Spanberger Speaks Truth to Power

Abigail Spanberger speaking at a meeting sponsored by the Problem Solvers Caucus and the Common Sense Coalition. Photo credit: Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket

by James A. Bacon

As Democrats come to terms with their butt-whooping in Virginia and their near-death experience in New Jersey, they’ve been asking themselves what went wrong. Predictably, pundits from the University of Virginia’s Larry Sabato to MSNBC’s Joy Reid have interpreted the shellacking as a racist White backlash. This delusional bubble-think is a recipe for continued Democratic electoral failure. Luckily for Democrats, they have Rep. Abigail Spanberger, representing my home congressional district, to set them straight.

The New York Times quoted Spanberger in its election wrap-up yesterday.

“We were so willing to take seriously a global pandemic, but we’re not willing to say, ‘Yeah, inflation is a problem, and supply chain is a problem, and we don’t have enough workers in our work force,’” said Representative Abigail Spanberger, a Virginia Democrat facing a bruising re-election. “We gloss over that and only like to admit to problems in spaces we dominate.”

More pointedly, Ms. Spanberger said Mr. Biden must not forget that, for many voters, his mandate was quite limited: to remove former President Donald J. Trump from their television screens and to make American life ordinary again.

“Nobody elected him to be F.D.R., they elected him to be normal and stop the chaos,” she said, alluding to the sweeping agenda the president is seeking to enact with the thinnest of legislative majorities.

Spanberger nailed it. The centrist Democrat is rooted in political reality — and constituents in her Republican-leaning district will like what she has to say. Now, let’s see if she can, in the words of Spike Lee, “do the right thing” by voting against the fiscally reckless, pork-laden tax-and-spend monstrosities grinding their way through Congress.

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29 responses to “Spanberger Speaks Truth to Power”

  1. Eric the half a troll Avatar
    Eric the half a troll

    Waiting for the BR post pooh-poohing today’s jobs report…

  2. LarrytheG Avatar

    Wow! Quoting the left wing media AND a Democrat who is NOT AOC!

    Yes – there are a significant number of Dems who reject the left wing of the party these days. Too bad, the GOP won’t repudiate THEIR extremists!

    And that will be Youngkins challenge. Is he going to govern with a 1% center-right or is he going to go with his party’s wacadoodles.??

    The Dems are not in denial – at least a substantial number are not – they know they screwed up.

    But do NOTE – No Dem claims of “rigged” elections… no demands for recounts/audits , no refusal to concede, and Northam personally welcomes Youngkin to Richmond.

    Would the GOP do this these days?

    1. Stephen Haner Avatar
      Stephen Haner

      I don’t know. No Republican now in office lost. 🙂 But I’ve been around this block for 40 plus years now, and last year was the only time I’ve ever heard anybody claim seriously that Virginia’s system was badly broken. Without question, games have been played in various places with absentee ballots. But that only matters is a tight local race usually.

      Youngkin made very good use of previous statements by McAwful challenging R victories from 2000 to 2016. Both parties have this infection. Larry never sees his party’s sins in any of this. (And demands for recounts can’t be made until after certification. Stand by.)

      Youngkin won because more 2020 GOP voters showed up than 2020 D voters. Faced with the huge skepticism in Republican ranks about the process, fed by a failed president desperate to deny reality, restoring some confidence was essential. The army of poll watchers, etc, accomplished that. Election integrity REALLY WAS an essential issue for any GOP candidate who wanted those voters to come out.

      1. LarrytheG Avatar

        re: ” Both parties have this infection”

        do you mean “Stop the Steal? ”

        yes, we’ve had election disputes and recounts but as far as I know, the Dems, have claimed that our election process is corrupt and cannot be trusted and filed lawsuits across the country claiming massive fraud.

        Not in Virginia either.

        Has there been actual fraud in Virginia elections?

        exceedingly rare – right?

        and even Youngkin was saying the “audit” words – just flat out pandering IMHO.

        and a recount after McA concedes?

        by who for hecksake?

        You’re thinking like a Republican on that…


        1. Stephen Haner Avatar
          Stephen Haner

          I rest my case. Larry has as usual only one eye open….

          1. LarrytheG Avatar

            I think when I see the Dems stand up their own “STOP THE STEAL” – I might reconsider who has the blind eye!


