Yes, Virginia, there is a political realignment going on. But it is not the one you think it is. Or the one the stupid media keeps telling you it is.
So much hand-wringing came from Republicans and conservatives over this week’s election results out of places like Virginia and Kentucky. Democrats took over both chambers of the Virginia legislature, and a Democrat narrowly beat the sitting Republican governor in Kentucky.
Republicans are finished. The Great Liberal Utopia has finally arrived. Once solidly conservative states have choked at the polls and are left for dead, turning blue in the face.
Or, as The Washington (com)Post giddily reported: “A bright blue Virginia leaves the Confederacy behind.”
It remains unclear how handing over power to the Democrats, the actual party of the Confederacy (and of Jim Crow), is leaving the Confederacy behind.
But apart from that, Virginia isn’t leaving behind all the elected officials who got caught wearing blackface. Which is racist. Until it isn’t. Or, at least, until it is a Democrat in black ace. One of whom is the governor.
The real political realignment going on right now has next to nothing to do with what we saw in Virginia this week and even less to do with the arrival of the Great Liberal Utopia.
First, gauging the political mood of America by reading the lowest turnout elections in a few skewed places is incredibly stupid. It is actually willfully ignorant of political reporters and pundits, which amounts to actual dishonesty.
But what more can you expect from these people?
The elections this week were not even midterms. They were off-year midterms in places that are undergoing seismic local changes that have nothing to do with the rest of the country.
It is true that the political mood of Virginia is changing rapidly, and that was certainly reflected in this week’s elections. But that tells us one thing and one thing only: that the political mood of Virginia is changing rapidly.
It does not tell us that the whole country is turning blue or that President Trump is doomed for the 2020 election or that American citizens have suddenly stepped forward and asked the government to take away all their guns.
Things have been going south for conservatives in Virginia for a long time.
In the first place, the state has been utterly hexed by a fever of stupidity from the Virginia Republican Party.
The last best shot Republicans had at winning statewide office was when Ed Gillespie stunned everyone — including Republicans — by coming within a percentage point of toppling Sen. Mark Warner in 2014. Why were Republicans surprised by this? What more could they have done to get Mr. Gillespie over the line?
Virginia Republicans, of course, could not answer these questions. All they could do is reload for the next statewide race, once again using Mr. Gillespie in the 2017 governor’s race. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam — he of the aforementioned blackface — trounced Mr. Gillespie by 9 percentage points.
In addition to the political stupidity of Republicans in Virginia, the state is also enduring other significant changes that make it almost uniquely hostile for Republicans these days.
As the federal bureaucracy in Washington explodes, so does the population of Northern Virginia, which is increasingly outweighing the good sense of citizens in the rest of the state.
Even worse for Republicans who are supposedly for limited government, much of the growth in Northern Virginia is caused by bureaucrats, swamp creatures and government parasites who live off the largesse of the federal government.
All of this makes the commonwealth hard ground for any Republican, but especially hard ground in the Trump era when you have a president who has so thoroughly targeted the very bureaucrats, swamp rats, and parasites who make up most of the recent exodus into Northern Virginia.
Never was this on more blatant display than Game 5 of the World Series in Washington when President Trump showed up and was thunderously booed by the crowd. These days, the People’s Republic of Virginia is merely an offshoot of the People’s Republic of Maryland.
But all of this tells us absolutely nothing other than the depressing trend of Virginia over the past decade, especially the last few years.
The only “political realignment” revealed in this week’s elections perhaps was the one in Kentucky, where a legacy Democratic candidate from a beloved political family ran a campaign against a highly unpopular Republican. The Democrat proudly ran on “kitchen table” issues and made promises of responsible spending. And he barely squeaked by.
What the Democrat did NOT run on was “Medicare for All,” destroying private health care coverage, free health care for illegal aliens or decriminalizing border crossing. He also didn’t run on wacky promises of socialism for all.
In other words, if the newly elected Kentucky governor were running for the Democratic nomination for president, he would get booed off the debate stage.
And that tells you all you need to know about where the national Democratic Party is today.
• Contact Charles Hurt at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @charleshurt.