Does the Virginia GOP Even Care About Its Future?
Now that it’s somewhat acceptable to visit old acquaintances, let’s go check on the health of Virginia’s Republicans to see how they are holding up in these weird and stressful times.
They aren’t exactly thriving. That’s no big surprise. Virginia Republicans have been in retreat statewide since 2013. They show no signs of changing course, never mind ability, organization, ideas or much else.
How do they pull out of this slump? Should we care?
The answer to the first question is: Republicans have no idea and don’t appear interested in or capable of taking suggestions.
Maybe that’s to be expected after the powerful and repeated shellackings the GOP has taken in Virginia over the last decade.
A political party in the midst of such a painful and prolonged decline is not new. Virginia Democrats have their own tales to tell about life in the wilderness — and how to get out.
Republicans, though, don’t seem interested in such lessons. Instead, they’ve lashed themselves to the mast of a plague ship that’s heading for the rocks.
Just how bad is the Virginia brand of Republicanism now? Consider the story of how a “cabal of local Republican Party apparatchiks” engineered former Campbell County supervisor Bob Good’s victory over 5th Congressional District Rep. Denver Riggleman.
Riggleman committed the mortal sin of presiding at the wedding of two men — conservatives. And then rightly refused to apologize for it.
All that aside, it’s important to remember the New Jersey-size 5th District was designed to elect a Republican.
But Good’s weird brand of revanchist Republicanism makes it impossible to rule out an upset.
Cover photo: Congressman Denver Riggleman at the 5th District drive-thru convention in June. (Photo by Matt Colt Hall)