Virginia's Republican Senate Candidate, Corey Stewart, and the Future of the GOP
Corey Stewart is Virginia's Republican candidate for the US Senate and is running against former VP candidate, Tim Kaine, the incumbent. Stewart was Donald Trump's campaign chair in Virginia but was eventually fired and now serves on the Board of Supervisors of Prince William County. He almost knocked off Ed Gillespie last year to garner the Republican nomination for Governor. Undeterred, Stewart captured the Republican Senate nomination in the spring. He has received support from Jerry Falwell Jr., the President of Liberty University, talk show host Laura Ingraham and former Trump strategist Steve Bannon.
Stewart is a Trump Republican and demonstrates just how far the party has devolved. He uses all the usual "dog whistles" to energize the base. He has been quite vocal about his support for Southern Civil War monuments, the Confederate battle flag, and the President's child separation policy at the border. And several days ago CNN found a 2017 Facebook Live recording of him using a bunch of inane, racist stereotypes to attack NFL players who take a knee during the National Anthem:
CNN: "A lot of these guys, I mean, they're thugs, they are beating up their girlfriends and their wives," Stewart said, "you know, they've got, you know, children all over the place that they don't pay attention to, don't father, with many different women, they are womanizers. These are not people that we should have our sons, or any of our children look up to. We need to have our children look up to real role models."
In the last few days, Stewart seems intent on proving his campaign is run by several high school kids who just learned to use photoshop:
Washington Monthly: "Stewart’s campaign team tweeted a photoshopped image of a young Tim Kaine as a missionary, supposedly sitting next to Honduran sandinista forces. The photo was actually of right-wing paramilitaries, and it’s still not entirely clear if the Stewart campaign photoshopped the piece themselves or found it in some dark corner of the internet and reposted it."
Either way, the Stewart campaign neither retracted nor apologized. Instead, they decided to play it off like the whole thing was a joke, photoshopping an image of Tim Kaine shaking hands with Joseph Stalin in 1944. (Of course, this would make Tim Kaine into none other than FDR himself, but the Stewart camp apparently isn’t strong on history.)
Corey Stewart will lose, and probably lose big, but he will get the Trump vote, probably about 40% in the Commonwealth. The question for Republicans in Virginia after the election should be whether this is the party they want to be. Does Stewart really represent the values of the GOP today? Is this really what they have come to?
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore