After the beating Tea Party-backed candidates like Todd Akin took in the 2012 election, you’d think that the GOP would find more moderate candidates to back in 2013 and beyond. Unfortunately for them, and us if we don’t get out the vote, they’ve decided to double down on stupid. There’s no better example of this than the gubernatorial race in the state where I grew up, Virginia.
Virginia is a funny place when it comes to elections. It seems that every 8 years, voters suffer from a case of amnesia and elect someone from the opposite party to the Governor’s mansion. In addition to that, the homeschooling religious right are very instrumental in selecting the GOP candidate, so the last 3 Republican governors have been very far to the fringes of conservative ideology. In 2013, we’re once again looking at a repeat of the last 4 years with the combination of “birther” Ken Cuccinelli and the even more radically unhinged Lieutenant Governor nominee, E.W. Jackson. For those who are unfamiliar with him, Mr. Jackson makes Herman “Ubeki-beki-beki-stan-stan” Cain look like a mentally stable human being. These are two of the most radical candidates running in 2013 and if they were to win, it would set Virginia back into the red state column for at least the next 4 years, if not longer.
Don’t think these guys are crazy? Let’s start with the candidate for Governor, Tea Party darling and current Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. He’s compared his fight against women’s health issues and the Affordable Care Act to Martin Luther King Jr.’s crusade for equal rights for African-Americans. He’s told state schools that their anti-discrimination policies did not apply to gay and lesbian students, and was even endorsed by Mike Huckabee.
Then we have E.W. Jackson, the candidate for Lieutenant Governor, who seems to have the market cornered on crazy with the political descent of Michele Bachmann. In fact, I’d say he is probably the most radical candidate for the office since Michael Farris, who I actually worked for as a naive Republican kid in 1993. E.W. Jackson has claimed that Democrats are even more dangerous to black people than the KKK was, and that the Declaration of Independence paved the way for the end of slavery. On his own campaign website, he states he wants to defund Planned Parenthood and roll back any gun laws already in place.
The very real danger is that in a year without a national election, they very well could win. You see, the younger voters who turned out to vote for Obama in 2008 and 2012 didn’t turn out in 2010 and we ended up with a dysfunctional Republican Congress which redefined partisan gridlock. Now that Obama has been re-elected, so many people are patting themselves on the back and taking a break until 2014 at the earliest. However, 2013 is a very important election year at the state and local levels. We also have two special elections to replace empty US Senate seats in Massachusetts and New Jersey, the loss of which could make the Senate almost as gridlocked and insane as the House.
In 2013, you can be assured the religious right, the Tea Party and other government-hating useful idiots of the Koch Brothers will be lined up at every polling station around the country at the crack of dawn.
It isn’t a question of if they’ll vote, it’s a question of will you?
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