Merle Rutledge and America’s Coming Political Realignment

by James A. Bacon

Permit me to introduce you to Merle Rutledge, the Republican candidate for governor that no one is talking about. To be sure, his chances of winning the nomination are just about zero, but that’s no reason to pretend he doesn’t exist. Personally, I find his candidacy intriguing — not because I share his views, which I find extreme, but because of the light he sheds on an important political dynamic that isn’t getting nearly enough attention.

According to Essence magazine, 18% of black men voted for Donald Trump for president. That’s astonishing. Those voters didn’t attend elite universities like the people purporting to speak for the black race you see on CNN or MSNBC. They tend to be working class and middle class, they tend to be culturally conservative, and they, like their white counterparts, are worried about America’s fraying culture and the bankruptcy of Democratic Party prescriptions for society.

Rutledge maintains a campaign website and a Facebook page, where you can examine his priorities. He is not running on his biography — the 41-year-old Norfolk State University graduate has never held public office. His “career experience” is vaguely listed on Ballotpedia as “freelance investigative reporter.” Instead, Rutledge is running on the issues that preoccupy him. He calls himself pro-business and pro-constitutionalist, and he is a huge supporter of gun rights. 

In the video posted above, Rutledge addresses a real-world issue that you’ll never hear the self-appointed spokespersons for black people talk about unless it’s from a feminist perspective: domestic violence. His friend and her daughter were recently “murdered in cold blood” by the woman’s boyfriend, he explains. The boyfriend was armed and went on a shooting rampage. He was caught and locked up, Rutledge says, but he left behind a lot of family members trying to come to grips with the tragedy.

The issue of domestic violence is real to Rutledge. Murders happen to people he knows, not just to people whos faces appear on television. Now, I’m not sure I agree with his response to the problem — arming women with guns so they can defend themselves — but I can see he’s coming from a very different place on the gun-rights issue than cosseted upper-middle class members of the intelligentsia who see guns rights through the prism of, say, the Newtown school shooting.

The United States is increasingly divided between those whose positions in life insulate them from cultural chaos and decay and those who are directly in the line of fire, so to speak, of social breakdown. Even as elite college-educated liberals and progressives become increasingly “woke” over social justice issues, African-American men — supposedly more victimized than anyone by police violence — are becoming less woke. They are less inclined to see racism as the  problem than to see the rule of disconnected elites as the problem. As they come to this realization, an increasing number of them are making common cause with working/middle-class whites who feel the same way.

As culturally conservative blacks and whites discover that their commonalities on issues like guns rights and abortion dwarf their racial differences, expect to see a lot more pictures like this one taken from Rutledge’s website:

While it’s impossible to take Rutledge seriously as a political candidate — the Virginia Public Access Project database says that Rutledge for Governor has reported $0 in contributions and has $0 on hand — it would be foolish to dismiss him as an aberration. I suspect that his tilting-at-windmills campaign is indicative of a fundamental political realignment taking place in this country — a realignment that has so far eluded the attention of the political class and its media allies.

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128 responses to “Merle Rutledge and America’s Coming Political Realignment

  1. I think he’s the result of politicians like PE Joe Biden saying unless you were going to vote for him you aren’t black.

    There have been remarks on this very blog that held those same sentiments, given by equally privileged individuals who have never felt the plights of those they claim to champion.

  2. Perhaps if the GOP decided to stop trying to suppress votes but instead make it easier – they’d get more black votes? Bite my tongue!

    • Relevance to Jim’s post?

      • It goes to why more than a small number of black folks would vote GOP in the first place.

        One way to win over large numbers is to show you really want their vote not just pandering like the Dems are accused of… unless the GOP just wants to say “We pander less”!

        no?

        • Many African Americans in this are in an abusive relationship with the Democratic Party, and like many in abusive relationships, they still won’t leave.

          The key isn’t to strip away all measures to ensure election integrity. You’ve been fed a line of bull crap.

  3. So, one conservative Black politician means a fundamental political realignment?

  4. James Wyatt Whitehead V

    I like it when candidates such as Mr. Rutledge toss their hat in the ring. He might surprise some people. I remember in the Republican Senate Primary a school teacher from Southside gave it a shot. She lost big time to Daniel Gade but she did capture 56,000 votes and seemed very genuine to me. Maybe we shall hear from Alissa Baldwin again.
    https://ballotpedia.org/Alissa_Baldwin

  5. Fifteen percent? Or one and a half people out of ten? From what base? Huh?

    • I think I failed to miss your point, which I’m guessing is that the numbers in the change aren’t high enough to matter. But if I recall correctly, many were saying that a change of somewhere between 5-10% in the Black vote would make a big difference. If I’m wrong, please tell me.

      • Having trouble keeping up Crazy?

        • Larry, you are really a trip without a suitcase. Peter doesn’t bother to clarify his post, and neither you nor Peter bother to tell me whether I’m right or I’m wrong. All you can do is engage in Snark.

