One of the biggest elections this year is the Virginia governor’s race. I live in Virginia and I’ve been trying to not pay too much attention to the drama, and holy crap, the drama is increasing tenfold in the final month. Democrat Terry McAuliffe (the former governor) is running again, for what would be his second non-consecutive term. His Republican opponent is a Trump acolyte named Glenn Youngkin. The MAGAts are pouring money, resources, racism and insurrection into Youngkin’s campaign. Meanwhile, McAuliffe seems to be super-worried that, like, Biden is bringing down Democratic enthusiasm? Which makes no sense to me – Virginia has finally gotten to a place where Democrats turn out regardless of enthusiasm. I mean, don’t count chickens before they’ve hatched and all that. I get why McAuliffe wants to keep people alert and agitated in the final stretch, but I have confidence that Virginians will reject mini-Trump Youngkin.
Well, two things have just majorly helped Democrats in Virginia. One of McAuliffe’s strategies has been to endlessly tie Youngkin to Trump, which isn’t difficult because Youngkin was dumb enough to go on the record about the “stolen election” and all of that. Then at a Republican “rally” this week, Youngkin’s supporters pledged allegiance to a flag which was used at the January 6th insurrection. At the same rally, Donald Trump called in and pledged his support for Youngkin.
Republican Virginia gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin is distancing himself from a Wednesday night event in support of him where attendees pledged to a flag that was said to be flown at the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
The flag was flown at the “Take Back Virginia Rally” in Henrico County that was hosted by conservative radio host John Fredericks. At the start of the event, the emcee introduced a woman holding an American flag that she said “was carried at the peaceful rally with Donald J. Trump on January 6.” The flag was then used for the Pledge of Allegiance.
Youngkin, who has tied himself to Mr. Trump’s base during the GOP primary by focusing on “election integrity,” was not at the event but denounced the alleged flag’s use for the pledge on Thursday.
“If that is the case then we shouldn’t pledge allegiance to that flag. I’ve been so clear, there is no place for violence. None, none in America today. We have our right to assemble and protest protected in this great country and this great commonwealth. But there is no room for violence,” he said after a rally Thursday. Later Thursday, Youngkin issued a statement saying he had “no role” in the rally, and he called it “weird and wrong” to “pledge allegiance to a flag connected to January 6.”
Additionally, former President Trump dialed in during the Wednesday night event and voiced his support for Youngkin. Mr. Trump endorsed Youngkin earlier this year and floated the idea of an in-person rally in support of him before Election Day.
“Glenn Youngkin is a great gentleman. We got to get him in,” he said. “You have a chance to get one of the most successful business people in the country. I hope Glenn gets in there… I really believe that Virginia is very, very winnable. But people got to get out there and vote.”
I hope McAuliffe’s people popped champagne at their campaign headquarters. Typical Trumpist – so eager to tie himself to Trump to appeal to the wingnuts, but then wingnuts are gonna wingnut. Anyway, this was just one of the good news stories for McAuliffe – yesterday, Trump made noise about how he would order his people to stay home for a few election cycles if they didn’t pledge fealty to him and talk about how he “won” the 2020 election. Make Youngkin go on the record again about it!!!
🤔 Trump just threatened to have Republican voters stay home in 2022 and 2024 unless the party is able to “solve” (by which he seems to mean overturn) the result of the last presidential election, which he lost. pic.twitter.com/sHvXHrKZtH
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) October 13, 2021
Photos courtesy of Getty.