It has been fascinating to watch the evolution of the Republican blogosphere's reaction to the nomination of Bishop E.W. Jackson for Virginia's Lieutenant Governor at the Republican Party of Virginia's Convention in Richmond this past weekend.
One of the earliest, and most articulate, was "Virginia: The Seppeku Convention of 2013," by Justin Higgins.
Let me be unequivocally clear about the ramifications of nominating Bishop E.W. Jackson as the Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor in Virginia yesterday. Not only have we basically ceded the LG’s race to the Democrats, but we have handed them a gift that will in almost all certainty result in a statewide sweep. There are a lot of people at fault for what was allowed to happen yesterday, and it’s not the “grassroots victory” story that some want to tell.In his section titled "Who is to Blame?", Higgins spares no one, not even himself:
The Blogosphere has a little of this mess on our hands as well. We all knew Jackson would be stronger than expected, but we were so caught up in the excitement of him "making a statement" that we didn’t take him seriously and expose his electoral liabilities. I even had him as my "third choice", even though I knew his candidacy would be a train wreck. That is my fault, and others made the same mistake.The most unintentionally hilarious is a post at Too Conservative blaming liberals for the Republican Party's woes.
This is unacceptable in a conservative candidate. This is the agenda of right wing, statist liberals who have invaded the Republican party with their version of government interference in private lives. They are little different or better than a leftist statist liberal.Huh? In the first sentence of this paragraph the writer goes off on "right wing, statist liberals;" two sentences later it is "leftist statist liberal." Let's be clear folks, the people brandishing transvaginal probes aren't Democrats. It is the Republican Party of Virginia that has carried on a sustained war against women's reproductive rights, women's healthcare, and even women's basic privacy as in the case of Mark Obenshain's proposal to require that women report all miscarriages to the police--presumably so the police could investigate "suspicious" miscarriages.
The reality is that the Republican slate of candidates represents a perfect distillation of what the Republican Party of Virginia really stands for. The RPV convention was held because the RPV rejected an open primary (which was the method chosen by the Democratic Party of Virginia) and preferred to limit participation to its most committed and activist members. About 13,000 registered as delegates and 8,000 or so actually showed up in Richmond for the big day. These were the cream of the RPV establishment and they voted for the people they thought best represented Republican ideology as it presently exists in Virginia. The result was an extreme, far right wing ticket of Ken Cuccinelli, E.W. Jackson, and Mark Obenshain.
Some on the right are jumping on descriptions of the Republican ticket as "extreme," trying to play it off as a messaging device, but honestly how else can the Republican ticket be described? If you can't refer to Cuccinelli, Jackson, and Obenshain as "extreme, far right wing," then the words have no meaning.
What will the result of all this hand-wringing be? The person above who blamed liberals for the RPV's convention pick of E.W. Jackson is openly calling for Jackson to step down or be removed from the ticket. Will it happen? Will Jackson get the axe?
Hardly a promising way to start a statewide campaign.