          • Crazy – Oh I have…. I don’t mind if you don’t… 😉

            I believe that I did give you an answer… maybe not one you like
            but I was serious. If the GOP wants black votes -they need to pay attention to what their concerns are and demonstrate they will represent them.

  6. “Now, I’m not sure I agree with his response to the problem — arming women with guns so they can defend themselves …”

    What response to this problem do you agree with, Mr. Bacon?

  7. Amanda chase refers to her pistol as her “Equal Rights Amendent.

  8. hmmm… I wonder if Lorena Bobbitt is a Chase supporter?

  9. Jim’s says!

    “Now, I’m not sure I agree with his response to the problem — arming women with guns so they can defend themselves —.”

    So what’s a women to do? Sure hope these women’s color does not have has something to do with Lord Jim’s view on their rights, constitutional and otherwise.

    And is Lord Jim also against men arming themselves with guns so that they can defends themselves, too?

    • I totally believe that men and women should have the right to defend themselves — with guns if necessary. I’m just not sure that the best way to address domestic violence is to encourage people to arm themselves. Perhaps there is a useful role for special police-department teams trained in de-escalation techniques to intervene. Perhaps. I’m not dogmatic. I don’t pretend to know the answer.

      If a woman believes her life is in imminent danger, then, sure, arming herself with a gun is an option. But she’d better know how to use it, and she’d better be willing to use it, or her husband/boyfriend/stalker might turn it against her.

      • When seconds count the police are only minutes away.

        • James Wyatt Whitehead V

          That is the absolute truth Mr. Wayne. People will not understand this until they are robbed at gunpoint, have a pistol shoved in their mouth, have 2 young punks talk nonsense about eminent doom, and then they will get it. It happened to me once. Never again. I’m ready for the next time.

          • I have no idea when I encounter someone with a gun , what kind of training they have or whether they are rational or prone to overreactions – so I usually put some distance between us or leave the premises.

            I cannot imagine a world where half the people in Walmart are carrying weapons.

          • Reed Fawell 3rd

            I agree completely with James.

            I think here Jim Bacon might be stereotyping people according to someone else’s mindless category with the result that it paints those categorized people with their “masters” false assumptions of low expectations for those condemned people. Thus those self appointed masters can strip those stigmatized people of their rights, including their most fundamental rights. Such as the right to defend themselves and their families, their right to get a good education, to keep their legacy, community, religion, traditions, and right to be secure in their homes, streets, and communities, and be left alone.

            This stripping of other peoples rights, dignity and independence is the left’s mission to turn individuals made in the image of God into faceless serfs stripped of their dignity, confidence, means of support, and independence.

            Thus rendered naked, and dependent on the state, thus serfs, the citizens are subject to unfettered rule and dictates of the state. This is of course Larry the G’s world, his and his ilks great dream. “I cannot imagine a world where half the people in Walmart are carrying weapons.”

            Sorry about my earlier typos. Here is my original comment corrected:

            Jim’s says!

            “Now, I’m not sure I agree with his response to the problem — arming women with guns so they can defend themselves —.”

            So what is a women to do? Sure hope a women’s color does not have has something to do with Lord Jim’s view on their rights, constitutional and otherwise.

            And, is Lord Jim also against men arming themselves with guns so that they can defends themselves, too?

          • James Wyatt Whitehead V

            “I cannot imagine a world where half the people in Walmart are carrying weapons.”

            Mr. Larry there are over 400,000 active conceal carry permits in VA as of 2017. That number has grown for sure since last year. Folks from all walks of life, race, and gender have them too.

          • Yep James. Aware of that. And I’m okay with conceal carry because I perceive them to be better trained and somewhat better vetted.

            Nathan said it – there are way too many who are not well-trained and really, that’s my concern.

            I’m not alone by the way. Many people will clear out a store if they see someone with a gun on their hip. They don’t know the guy, they don’t know if he is well trained or rational or has a chip on his shoulder… that’s the problem.

            We have more than a few truly irresponsible people out there these days. They do dumb stunts at traffic lights or cut you off or tailgate you. Others exhibit seriously anti-social behaviors around others.. they bully, they intimidate others, etc…

            I think guns should be restricted to only those well-trained and vetted as mentally capable of possessing a weapon with the killing power of a gun.

          • Larry, the fact is people with concealed carry have a better track record for not getting into trouble than practically any other demographic, including police officers.

            Assault and murder may be a far fetched concept for you, but not for many who are poor. For many it’s a daily reality.

            Poor people have rights too, including the right to defend themselves. We don’t need Jim Crow laws for gun ownership.

          • Concealed Carry restricts weapon ownership. People who receive concealed carry tend to get a closer look and vetting for that.

            I support that. I wish all handgun ownership was done at that level.

            I never know when I see someone with a gun on their hip whether they are reasonable and careful or a whacko showing on his weapon.

          • Larry, You wrote: “Concealed Carry restricts weapon ownership. People who receive concealed carry tend to get a closer look and vetting for that.”

            That is one of the misconceptions under which you operate which I am happy to not try to disabuse you of.

