Additional Observations (Part I is here):
1. Is there any more useless and dishonest profession than professional political polling? 538 came closest to predicting the actual margin between Youngkin and McAuliffe going into yesterday, but only because it included Fox News’ outlier poll showing Youngkin 8 points ahead. Even then, the margin was 100% larger than 538’s average, 2% over .9%. Fox’s shocking call emerged after several conservative pundits complained that the network’s past polling always over-counted progressives….a coincience, I’m sure. I knew that Youngkin was going to win by the desperate way McAuliffe was campaigning in the last two weeks, with flagrant lies, shrill ads and an absurd obsession with Trump. Youngkin, meanwhile, looked and sounded like a candidate who was getting good news from the field. Internal polling is intelligence and tends to be more accurate, but the stuff the newspapers and TV shows publicize are shot through with bias and hidden agendas–Will this get more of “our” voters to the polls? Will this discourage the deplorables?
2. Hanlon’s Razor alert. Answering questions from reporters at the climate change summit, President Biden actually said that he saw nothing suggesting that “how I’m doing” would have any effect on how his party’s candidates fared at the polls. Was he lying, or have his IQ points dropped into single digits? Nah, those soaring gas prices, inflation, mask mandates, and supply chain interruptions overseen by a proud daddy who left his post, and all the Americans left to fend for themselves against the Taliban didn’t influence voters! Why wouldn’t they vote in more members of the same party responsible for it all?
3. The talking point that Critical Race Theory is a myth and isn’t taught in the public schools is such an audacious and insulting lie when the evidence to the contrary is everywhere. The “1619 Project” is taught in schools all over the country, and is rooted in critical race theory ideology. On the Virginia Department of Education website, “Critical Race Theory in Education” is highlighted as a “best practice” and the site’s definitions of “racism,” “white supremacy,” and “education equity” are derived from CRT. Outgoing Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s public education officials openly endorsed the anti-white, “Racist America” theory as an “important analytic tool” to “further spur developments in education.” Yet McAuliffe claimed in the last days of the campaign that CRT was just a “racist dog whistle” used to panic those bigoted Republican voters.
This is real gaslighting—Critical Race Theory? What Critical Race Theory?—and Democrats are depending on the mainstream media’s disinformation to get away with it. In the midst of the general freakout among MSNBC talking heads last night, Nicolle Wallace blamed “Republican lies” about the rise of critical race theory in schools for the state-wide Democratic defeat in Virginia. “Critical race theory, which isn’t real, turned the suburbs 15 points to the Trump insurrection endorsed Republican,” Wallace said on the air. It isn’t real! MSNBC was also constantly referencing the “insurrection” last night another bit of gaslighting.
People don’t like being lied to and treated like fools. There are two reasons to be ethical: one is that it’s the right way to live, and the other is that being unethical eventually catches up to you, depending on the vagaries of moral luck. Relying on Trump Derangement and big lies about a stupid riot of less than 300 people having existential significance is simply not going to work over the lon-term; both have already reached the point of diminishing returns.
4. This column yesterday by regular Washington Post pundit Greg Sargent had several benefits. For one thing, it reminded me why I don’t get the print version of the Post any more. However, it was also a useful compendium of leftist mania and the distortions Democrats now rely upon to confuse the public. Sargent began by calling a Youngkin ad featuring a black family “repulsively cynical” because his campaign was “built heavily around stoking white grievance with attacks on phantom critical race theory in schools.” Critical Race Theory is a “phantom”!
The Post’s motto is “Democracy dies in darkness,” by the way.
Until last night, I wasn’t aware that Youngkin’s running mate, GOP Lt. Governor candidate Winsome Sears, was born in Jamaica, and was the first Black Republican woman to be elected to the Virginia General Assembly. She is also a Marine veteran, former vice president of the Virginia Board of Education and owner of an appliance business. She won last night, becoming the first black woman to hold the post of Lt. Governor in the former slave state. Sargent doesn’t mention her, and while ABC, CNN, PBS MSNBC and the rest were rejoicing over Boston electing an Asian-American femalen mayor, Sears received scant mention despite her remarkable story. The local media here didn’t cover her candidacy either. A black gun-owning woman who opposes school indoctrination and is a Republican doesn’t fit the narrative. SHE’S the phantom.
Sargent’s main claim is that “Youngkin and his allies have pumped that raw right-wing sewage directly into the minds of the GOP base, behind the backs of moderate swing voters, via a right-wing media network that has no rival on the Democratic side. Democrats will have to reckon with this. Whether Democrat Terry McAuliffe wins or loses — it will be very close either way — this race highlights this lopsided communications imbalance with unique clarity.”
I live in Virginia, and as I read that, I wondered, “Imbalance? What is he talking about?” It was Fox News! It has “no rival on the Democratic side”—what about those other SIX Democratic echo chambers that leave Fox as the only counter-balancing right-biased network? How is a six-to-one progressive bias advantage an “imbalance” that favors the one?
Sargent wouldn’t write something so transparently ridiculous if he realized that he and his colleagues are hopelessly, unethically biased and incapable of objectivity. He really thinks that all the other networks, and of course the Post, are just giving the news straight, and Fox News is the evil purveyor of fake news, hoodwinking those dumb conservatives. How can a journalist or pundit function who is that estranged from reality?
So the Holy Trinity of progressive excuses for the loss in Virginia is now Trump (whom Youngkin barely mentioned at all during his campaign while McAuliffe couldn’t stop talking about him), the “insurrection,” which had nothing to do with Virginia and wasn’t an insurrection, and Fox News, which Sargent says was spreading lies about “phantom” Critical Race Theory “even though it isn’t taught in Virginia schools.” This last part is magnificent deceit: no, the theory itself isn’t taught as such, but Virginia’s teachers are instructed to frame their lessons—and indoctrination—according to the dictates of CRT-based books and other materials.
Sargent also brands himself a propagandist by endorsing Merrick Garland’s memo abusing his position to intimidate dissenting parents as an effort to “protect education officials from violent threats.”
Read it all.
5. The issue that propelled Youngkin into office was ideological indoctrination in the schools, and this was a long time, too long, coming. Parents have trusted the schools for decades, seldom checking what their progeny read or were being told to think. Then their pre-marinated kids went off to college, where the more submissive were molded into proto-Marxists with a contempt for their own country. But one of the unanticipated consequences of the Zoom classes inflicted on society was that apathetic parents finally got to see and hear what goes on in classrooms, what kind of biases teachers are passing along, and how untrustworthy so many of the people entrusted with their children’s intellectual development are.
Was this crucial epiphany worth the destruction of the Wuhan lockdown? Maybe.