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“Let The Excitement Begin”: Virginia GOP Continues Its Sprint From The Mainstream

E.W. Jackson, the Republicans’ candidate for lieutenant governor in Virginia this year, is on record saying quite a few nutty things. Late last week, however, Jackson effectively said his bizarre rhetorical excesses shouldn’t be held against him.

The comments, he said, “were spoken in my role as a minister, not as a candidate.”

I don’t mean to sound picky, but when someone seeks elected office, the things he or she did before becoming a candidate still count.

Meanwhile, Bob FitzSimmonds, a former aide to gubernatorial nominee Ken Cuccinelli and a top official in the Republican Party of Virginia, said last week, “I’m not a big fan of contraception, frankly. I think there are some issues, we’re giving morning-after pills to 12-year-olds, and pretty soon I guess we’ll hand them out to babies, I don’t know.”

Why would anyone give emergency contraception to a baby? I don’t know, but apparently this GOP official and close Cuccinelli ally is concerned about it. (FitzSimmonds also made headlines last fall for talking about his belief that President Obama is going “to hell.”)

So, let’s take stock. Virginia’s Republican gubernatorial candidate is a fierce culture warrior; Virginia’s Republican candidate for lieutenant governor is an unusually strange right-wing activist; Virginia’s Republican candidate for state attorney general once sponsored a bill that would have required women to report their miscarriages to the state; and Virginia’s Republican Party is led in part by someone who still opposes contraception.

Oh, and Virginia’s current Republican governor is embroiled in a scandal.

All of this is important when considering which party will have greater success reaching out to independents, moderates, and swing voters with no real party allegiance, but there’s also the matter of waking up the Democratic base. It’s an off-year cycle, and Democratic Party leaders have long wondered how they’ll generate sufficient levels of excitement among progressive voters to show up.

It appears GOP activists in the commonwealth are taking care of that problem.


By: Steve Benen, The Madow Blog, May 28, 2013

May 29, 2013 - Posted by | Politics | , , , , , , , ,

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