          2. Does that include campaign signs, as per ‘Hi-jinks’ Hurst?

          3. LarrytheG Avatar

            not sure what specifics you allude to – but as far as I can tell the Dems are not saying – as a party that the elections are rigged much less go riot in Washington over it.

          4. Matt Adams Avatar
            Matt Adams

            I guess you missed Georgia or Gore before that.

            So how often do you pull your head out of the sand?

          5. John Harvie Avatar
            John Harvie

            I’d reminded him of Gore but guess he ignored me

          6. Matt Adams Avatar
            Matt Adams

            If it doesn’t fit his narrative or proves contrary to it, he often does ignore things. After that he moves into equivocating, which is what he did below.

            He should perhaps partake in some focus factor and recall that the only reason Gore v. Bush ended was because the SCOTUS said it needed to.

          7. LarrytheG Avatar

            Didn’t Gore concede? There were some real questions in that race but in the end, Gore is the one who gave in and he did so without claiming that massive fraud was occurring or that people should confront election officials or go to DC to raise hell.

            What Gore was arguing about was how the votes were being counted NOT that there was massive election fraud that had to be stopped… no comparison to Trump and his merry band of idiots.

            I think what some are doing now are “normalizing” and “equivalencies” like what has happened recently is no different than prior. That’s just living in denial of the facts and realities just like other lies and conspiracy theories making the rounds on the right these days.

  3. Steve Gillispie Avatar
    Steve Gillispie

    Spanberger has voted down the line for Pelosi and the Democrat’s worst excesses since she got there. Just pandering to a new reality as Henrico stayed blue but barely.

    And, McCauliffe had Stacy Abrams come to Virginia in part to tell us all that the election was stolen from her.

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      Yep, but unlike right-wing media that treats Trumps lies as truth – WaPo calls it out when Dems do it:

      “Did racially motivated voter suppression thwart Stacey Abrams?”

      1. Voter suppression? Interesting concept given that the 2018 election saw 3,902,093 votes while the 2014 election saw 2,490,031 votes.

        1. LarrytheG Avatar

          and the alarm bells have gone off in Red states who have acted to roll back options to make voting easier.

          Election bills surge nationwide as 47 states consider restrictions
          New measures limiting access have been signed into law in Georgia, Iowa, Arkansas and Utah.

          Lawmakers introduced 108 restrictive voting bills in less than five weeks this spring, according to an analysis of the scope and momentum of election limits being considered across the country.

          By March 24, lawmakers had introduced 361 restrictive election bills in 47 legislatures, according to the nonpartisan Brennan Center for Justice at New York University, which has been tracking the legislation. That’s 108 more than in the center’s last count, on Feb. 19, a 43 percent increase.

          Former President Donald Trump’s stolen election lie has inspired an avalanche of election-related bills nationwide. By all accounts, the 2020 election was secure and the results were accurate. Trump’s attorney general William Barr said there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud, and Trump’s legal efforts to overturn the results failed in courtrooms around the country.

          But that hasn’t stopped states from reducing access to the ballot box.

  4. Steve Gillispie Avatar
    Steve Gillispie

    I should have been more explicit. You think Youngkin’s results might have something to do with Spanberger’s new found awareness?

    With Virginia’s election results coming in early Wednesday morning, showing a Republican sweep of all three statewide races as well as wresting majority control of the House of Delegates, Democrat U.S. Reps.
    Abigail Spanberger (VA) and Elaine Luria (VA) now represent districts won handily by Republican Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin, according to data from the Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP)

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      re: ” You think Youngkin’s results might have something to do with Spanberger’s new found awareness?”

      Oh I DO – but give credit – they not only recognize the problem – they are willing to admit it publically.

      Even BEFORE the election, there were Dems like Carville and others who were warning on the “woke”.

      The Dems have two wings these days – progressive and moderate. Even the moderate Dems are to the left of GOP but the GOP has it’s own two wings of which the far right one is just as wackadoodle as the liberals left wing.

      We need leaders who will bail from the culture wars and govern more from the middle.

      Otherwise, Youngkin will just shoot his wad also.

      Youngkin has an opportunity to rebuild the Va GOP into a durable governing majority – let’s see where he goes. He’ll have to fight forces in his own party to do so.