      • That goes for a LOT of situations involving any gender.

        People die for all kinds of stupidity – not the least these days is fidding with your cell phone while believing a gun “protects” you from harm.

        • Or answering your gun instead of your cellphone… Hello!

        • “not the least these days is fidding (sic) with your cell phone while believing a gun “protects” you from harm.”

          Larry, I don’t “believe” a gun can protect me from harm, I KNOW a gun can protect me from harm – because having a gun already HAS protected me from harm.

          As far as I am concerned, having a gun in my possession is analogous to wearing a seat belt in my car: I wear a seat belt every time I get in my car, even though I am 99.999% sure I’m not going to be in a car accident. I carry a gun pretty much everywhere I go, even though I am 99.999% sure I will not be attacked by someone wanting to do harm to me or my family. In each case, I plan for that unlikely 0.001% situation.

          As far as “fidd[l]ing with your cell phone”, what does that have to do with utilizing a firearm to protect oneself from harm or death at the hands of a criminal?

          • has to do with what things are more likely to kill you.

            Auto accident, rogue killer?

          • You’re just as dead no matter which one kills you – I prefer to be prepared to prevent both scenarios.

      • While I appreciate his spirit and enthusiasm, I too take issue with some of Merle Rutledge’s comments. There is a difference between supporting someone’s right to own a firearm vs. advocating it for people you don’t even know.

        I’ve been a firearms instructor much of my life, but I don’t ever try to talk someone else into owning a firearm. That’s a personal decision and responsibility, like deciding to have a child.

        My first bit of advise for anyone threatened with violence would be to do whatever possible get away to a safer environment. Someone in that situation often needs assistance to do that, which I have also provided.

        If, however, someone asks for help with firearm selection or training, then I support that.

        What new gun owners need isn’t just someone to “have their back.” They need competent instruction, else they become a danger to themselves and others instead of safer. I think Virginia should support and provide firearm instruction for self defense rather than just for hunter safety. There are many more gun owners in Virginia than hunters.

        And a phenomenal number are new gun owners who have no clue how to how to use or maintain their firearm. That, without question is going to be a problem. It already is.

        See below. One doesn’t “clean” a loaded gun.

        “Chesterfield man among first to be convicted under new Va. law that boosts penalty for leaving gun near child”

        “Bolden told authorities he had recently visited a shooting range and was in his bedroom cleaning his firearm. While doing so, Bolden said he had to use the bathroom.”

        “He then went into the bathroom, which was attached to the bedroom, and left his handgun lying on a dresser. Bolden said his 8-year-old son was not in the bedroom at the time. A short time later, Bolden said he heard a gunshot and that when he went back into the bedroom, he found his son suffering from a gunshot wound to his hand. The child’s injury was not life-threatening.”

        https://richmond.com/news/local/chesterfield-man-among-first-to-be-convicted-under-new-va-law-that-boosts-penalty-for/article_d17bf136-de74-5b5b-9928-3c256650d7a2.html

        • I know this is weird. But I totally agree with everything that Nathan has said here – including the part where we should REQUIRE significant training BEFORE you can buy and own a gun – call that a restriction on 2A MAYBE.

          • Sorry Larry the first step shouldn’t be to mandate. The primary goal should be to make it readily available, particularly to people who don’t have the means to pay hundreds of dollars for competent instruction.

            That’s like talk of mandating the vaccine when we haven’t even made it available yet.

          • Nathan, we mandate stop signs and speed limits and no guns on planes or in court .

            It’s a safety issue not a “right.

            The “right” to carry a gun on a plane is subordinate to the safety of others.

          • “Nathan, we mandate stop signs and speed limits and no guns on planes or in court .”

            Driving a car isn’t a “right” provided to us under the Constitution.

            Also, firearms are allowed on planes in checked bags separate form ammunition with prior notice to the airlines.

          • the point is you cannot carry a gun on a plane – and with good reason IMHO.

          • Larry, laws and mandates for expensive training amount to Jim Crow for gun ownership.

            If someone abuses his right to own a firearm, we have laws and penalties for that. I suggest we give people the opportunity for instruction, and then hold them accountable.

            Step one should be to provide free instruction for citizens, not more laws to make their lives even harder than they already are. Have you no heart for the poor? They are the ones facing the most danger, and they would be the least likely to be able to afford instruction.

          • Larry,

            Prior to 1968 it was legal to carry a firearm on a plane without any other requirements. However, there was given no justification for that action.

          • “…including the part where we should REQUIRE significant training BEFORE you can buy and own a gun”

            Except he did not say that. Do you have some sort of reading comprehension problem?

          • “Except he did not say that. Do you have some sort of reading comprehension problem?”

            You are correct on both counts.

        • “That’s a personal decision and responsibility, like deciding to have a child.”

          Or to hand an Uzi to a child? It’s snark. I agree with you. But common sense does dictate some regulation on just stupidity. Specifically, that one.

          • People who know nothing about existing laws always seem to think we need more, because bad things keep happening. That’s particularly true about gun laws.

