The march and rally to “Unite the Right” occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017. One individual – Heather Heyer – was killed when a march participant drove his car into a crowd. In the evening of the march, tiki-torch-bearing paraders (perhaps poseurs is preferable), in a variety of adornments of their favorite messages, chanted “Jews will not replace us.” These were among the “very fine people” praised by Donald Trump.
A Newport News man was arrested on January 13 who appeared in pictures at the Capitol riot wearing a sweatshirt prominently emblazoned with “Camp Auschwitz.” His arrest was matched by two other Virginians (one from Cobbs Creek, one from Grimstead) on federal charges.
Two Rocky Mount, Virginia, police officers who initially claimed they “did nothing illegal” also face federal charges. “Nothing illegal” does not encompass the fact of their presence in a prohibited area in the Capitol building, violating federal law.
After an initial public statement deploring the January 6 riot at the Capitol, the chairman of the Virginia GOP backed conspiracy theories that antifa helped storm the building. The chair cited hearsay from supposed eyewitnesses who advised him that the leaders of the mob that breached the building employed “signature tactics” of antifa. His statement was belied by DOJ reports as well as that of GOP leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) on the floor of the House.
Three of the Commonwealth’s four GOP House members voted among the 147 Congressfolk to overturn the Electoral College (EC) vote count on January 6/7, but the fourth was not yet seated. He took a turn to be among those GOP members to speak against the impeachment articles against P45.
Three Virginia GOP delegates to its General Assembly sent a letter on January 5 to Vice President Pence, urging him to overturn the state’s electoral votes.
Not to be outdone, three Virginia GOP delegates to its General Assembly sent a letter on January 5 to Vice President Pence, urging him to overturn the state’s electoral votes. An errant recorded phone call by Rudy Giuliani to new US Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) urged a challenge to every state’s EC count as a strategy to delay the inauguration. Although the Democratic candidates won the state by more than 10 points, the three challenged the margin, insisting that a “forensic audit” was necessary to verify the actual results. Oddly, there was no assertion that the Republican won the state, only that the margin of victory was questionable (not the outcome).
State Sen. Amanda Chase (self-appointed “Trump in Heels”) addressed a group in DC on January 6, encouraging them to overturn the EC count in the Joint Session of Congress.
The Virginia GOP is in the throes of an identity crisis as it finds itself drawn but not yet quartered in the village square.
The Virginia GOP is in the throes of an identity crisis as it finds itself drawn but not yet quartered in the village square. Its present spate of gubernatorial candidates represent the disparate peaks of ideology within the national framework. A late newcomer, a former executive from the Carlyle Group (a Bush-flavored private equity firm), brings a more traditional Republican aspect – moneyed, successful businessperson) to the fray.
Up to this point, the GOP had bet its entire ante on repeating the improbable victory of 2016 in 2020 even in the absence of a revised political platform. Stardom and popularity were to substitute for competent governance to score a second win despite a string of incompetence culminating in the COVID relief effort. The party’s leadership ignored civic and cultural mores in favor of the exercise of raw political power to repel one SCOTUS appointee and install another of its choosing. That exercise reflected one hallmark of the party’s determination to retain power while still a minority representation of the electorate.
Virginia is not alone in its experience with bipolar political energies and a restless electorate wrestling with its values. First and Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions in a number of its counties signal the separatist political mentality. As if to make that point, one nominated member of the Commonwealth’s new redistricting commission has been discovered to have a vulgar presence on his social media against a few icons from the liberal left. He is an avowed Trumpist, nominated by an elected GOP delegate to join with another identified Republican, a coal executive, who ponied up nearly $1 million in past political contributions. Quite the match of the type of ordinary citizens to engage in redistricting activities.
Virginia’s gubernatorial contest in 2021 is likely to be as lively as any in its history, setting a tone for the 2022 mid-terms looking toward the presidential in 2024. VoxFairfax plans to continue its witness perspective throughout in its effort to dispel the traditional belief of politicians that the memory of voters is short. We must not forget that five Americans died as a result of the January 6, 2021, assault on the Capitol.