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Disaster for the Democrats in Virginia

It’s not fun to wake up this morning to discover that Virginia has elected a Trump-endorsed Republican as its governor. Glenn Youngkin is projected to defeat former Democrat Governor Terry McAuliffe by 2.7%.

What on earth has gone wrong?

It’s a bit of a perfect storm made up of a new way that the Republicans have found to frighten people into voting for them and the failure of Joe Biden to deliver what would have been a very popular series of measures, including paid family leave, mainly because of the failure of two right wing Democrat Senators, Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema.

It’s a year since we all spent 5 days on tenterhooks waiting for confirmation that Trump was on his way out. I certainly wasn’t filled with unbridled optimism that Joe Biden was what the country needed, though I thought that his long experience in Congress would be enough to get his legislative programme through.

Just imagine if Joe Biden had been able to hit the stump in Virginia saying he’d put in a $3.5 trillion package which included, for the first time, measures that we in Europe take for granted. Things like paid family leave and a tax credit that would take children out of poverty. Opinion polls suggest that these measures are popular across the political divide, so failure to deliver them will surely bring disapproval.

If Biden had had a good story to tell, there would be no void for the malevolent right to fill with poison.

The toxin of choice in this case was a faux argument about “critical race theory”, something that isn’t even taught in Virginia’s schools.

From The Guardian:

McAuliffe’s all-out effort to portray Youngkin as an acolyte of Donald Trump proved less effective than the Republican’s laser-like focus on whipping up parents’ fear and anger about culture war issues in Virginia’s schools.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 14 Comments
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