one of those pesky people that has a home life that demands my attention. I can't just run off to Roanoke for a day. For those going, please vote for Ed Gillespie so if anything we won't embarrass ourselves in November.