            Reckless endangerment of a child is already against the law. Adding more laws doesn’t solve the problem. The Commonwealth needs to provide instruction for gun owners, not just hunters.

            And by the way, there are thousands of ways one can recklessly endanger a child. Here’s an example you may not have thought of.

            On Christmas Day in Utah my friend and I came upon a family that had just given a horse to their children. Unfortunately they knew nothing about horses. When we came up to them on the road they (including children) were attempting to push (from behind) their horse out of the ditch and back into the street.

            The above is near suicidal, so we jumped out and helped them. Had we not done so, someone could easily have been kicked in the head and killed. As I mentioned earlier, their were children back there pushing the horse as well.

          • Sometimes the laws are there to remind others (range owners) that they too bear responsibilty superceding that of the parent.

            Had it been Virginia, and a livery owner, then had a child been kicked, they would have immune to civil action. Maybe not criminal, but then, maybe. The laws around horses are amazingly stupid.

        • More information about our new gun owners:

          “Boom: 5M new gun owners, with 58% black and 40% women”

          “There are 5 million new gun owners, and many are minorities, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation.”

          The group said that its surveys of gun stores found that 58% of the firearm purchases were by black men and women, “the largest increase of any demographic group.”

          What’s more, said the group, “women comprised 40% of first-time gun purchasers.”

          https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/washington-secrets/boom-five-million-new-gun-owners-58-black-40-women

  10. Jim, I think that you are projecting an awful lot on the behavior of a small group. After all, if 18% voted for Trump, that means 82% voted for Biden. 18% percent does not define a group.

    As for a bigger picture, such a movement would be welcome. First, it would diversify the Republican party. Second, it would make the Democratic party look beyond racial, ethnic identity politics. Third, it might have the effect of softening the racial rhetoric and divide in this country.

    As an aside, I wonder if Rutledge and Chase will end up having a shoot-out to determine who gets to challenge Kirk Cox.

    • Dick makes some good points. People moving from their current political party would force the Parties themselves to make changes.

    • That is the curse, but slowly it is being cured, this curse of third world nationhood, block voting by race and class, that America is now otherwise sliding backward into, thanks to race, and identity politics. These growing numbers of black Republican voters, of all sorts and kinds, along with Hamilton’s growing intermarriage demographic figures will destroy the leftist race baiting gig rampant now in Virginia politics will otherwise tear Virginia and America apart. Why are these two countertrends working? First and second, because left wing rule is failing miserably, as it always does, and always will, as blue states prove, while red states thrive, building prosperity, marriage, and families for all!

    • Sure, 18% is still a relatively small minority of black male voters. It’s the trend that is important.

  11. If 18% made a difference, GHW Bush would have been a two-term president. Thanks Ross!

  12. Democratic prosecutor Mike Gravely from Kenosha, WI declined to charge the cop who put 7 bullets in Jacob Blake. Where do most shootings or other killings of blacks occur? In communities controlled by Democrats.

    Just because the Post won’t report on this trend doesn’t mean its not happening. BTW, why isn’t this in the Post?

    • No charges to be filed against Kenosha police officer who shot Jacob Blake

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2021/01/05/kenosha-police-charges-jacob-blake/

      • Larry, you missed the issue – blacks are being killed in communities governed by Democrats. It’s a trend. Democratic control means black deaths by cops.

        • Ergo – the Black Lives matter movement and Dems responding to it and the GOP still in denial.

        • Sure, whatever you say.

          • The problem with Conservatives is that they live in denial of things, spout foolishness about it, then believe their own myths and then cite them as “proof”.

          • Larry, don’t read anything into the colors. They are simply alternating. That’s a list of the cities. TMT must now determine leadership to verify his claim. I only get one link per post, so to avoid moderation, it took two posts.

          • Thanks Nancy. Checking on Ballotpedia, I found GOP mayors in Mesa, Oklahoma City, Aurora. Laredo has an Independent mayor. Las Vegas’ mayor is Nonpartisan. The rest are Democrats. GOP city deaths are 15. Democratic city deaths are 176. The rest are 19.

            Anyone except a MSM journalist should be able to see that more black deaths by police (be they justified or non-justified) occur in cities with Democratic mayors.

            Larry, explain how this is a myth.

          • Still, like indicated to the constant sorrow, the elected are oft one removed from their PDs which forces a Nixon-Jaworski situation. I don’t know the value of the party if you normalize deeaths by race to population by race, and THEN compare city to city.

            The bigger the city, the more deaths, hence my comment about Dixville Notch. No brutality complaints and no blacks means no PD on Black brutality

          • TooManyTaxes

            Nancy – pure BS. Most of the cities with highest number of “police killings” have Democratic Party mayors. Are you suggesting that the mayors have no control over the police department?

            Size alone says nothing. Look at Columbus, Ohio and New York City.

            The data reported by Security.org supports a conclusion that most cities with the highest number of “police killings” are governed by mayors from the Democratic Party. Even Fred Hiatt would have trouble disputing this one.

