"Racist fearmongering” will be Dems’ dog-whistle going forward.
Democrat Ralph Northam defeated Republican Ed Gillespie for governor of Virginia by 53.9 to 45 at this writing. Democrat Phil Murphy topped Republican Kim Guadagno in New Jersey by 56.4 to 41.8, and with about 60 percent of the vote, Democrat Bill de Blasio easily held off Republican Nicole Malliotakis to remain mayor of New York City.
Not much surprise here, since Hillary Clinton carried Virginia and New Jersey last year. What it all meant going forward will be hotly debated, but the Virginia race provides some clues.
Since November 8, 2016, the old-line establishment media has been working three shifts to discredit the president’s election and smear him as a racist, white supremacist collaborator with hostile foreign powers. Voters would find little difference in the first competitive statewide contest since Trump took office.
CNN delicately headlined one piece “Tuesday will show if racist fear-mongering can win elections,” which doubled as a caption for a photo of Republican Ed Gillespie and vice president Mike Pence. Candidates can ride coattails but for CNN it was about how big a “shadow” Trump might cast.
For CNN, “Democrats are nervous that Gillespie may inspire a turnout surge among Trump's core constituency of older, blue-collar and non-urban whites with his racially provocative campaign -- which has included a full-throated endorsement of preserving Confederate monuments and unrelenting attacks on ‘sanctuary cities’ and the Central American gang MS-13.”
For the Washington Post, it was about Trump playing the “crime card,” recording a robo-call about Northam being “weak on crime, weak on immigration,” and driving the economy “into a ditch.” Other Post analysis recalled the Willie Horton ad against Michael Dukakis in 1988, which led to “a massive overcrowding of prisons.”
The New York Times noted that Gillespie and Guadagno in New Jersey “mimicked elements of the president’s hard-line statements.” Both used “provocative ads” to accuse their Democratic rivals “of being insufficiently tough on illegal immigration.” The Times took notice when Trump tweeted from South Korea that “MS-13 and crime will be gone” if the state elects Gillespie, and that “Ralph Northam will allow crime to be rampant in Virginia.” This was “the sort of bombast,” that could help get out the vote.
The most provocative ad came from the Latino Victory Fund, which claims actress Eva Longoria as a founder. The Fund itself “is a progressive political action committee with the mission of growing Latino political power by increasing Latino representation at every level of government – from the school board to the Senate to the White House.”
The Latino Victory Fund’s television ad showed a sinister white man in a pickup truck flying a Confederate battle flag, with a “Gillespie for Governor” bumper sticker and “Don’t Tread on Me,” license plate. This erstwhile Ku Klucker attempts to run down a group of minority children, including a girl wearing a hijab.
Several days later in New York, a Muslim named Sayfullo Saipov used a rented a truck to mow down and murder eight people, including Argentine, Belgian and American nationals. The Latino Victory Fund pulled the ad but the hatemongering piece still got plenty of air time. Critics included Rafi Uddin Ahmed, the former president of the Muslim Association of Virginia but Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez defended the ad.
What was happening in the race in Virginia, Perez told reporters, was “dogwhistle politics.” Ed Gillespie has been “fear-mongering . . . the same thing Donald Trump did.”
In the run-up to the election, one key back story managed to escape coverage. The old-line media fail to note that Virginia is one of the 20 states not cooperating with the federal commission headed by Kris Kobach investigating voter fraud.
Ralph Northam served as lieutenant governor to Terry McAuliffe, who proclaimed that “Virginia conducts fair, honest, and democratic elections, and there is no evidence of significant voter fraud in Virginia.” but the governor, a Clinton ally, had “no intention” of cooperating. “At best this commission was set up as a pretext to validate Donald Trump’s alternative election facts,” he told reporters, “and at worst is a tool to commit large-scale voter suppression.”
Democrats such as Dianne Feinstein contend that there is no evidence of voter fraud but McCauliffe and California secretary of state Alex Padilla won’t hand over the data. As a recent State Department investigation showed, false-documented illegals do in fact vote in local, state and national elections.
By some counts, 300,000 illegals live in Virginia, so votes by illegals are certainly possible. Virginia is also a stronghold of the MS-13 gang, with as many as 2000 members and in some Virginia counties gang members nearly outnumber the police.
The New Jersey undercard, meanwhile, did feature some ironies. The candidate with all the money was Democrat Phil Murphy, a multi-millionaire former executive at Goldman Sachs who has never held elected office. Murphy did serve as finance chair of the Democratic National Committee and then as a U.S. ambassador to Germany under the 44th president, who campaigned for him.
According to pundits, the race was Murphy’s to lose because voters were looking for something different. Republican Kim Guadagno served eight years as lieutenant governor to Chris Christie. She is also a former sheriff and prosecutor who won RICO convictions against drug traffickers, but her election theme was to “make New Jersey affordable again by cutting the property taxes.” Voters went with Murphy the money man.
In New York, mayor Bill De Blasio was never behind in the polls and challenger Nicole Malliotakis could not match his funding. Despite recent scandals he cruised to an easy victory. As he explained, his reelection would “restore the idea that this is a consistent, Democratic, progressive town.” What the Democratic hat trick meant for the nation was a different story.
As Donna Brazile is confirming, the Democrats were doing what they accused Trump of doing, rigging elections. According to CNN, Virginia would show whether “racist fear-mongering can win elections,” which is what Democrats were doing with the truck video. Moving forward, more of such vile fare would come as no surprise.