  5. Steve Gillispie Avatar
    Steve Gillispie

    Have Democrats responded with recognition they might be losing voters they would want or need or that there are excesses in their wings? This is a professor’s analysis from MSNBC commenting on why our new Lt. Governor was elected.

    “The problem is here they want White supremacy by ventriloquist effect. There is a Black mouth moving but a White idea running on the runway of the tongue of a figure who justifies and legitimates the White supremacist practices,” Dyson ranted. “We know that we can internalize in our own minds, in our own subconscious, in our own bodies the very principles that are undoing us. So to have a Black face speaking in behalf of a White supremacist legacy is nothing new. And it is to the
    chagrin of those of us who study race that the White folk on the other side and the right wingers the other side don’t understand”

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      Do moderate Dems recognize the wackadoodles to their left and their impact on elections?

      They worried all along and now see the truth, yes.

      Is it about white supremacy and race?

      Is this how Conservatives perceive “woke”?

      First, go consult the POLLs on this – not just one – go find several and come back and tell me that the issue of race
      is not widespread across almost all demographics except conservatives, who basically deny it, reject it.

      Having said that the left took “woke” way too far and had no real intelligence about the potency of the issue with voters – not that different than neighborhood schools and busing –

      Conservatives are swimming upstream on the race issue – they got a squeaker (1%) with Youngkin – but I hardly think the electorate as a whole has rejected race as an issue. It’s still very much with us AND it WILL bite Youngkin in the butt if he goes too far right!

      1. Last time I checked, 50.82% minus 48.40% was 2.42%. That’s almost two and one-half percent.

        Certainly not a landslide, but way more than 1%.

  6. Steve Gillispie Avatar
    Steve Gillispie

    Think MSNBC is an outlier. This is what has been dominating all the MSN News and, judging from the comments even in “Next Door”, a lot of nice but seriously misguided people are buying it.
    Here’s Van Jones of CNN.

    “When this election is over in Virginia, we will have seen the emergence of the Delta variant of Trumpism,” Jones began…In other words, Youngkin, same disease, …more easy to spread, because if you are looking at what he is doing…He is using all of the Critical Race Theory head fakes and head nods which is a softer version of a very, virulent kind of anti-black posture … “.

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      Delta variant – pretty scary… and I do give the GOP credit for how they are playing the CRT game but it’s still just a variation of the Southern Strategy IMHO and yes, it’s a potent strategy that works including in blue-leaning districts.

  7. James Wyatt Whitehead Avatar
    James Wyatt Whitehead

    I wonder if Spanberger saw that a Republican from Petersburg was elected to the House of Delegates.

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      I’m sure. Spanberger has been holding on to that seat with her fingernails…The GOP has her targetted.

  8. Steve Gillispie Avatar
    Steve Gillispie

    Contrast these aforementioned analyses with Youngkin’s actual acceptance speech.

    No mention of CRT; no criticism of fake ads; planted white nationalist actors, race-baiting McCauliffe’s pivoting on Northam’s blackface scandal, or condescending (Obama) outsiders, yada, yada; no criticism of McCauliffe, no criticism of Democrats or the party, no mention of race —

    NO CRITICISM OF ANYONE . Just a positive, upbeat, inclusive straight down-the-list recitation of actual issues non-Democrat partisans vote on.

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      AND, I AGREE – he’s setting the right tone. Let’s see if he maintains it.

      But ALSO, McA conceded, and Northam welcomed Youngkin to Richmond … right tone…

      Now he has to govern – is he going to ignore CRT and dismiss it as more of an effective campaign strategy than a real issue that actually needs to be addressed, and if so -how?

      I give him a huge benefit of the doubt and await his moves and truly the last think I hope for is more partisan divisiveness… find some common ground.

      And he will have to if he wants the Va Senate to go with him.

  9. energyNOW_Fan Avatar

    Anyone notice the BIF Infrastructure bill suddenly passed just a little after Abigail spoke?

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      I think Pelosi may have pulled off a bit of a shell game on the progressives when some moderates demanded a CBO score on the second one and that allowed Pelosi to push the first one without progressives holding the line on both at once.

      Pelosi’s days are numbered. If the Dems don’t lose the house – and they likely will, but if they don’t, the progressives are going to challenge Pelosi for Majority leader and I’m thinking Pelosi is about done anyhow on her own.

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