          • Not to mention that most large cities have a “strong mayor” form of government, not the “council-manager” form of government.

            So even if you think that the city manager won’t do exactly as the mayor and council instructs, you have to take into account those cities where there is no city manager.

        • https://www.security.org/resources/police-brutality-statistics/

          There’s the raw data, now back up your claim.

          • What were you hoping to prove with your data? In fact you proved the posters conclusions, so he doesn’t have to supply any data.

            I don’t necessarily agree with that conclusion, but you seemed to have your feathers ruffled by it and didn’t realize you prove his point.

          • Not hoping to “prove anything”, matt. Not my job. There’s a claim made in a post above. Let the claimant ” prove” it.

            “And 88% of black males voted for Ossoff”. Sound familiar?

          • “Nancy_Naive | January 6, 2021 at 9:23 am |
            Not hoping to “prove anything”, matt. Not my job. There’s a claim made in a post above. Let the claimant ” prove” it.”

            They don’t have to, the data you supplied validated their statement.

            Phoenix, AZ Mayor is Kate Gallego, do you know what party she’s a member of?

            Those red and blue colors on your data don’t have anything to do with political party.

            ““And 88% of black males voted for Ossoff”. Sound familiar?”

            Yeah, I asked for a citation of that number, it’s not been given.

          • Okay matt. Now do the rest.

            Remember too, that the mayor may not have the authority to govern the police, so get the city manager and council makeup too.

            “Yeah, I asked for a citation of that number, it’s not been given.”

            That’s all I seek. Can’t let one go and stop the other.

          • “Nancy_Naive | January 6, 2021 at 9:30 am |
            Okay matt. Now do the rest.

            Remember too, that the mayor may not have the authority to govern the police, so get the city manager and council makeup too.”

            Mayor’s most certainly have sway of the Police (it state dependent) and just an FYI the city councils in Phoenix are a majority for the Democrat party.

            Would you like to quit while you’re behind or would you prefer to keep digging.

          • Okay matt, you win. All American cities are exactly like Phoenix. In fact all of America is Phoenix.

            Are you defending TMT’s claim? Are you repeating it? Then prove it.

            BTW, not one black person in Dixville Notch was ever subjected to police brutality. Make what you will of that!

          • “Nancy_Naive | January 6, 2021 at 9:50 am |
            Okay matt, you win. All American cities are exactly like Phoenix. In fact all of America is Phoenix.

            Are you defending TMT’s claim? Are you repeating it? Then prove it.

            BTW, not one black person in Dixville Notch was ever subjected to police brutality. Make what you will of that!”

            I didn’t say that they were, however using the very list you provided that is clearly the case and it anecdotally proves TMT’s statement.

            “BTW, not one black person in Dixville Notch was ever subjected to police brutality. Make what you will of that”

            Irrelevant, much like 90% of what you say.

          • Define “sway. And is a sheriff considered law enforcement? Because then, no mayor in Virginia has any “sway” over all law enforcement in his city.

          • “Nancy_Naive | January 6, 2021 at 10:05 am |
            Define “sway. And is a sheriff considered law enforcement? Because then, no mayor in Virginia has any “sway” over all law enforcement in his city.”

            Do you plan to continue to move the goalposts? Cities don’t have “sheriff’s”, they have local police forces. Sheriff’s are county, not city.

          • Don’t know much about Virginia, do ya? Hint: independent cities. They all have a city sheriff.

            Now back to the “sway” issue. Define “sway”.

            Or, back to work. One or the other.

          • “Nancy_Naive | January 6, 2021 at 10:21 am |
            Don’t know much about Virginia, do ya? Hint: independent cities. They all have a city sheriff.

            Now back to the “sway” issue. Define “sway”.

            Or, back to work. One or the other.”

            Oh so now we are back to discussing Virginia? As sheriffs roles are dependent upon each state.

            Oh must have hit a nerve when you’re given to attacking me.

          • Look down a post or two…

          • In Virginia, not all independent cities have their own sheriff.

            Neither Manassas nor Manassas Park do.

            I would venture to guess that the reason why is that they don’t have their own courts; they use Prince William County’s courts.

            In contrast, Fredericksburg has their own courts, and they have their own sheriff.

          • Either way, I may not have been completely right but matt’s totally wrong. That’s all that counts.

            And Phoenix is a bit of a red herring since the elected officials have “no sway” over PPD…
            https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix/2019/06/20/law-prohibits-phoenix-city-council-immediately-firing-police/1511872001/

          • The Phoenix City Manager is un-elected and is appointed by the Major and City council, again this is local dependent.

            So you’re belief is yet again, false.

            Oh and the Law requires “Due Process”, that’s a pretty reasonable standard to most people (I guess not you).

          • “Nancy_Naive | January 6, 2021 at 11:02 am |
            Look down a post or two…”

            At what? Your article that doesn’t validate your statement?

            Humm this seems to be a pattern, you’re as thin skinned as Trump.

