Wednesday, June 13, 2018

I'm Done With the RPV

June 13, 2018
I'm Done With the RPV
I used to be a card-carrying member of the RPV.  I used to have pride in the fact that I’m a conservative from Virginia.  With its rich history and beautiful landscape, I love Virginia.  I’m a huge fan of Gen. Robert E. Lee who fought for Virginia, not because he owned slaves or believed in slavery as a practice, but because he believed Virginia was a sovereign institution worth fighting for.  I admire that type of dedication to principle and I admire men who exhibit well-thought out, purposeful principle. 
Then we turned around and chose Corey Stewart as our candidate for Senate in 2018.  Yes, friends, Virginia has indeed jumped the shark.
The few of you who read this blog regularly already know that I can’t stand Stewart.  I knew nothing about him until January of 2017, when I saw him speak at a local GOP meeting during his Gubernatorial campaign.  It caused me to write this article:
And nothing has changed.  Check that.  He’s gotten even worse.  And as I made the point on the RPV FB page last night after they congratulated him, if you don’t know what I’m talking about, you need to look in the mirror because you’re likely part of the problem.  I’ll spend some of this article addressing the common criticisms I get for my stalwart opposition to Corey because they’re absolutely absurd.

First, I hear “you’re just a liberal troll!”  Nope, far from it.  But you know what I am?  I’m a reasonable person living in the modern era who lives in a world where it’s not OK to cozy up to white nationalists.  I’m just kooky enough to believe that the holocaust was one of the most abhorrent atrocities committed upon mankind, so I’m not down with a candidate who reveres an accomplished anti-Semite.  I know, these notions are completely off the wall and “fake news” (the other argument I hear), right?  Again, if you believe that, please take a good long look in the mirror because your blind faith in a demagogue will lead you over a cliff.
Corey Stewart is not the future of the GOP, nor of Virginia.  Hell, he isn’t even the PAST of Virginia!  He’s a Minnesotan!  Which brings me to one of the biggest reasons I can’t stand the blowhard Stewart -- He has no integrity. First, he has the nerve to call Nick Freitas a “carpet-bagger” from California.  Um, where are you from again, Corey?  Where was your law license suspended (and still suspended)?  Second, he and his more ardent disciples have constructed an ostensibly illegal shell corporation to funnel donations to his campaign.  Ever heard of the Virginia Freedom Caucus, Inc?  Well, I wrote about that one too here.  The company (yes, it’s not a caucus at all) solicits donations and blatantly advertises and supports Corey Stewart primarily, along with other candidates of the same ilk on its website, or at least they did before some of us called bullshit.  I’m no tax code or election law guru, but that sounds illegal to me.  No integrity.  None.  Any of them.
I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention the lovely supporters of Mr. Stewart, many of whom are paid staffers.  Their overwhelmingly charming disposition [sic], especially behind the anonymity of a keyboard is like nothing I’ve ever experienced. I have never run across a nastier, more vitriolic brand of supporters (read: sycophants) in my entire life.  If you follow Virginia politics on social media at all, you know exactly what I’m talking about.  They spew hate, discontent and are mean-spirited. In short, they are not nice people and I suspect they are not GOOD people. This leads me and my 40+ years of life experience dealing with people to conclude that Corey picked them for a reason.  Birds of a feather indeed flock together.  And I want nothing to do with him or them.  To be sure, this is not all-encompassing of Corey supporters, but I’d say it’s true for about 98% of those I’ve run across.  Sad.
And make no mistake about it, I’ll get attacked on all sides by them for even publishing this blog.  I really don’t care.  I look at them the same way I do at Corey and at any blowhard, loudmouth with an overblown ego who has never really had to fight for anything real.  MSG (USA Ret.) Paul Howe said it best in his book, Leadership And Training for the Fight: “The other side of this coin are the shit talkers I have run into and I have come to the conclusion that braggers and loudmouths are the first to crumble in a high-stress situation.  I venture to say their outward projection is a smoke screen for lack of confidence… I equate loud talk with foreshadowing of failure… All an overinflated ego will do is confirm you are an asshole and make you look like a pussy under stress…”
This quote reverberates in my head whenever I hear Corey speak about anything or whenever one of his sycophant disciples starts in with their “cuck” and “liberal troll” bullshit.  I’m just over all of them. 
On a final note about leadership, it bears noting the complete absence of leadership on the part of the RPV.  I don’t know if it was John Whitbeck’s decision or a group decision, but they had the power to end Corey Stewart.  They had the ability to put this circus to bed, but they chose not to.  Now they double-down on support of him because he’s he nominee and we apparently need to win at all costs.  No, friends, we don’t.  We can stand on principle.  We can choose to say enough is enough and not support someone who curries favor with some of the most dark and abhorrent elements of hatred within our society.  But the RPV chose not to do that because “we must defeat Tim Kaine!”
Look, I can’t stand Kaine, either.  But consider that Kaine is much more reasonable and more likable and more charismatic than Stewart, plus he doesn’t cozy up to white nationalists and anti-Semites, which helps a wee bit.  I don’t want Tim Kaine to win, but I won’t vote for Corey Stewart on principle.  And guess what?  I’m not the only one. 
“But not voting is a vote for Kaine!”  Kaine doesn’t need my help.  Corey isn’t getting my help.  Kaine has Corey and that’s all he needs to win.  Kaine can sit on his porch in North Richmond, sipping a mint julep, pretending to be a good Catholic for the next 5 months and he will trounce Corey.  Do you know why?  Because Corey can’t keep his mouth shut.  He is physically incapable of shutting the fuck up.  And because he can’t shut up, he’ll hurt the other decent candidates on the ballot.  Dave Brat, Scott Taylor, Barbara Comstock and Ryan McAdams (most of whom are incumbents) all stand to suffer from Corey’s mouth.  Even Denver Riggleman and Ben Cline could suffer in solidly red districts.  Did you do the math, Chairman Whitbeck?  Did you consider that many of these incumbent seats and others in Virginia stand to feel the effects of Corey’s inability to keep his trap shut, or did you just tow the line?  That’s not leadership.  That’s cowardly. I predict we will not gain one seat in Congress and unfortunately may lose some.  That’s the reality. 
So I will not vote for Senator this year.  I will watch the side show and vote for my Congressional House Representative and do my part to keep them in office, but Corey and the Virginia GOP can stuff it.  You all had the chance to stand for principle and you blew it.  I travel all over the country for work.  After Charlottesville, I had to field questions from colleagues about the “race riots” in Virginia and had to throw up my hands and shrug my shoulders.  I had no explanation.  Now, it will start all over again.  Thanks, Virginia and the RPV.  You’ve taken another step to making Virginia the laughing stock of politics in the USA.