The Weekend Politics Thread Picks a Bone

♫ A push from the left and a shove from the right ♫
— No, no one said they wanted a revolution1

Calm yourselves. Your agitating Weekend Politics Thread host has not joined a revivified Symbianese Liberation Army. Even if he had, he’d eat all the free food before it reached the poor.

The lyrical lament merely highlights the asymmetry of political theatrics between U.S. Democrats and Republicans. Stream “Coup d’Etat” to hear how “push” comes through as an almost inaudible whisper while “shove” hits like a steel maul on an anvil.

Think, now, how several days after Glenn Youngkin became governor-elect of Virginia, news broke that his 17-year-old son tried to vote in person twice. Youngkin campaigned heavily on tripling down on lies about widespread vote fraud. So far, a single instance of attempted vote fraud has surfaced, and it came from inside Youngkin’s house.

Democrats in the commonwealth and across the United States will make nothing of this. Everyone has already bent over backwards to exculpate Youngkin’s son on the grounds that state law allows high schoolers to register before they can legally cast ballots. The GOP spin machine has predicably spun this into a committed patriot merely too eager to do his duty. The democratic spin machine never fired up,

A functioning left wing agitprop program would ensure someone publicly asked Youngkin about his felonious son every day, several times a day, for the next five years. And make no mistake. The kid attempted to commit a felony. He failed, but returning to the polling place after once getting the bum’s rush indicates intent. Never let anyone forget this. Sadly, and of course, Democrats lead the effort to memory hole the crime.

Then, cast an eye up the coast and, fittingly, to the right. Recently elected Republicans in New Jersey have social media histories chockablock with blackface, Islamophobia, and we’ll know what all else soon enough. Again, these revelations revealed themselves after the election.

♩ Going round in circles
Here we go again
Really going nowhere
Really going nowhere ♩

Abecedarian2 politics dictates foregrounding such bad behavior. Certainly, GOP operatives will never cease invoking outgoing Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s “blackface or Klansman?” yearbook photo. Many a Republican dirty trickster will gasp “But her emails” Rosebud-style as they shuffle off their mortal coil.

Sure, hardcore right-wing voters will not care. Research going back to the turn of this century confirms the assertion that white voters (and, to a much lesser extent, Latinx voters) will choose candidates whose policies directly harm them in order to ensure the furtherance of anti-Black racism. W.E.B. Dubois wrote about “the public and psychological” wages of whiteness more than a century ago. Consider those paid in full even as GOPers pick rural their supporters’ pockets.

But, and to return to the point, Democrats refuse nearly uniformly to call this out. They absolutely fail to mention the pattern in anything more than passing. Calling a racist a racist will not change the racist’s mind, but it can mark the person as someone with whom decent folks no feel comfortable around. Stop playing nice, Democrats. Start getting real.

And, yeah, don’t lock up Youngkin’s kid. Teens will do all kinds of dumb shit. But never ever let the incoming Virginia governor live down the idiocy that he surely knew about and likely condoned.