          • “There is no epidemic of fatal police shootings against unarmed Black Americans”

            “Ideally officers would never need to take anyone’s life. But the data on police killings doesn’t support reducing or abolishing law enforcement.”

            https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2020/07/03/police-black-killings-homicide-rates-race-injustice-column/3235072001/

          • Even better, Nate. If ther is no epidemic of police shootings against Black citizens, then the party of the elected mayor and city council doesn’t matter.

            I like your position best!

          • What matters most, and what is impacted by governance, is the level of violence and shootings. NYC was much better off under Giuliani. Democrats and BLM are very bad for black lives.

            “NYC shootings in 2020 matched prior two years combined”

            “So many bullets flew in the Big Apple in 2020 that the number of shootings and gun victims matched the totals for the two prior years combined.”

            “NYPD statistics released Friday show that 1,868 people were hit by gunfire in 1,531 separate shooting incidents last year — matching the totals for both categories in 2018 plus 2019.”

            “But last year saw a resurgence in shootings amid lockdown restrictions over the coronavirus pandemic, a reinvigorated Black Lives Matter movement that called for defunding police and a state bail reform law that allowed many suspects to remain free without bail.”

            “The NYPD also disbanded its Street Crimes Unit in June due to cutbacks.”

            https://nypost.com/2021/01/01/nyc-shootings-in-2020-matched-prior-two-years-combined/

            https://nypost.com/2021/01/01/nyc-shootings-in-2020-matched-prior-two-years-combined/

  13. Yup – here’s how the GOP wins over blacks and hispanics:

    ” A panel of retired judges on Wednesday will set about picking the eight citizen members of Virginia’s redistricting commission from Democratic and Republican lists with stark racial and geographic differences.

    The 34 Democratic finalists include 12 non-Hispanic whites, 14 Black people, four Hispanic people, two Asians and two who are multiracial, according to profiles of the 62 finalists reported by the Virginia Public Access Project.

    Republicans nominated 25 non-Hispanic whites, one Black person and two people who are Hispanic. ”

    https://dailyprogress.com/news/state-and-regional/parties-finalists-for-redistricting-panel-show-stark-racial-and-geographic-differences/article_0007d08c-14a5-5dc8-92c0-8fa1495d8755.html

  14. In Georgia, 88 percent of Black men went for Ossoff. So much for “realignment.”

    • Would you care to cite where you found that statistic?

    • Hopes springs eternal for Conservatives.

      But their essential problem is that they have a governing philosopy and the vote-getting is to convince voters they know best – as opposed to actually representing the interests of voters – even if they run counter to Conservative philosophy.

      Can’t be telling blacks what they need.

      • “”LarrytheG | January 6, 2021 at 9:09 am | Reply
        Hopes springs eternal for Conservatives.

        But their essential problem is that they have a governing philosopy and the vote-getting is to convince voters they know best – as opposed to actually representing the interests of voters – even if they run counter to Conservative philosophy.

        Can’t be telling blacks what they need.”

        As you continue to tell blacks how to vote and if they deviate from that box you’ve placed them in they aren’t black.

        Humorous statement and also a trend which I highlighted in my initial post. Ya’ll are white and white bread can be telling blacks how to vote, you’ve got zero clue of their plights or priorities.

        Oh PS: both parties continually tell the voters they know what’s best, you just refuse to accept that “fact”.

        • Can’t be telling blacks that BLM is wrong or that systemic racism does not exist or that police killings of blacks is not that… black kids can’t learn cuz their parents are not parenting correctly, 2% enrollment in charter schools is not an equity issue but those who want equal outcomes, etc, etc,

          • I’m not telling anyone anything is wrong, you are.

          • Yep. I’m saying if you are white and telling blacks these things that it will not go well at elections.

            And even in cities with Dem mayors and black killings – blacks are not deaf and dumb – if they thought a GOP mayor would fix the problem – they would vote them in. In stead, they think the GOP Mayor would not – in part , because of the GOP philosophy towards race , racism, policing, and more.

            The GOP has total opportunity to out-compete Dems on the issues yet they always come back with the excuse that – essentially – blacks don’t understand and if they did, they’d not vote Dem.

            You see it here in BR … no such thing as systemic racism – do blacks think that?

          • “LarrytheG | January 6, 2021 at 9:48 am |
            Yep. I’m saying if you are white and telling blacks these things that it will not go well at elections.

            And even in cities with Dem mayors and black killings – blacks are not deaf and dumb – if they thought a GOP mayor would fix the problem – they would vote them in. In stead, they think the GOP Mayor would not – in part , because of the GOP philosophy towards race , racism, policing, and more.

            The GOP has total opportunity to out-compete Dems on the issues yet they always come back with the excuse that – essentially – blacks don’t understand and if they did, they’d not vote Dem.

            You see it here in BR … no such thing as systemic racism – do blacks think that?”

            Not even slightly, you’ve got a PE telling them if they don’t vote party for him they aren’t black.

            What you want to engage in, is identity politics, that doesn’t serve anyone’s interests.

          • Matt.. it’s not what Dems say. It’s what the GOP sez that affects black voters.

            It’s like the GOP talks to each other and blacks don’t hear it?

          • “LarrytheG | January 6, 2021 at 10:04 am |
            Matt.. it’s not what Dems say. It’s what the GOP sez that affects black voters.

            It’s like the GOP talks to each other and blacks don’t hear it?”

            Huh? So PE Biden telling people that unless they vote for him, they aren’t black doesn’t “effect” them.

          • Sure he can. And blacks are free to decide between him and what GOP folks say.

            You don’t get to decide if Biden’s speech is worse, Blacks do and you basically are questioning blacks judgement, right?

          • “LarrytheG | January 6, 2021 at 10:10 am |
            Sure he can. And blacks are free to decide between him and what GOP folks say.

            You don’t get to decide if Biden’s speech is worse, Blacks do and you basically are questioning blacks judgement, right?”

            Sure I do, he’s a white man telling people of color what and what does not make them that color.

  15. NBC news

    • So what you’re really saying is that you don’t have a citation to back up your claim. Saying NBC news is a cop out, you made the statement back it up with a link.

  16. Matt. I am driving for work. I don’t have time for stupid nit picks.

  17. Soldering circuit boards sure is boring…

  18. re: concealed weapons permit restrictions:

    Persons Not Qualified to Obtain a Permit – (§ 18.2-308.09)
    An individual who is ineligible to possess a firearm pursuant to Section 18.2-308.1:1, 18.2-308.1:2 or Section 18.2-308.1:3 or the substantially similar law of any other state or of the United States.

    An individual who was ineligible to possess a firearm pursuant to Section 18.2-308.1:1 and who was discharged from the custody of the Commissioner pursuant to Section 19.2-182.7 less than five years before the date of his application for a concealed handgun permit.

    An individual who was ineligible to possess a firearm pursuant to Section 18.2-308.1:2 and whose competency or capacity was restored pursuant to former Section 37.1-134.1 or Section 37.2-1012 less than five years before the date of his application for a concealed handgun permit.

    An individual who was ineligible to possess a firearm under Section 18.2-308.1:3 and who was released from commitment less than five years before the date of this application for a concealed handgun permit.

    An individual who is subject to a restraining order, to a protective order, to an emergency substantial risk order or substantial risk order and prohibited by Section 18.2-308.1:4or Section 18.2-308.1:6 from purchasing or transporting a firearm.

    An individual who is prohibited by Section 18.2-308.2 from possessing or transporting a firearm, except that a permit may be obtained in accordance with subsection C of that section.

    An individual who has been convicted of two or more misdemeanors within the five-year period immediately preceding the application, if one of the misdemeanors was a Class 1 misdemeanor, but the judge shall have the discretion to deny a permit for two or more misdemeanors that are not Class 1. Traffic infractions or reckless driving shall not be considered for purposes of this disqualification.

    An individual who is addicted to, or is an unlawful user or distributor of, marijuana or any controlled substance.

    An individual who has been convicted of a violation of Section 18.2-266 or a substantially similar local ordinance, or of public drunkenness, or of a substantially similar offense under the laws of any other state, the District of Columbia, the United States, or its territories within the three-year period immediately preceding the application.

    An alien other than an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States.

    An individual who has been discharged from the Armed Forces of the United States under dishonorable conditions.

    An individual who is a fugitive from justice.

    An individual who the court finds, by a preponderance of the evidence, based on specific acts by the applicant, is likely to use a weapon unlawfully or negligently to endanger others. The sheriff, chief of police, or attorney for the Commonwealth may submit to the court a sworn written statement indicating that, in the opinion of such sheriff, chief of police, or attorney for the Commonwealth, based upon a disqualifying conviction or upon the specific acts set forth in the statement, the applicant is likely to use a weapon unlawfully or negligently to endanger others. The statement of the sheriff, chief of police, or the attorney for the Commonwealth shall be based upon personal knowledge of such individual or of a deputy sheriff, police officer, or assistant attorney for the Commonwealth of the specific acts, or upon a written statement made under oath before a notary public of a competent person having personal knowledge of the specific acts.

    An individual who has been convicted of any assault, assault and battery, sexual battery, discharging of a firearm in violation of Section 18.2-280 or Section 18.2-286.1 or brandishing of a firearm in violation of Section 18.2-282 within the three-year period immediately preceding the application.

    An individual who has been convicted of stalking.

    An individual whose previous convictions or adjudications of delinquency were based on an offense which would have been at the time of conviction a felony if committed by an adult under the laws of any state, the District of Columbia, the United States or its territories. For purposes of this disqualifier, only convictions occurring within sixteen years following the later of the date of (i) the conviction or adjudication or (ii) release from any incarceration imposed upon such conviction or adjudication shall be deemed to be “previous convictions.”

    An individual who has a felony charge pending or a charge pending for an offense listed in 14 or 15.
    An individual who has received mental health treatment or substance abuse treatment in a residential setting within five years prior to the date of his application for a concealed handgun permit.

    An individual not otherwise ineligible pursuant to this section, who, within the three-year period immediately preceding the application for the permit, was found guilty of any criminal offense set forth in Article 1 (Section 18.2-247 et seq.) of Chapter 7 of this title or of a criminal offense of illegal possession or distribution of marijuana or any controlled substance, under the laws of any state, the District of Columbia, or the United States or its territories.

    An individual, not otherwise ineligible pursuant to this section, with respect to whom, within the three-year period immediately preceding the application, upon a charge of any criminal offense set forth in Article 1 (Section 18.2-247 et seq.) of Chapter 7 of this title or upon a charge of illegal possession or distribution of marijuana or any controlled substance under the laws of any state, the District of Columbia, or the United States or its territories, the trial court found that the facts of the case were sufficient for a finding of guilt and disposed of the case pursuant to Section 18.2-251 or the substantially similar law of any other state, the District of Columbia, or the United States or its territories.

    • Yes. You copied and pasted the language of the law. So what?

      • Is it the updated one where you cannot attain your permit online? However, given our current health crisis, isn’t that where they should be completing it.

      • Sounds like significant more vetting to me… which is what I said before why I felt concealed carry had more restrictions and you were happy with not disabusing?

        • No, it is not significantly more vetting. Pretty much every reason listed in that law as a disqualification from obtaining a Concealed Handgun Permit is also a disqualification from being allowed to purchase a firearm.

          Have you ever even completed an ATF Form 4473?

          • should not answer that question here.

            How about these: ?

            PROHIBITED CONDUCT AND WHERE UNLAWFUL TO CARRY – (§ 18.2-308.012)
            Any person permitted to carry a concealed handgun who is under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs while carrying such handgun in a public place is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. Conviction of any of the following offenses shall be prima facie evidence, subject to rebuttal, that the person is “under the influence” for purposes of this section: manslaughter in violation of Section 18.2-36.1, maiming in violation of Section 18.2-51.4, driving while intoxicated in violation of Section 18.2-266, public intoxication in violation of Section 18.2-388, or driving while intoxicated in violation of Section 46.2-341.24.

            No person who carries a concealed handgun onto the premises of any restaurant or club as defined in Section 4.1-100for which a license to sell and serve alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption has been granted by the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Board under Title 4.1 of the Code of Virginia; may consume an alcoholic beverage while on the premises. A person who carries a concealed handgun onto the premises of such a restaurant or club and consumes alcoholic beverages is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor. However, nothing in this subsection shall apply to a federal, state, or local law-enforcement officer.

            Section 18.2-308.01: Private property when prohibited by the owner of the property, or where posted as prohibited.

            Section 18.2-283: To a place of worship while a meeting for religious purposes is being held at such place, without good and sufficient reason.

            Section 18.2-283.1: Courthouse.

            Section 18.2-308.1: School property. Exemptions to this statute include a person who has a valid concealed handgun permit and possesses a concealed handgun while in a motor vehicle in a parking lot, traffic circle, or other means of vehicular ingress or egress to the school.

            Section 18.2-287.01: Carrying weapon in air carrier airport terminal.

          • Larry is unfamiliar with the myriad of gun laws the public is already subject to, so this is new to him.

            He really thinks he’s found something. All he is proving is that we don’t need any more gun laws.

          • Larry,

            The restrictions listed in that portion of the law also apply to people who are NOT carrying concealed – with the (most-likely unintended) exception of someone who open-carries into a restaurant or bar. THAT person may consume alcohol on the premises (although it is still illegal for them to be drunk), while the concealed carrier may not have a beer with his dinner unless he switches to open-carry.

            That is pretty much the ONLY “additional restriction” placed on the activities of a concealed carrier over and above those which also apply to an open-carrier. If you consider that to be significant additional vetting then more power to you.

            And did you notice that federal, state and local law enforcement officers who are carrying concealed may drink to their hearts content? It’s the age-old story: One set of laws for those who govern – another set for those who are governed.

          • Okay. Thanks. Enough of this.

          • “Okay. Thanks. Enough of this.”

            Well, I hope I have not disabused you of any of your mistaken assumptions – I wouldn’t want you running out and trying to get more gun laws passed…

          • Well, you did convince me of something but not that and I sorta knew it already.

  19. I’d run commercials featuring Virginia-native Jacob Frey promising the people of Minneapolis that he was going to get rid of the bad cops. Then, fade to the four police officers killing George Floyd. Promises made but not kept by a Democrat. George Floyd Rest in Peace.

  20. James Wyatt Whitehead V

    Poll from Fauquier Now. Republicans split between Chase and Cox. McAuliffe is the front runner for Democrats. I suspect he has already won. I voted for Merle. I have a soft spot for the underdog. Maybe he will run like Secretariat did.
    https://www.fauquiernow.com/fauquier_opinions/question/fauquier-who-will-win-virginias-election-for-governor-in-november-2020

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