The New Face of Virginia’s GOP

Amanda Chase. Credit: Scott Elmquist, Style Weekly

By Peter Galuszka

If ever one photo best describes what 2020 was like in Virginia, this shot, by the brilliant veteran photographer Scott Elmquist at Style Weekly, shows it.

The photo is of state Sen. Amanda Chase, R-Chesterfield, at a July 4 rally at the capitol. Her defiant expression, the assault-style rifle and the over-the-top elephant skirt tell you what has become of the Virginia Republican Party, which hasn’t won a statewide public office in about a decade.

Chase is a pistol-packing, foul-mouthed, tough-talking show girl who is running for governor and backs the dangerous authoritarian tendencies of outgoing President Donald Trump. Chase is so extreme that her county GOP kicked her out.

Republicans were still so frightened of her that they decided to hold conventions and not a primary to decide between her and Kirk Cox, a more moderate politician and perhaps anyone else who runs. Now Chase has announced she will run as a Republican. Doing so gives her a leg up.

Gone are the center-right, reasonable Republicans that actually could bargain with Democrats to get things done. Instead, there are the totally partisan politics of resentment, xenophobia, racism, fantasy and denial of science.

The other day, a curious guest appeared on MSNBC, a left-leaning cable network. Appearing was outgoing U.S. Rep. Denver Riggleman, a Republican who decried Trump’s absurd refusal to accept reality and admit he lost the November election. More recently, Trump has mulled over ordering martial law and sending in the military to re run elections in key states where he lost.

This is outrageous nonsense that makes the U.S. seem like a banana republic. Riggleman urged concern about Trump.

Curiously, Riggleman  lost his primary in the 5th District to Bob Good, a far right politician with ties to Liberty University where there is an internal controversy of top officials using school resources to back trump. Good achieved his victory by spotlighting the fact that Riggleman participated in a wedding between two gay people. Never mind that gays have the Constitutional right to marry. Homophobia and hatred do well in the rural district.

After winning the general election, Good made dangerous statements that the COVID-19 pandemic is a fraud. I am sure that the families of hundreds of thousands of Americans who have died from it will agree.

Chase will certainly get a boost from the likes of the small town bigots. This has nothing to do with traditional GOP policies of free speech, low government spending and fewer government regulations. She is the face of the new Virginia Republican Party.

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87 responses to “The New Face of Virginia’s GOP

  1. Where are the democrats who are interested in governing even remotely to the center? Why must the onus always be on the GOP to do whatever the hell democrats want to do? To hell with that.

    • I would say that Northam is in the center (remember, the Republicans tried to get him to switch parties several years ago). Then there is Jennifer McClellan and Terry McAuliffe, who are running for Governor. Sam Rasoul, running for Lt. Governor is a moderate. Some of the other candidates may be so, as well, but I am not that familar with them.

  2. Schapiro’s trash talk in the RTD and Lewis’s in Virginia Mercury are far better reading…..But Peter is getting the same talking points.

    • Spoken like a true, old style Republican apparatchik that you are !

      • Peter, you didn’t answer the question.

        • Not all Democrats and far left. Look at Abigail Spanberger and a host of others. They are not all in the AOC squad

          • Abigail Spanberger is whatever will keep her in power, she didn’t object to the premise of defunding the Police but rather the wording and how it affected her chances of re-election. She is first and foremost a Politician.

          • Let’s see…

            I always liked Patrick Caddell, but he died almost two years ago.

            And I always got along with Edd Houck, but he’s no longer in Virginia politics as far as I know.

            Can you give me any more names? Maybe even one who does not want to take away my guns?

          • Matt –

            As I recall it, Abigail Spanberger said the democrats need to stop TALKING about defunding the police – she never said they need to stop trying to defund the police…


          • WanyeS –

            Yes, sir you are very correct.

          • Dick Hall-Sizemore

            See my reply above.

        • There was a question? Steve? Did you ask a question?

          • EricO asked the question, not Steve. For once I agree with Peter re there being actual moderate D’s out there, but I sure would have liked to hear more than just one name. Maybe she’s the only one from Virginia 🤔

          • Nope, just made the point I’ve read this twice before in recent days, from better writers. Chase does exist, so need not be invented….but she’s not the nominee, just one wannabe.

  3. What about the field hospitals that were created and dismantled earlier this year? If hospitals are being swamped why not bring them back? Also, rapid testing for everyone involved in health care and “congregate” living situations to separate the sick people?

  4. Baconator with extra cheese

    That photographer brilliantly captured Republican racism… but ummm… she’s standing in solidarity with an armed Black guy.
    Her racism is so apparent there. I mean all racist white women turn their backs on Black guys with semi-automatic rifles.
    Is the Black dude a racist Republican too? (He is wearing an “over the top” red shirt) Or is that the “brilliance” of the photographer’s work and my whiteness doesn’t allow me to see it?
    I think Chase is a piece of shizzz… but come on now…. it’s not like she’s wearing Blackface or saying her mentor/ friend was the former Exhaulted Cyclops of the Klan like our president-elect.

  5. Baconator with extra cheese

    Oh… a Ku Klux Kop!
    Definitely a racist then… especially a RVA Black cop hired and supervised by one of the racist RVA Black police chiefs and overseen by one of the racist RVA Black mayors.

  6. “The photo is of state Sen. Amanda Chase, R-Chesterfield, at a July 4 rally at the capitol. Her defiant expression, the assault-style rifle and the over-the-top elephant skirt tell you what has become of the Virginia Republican Party, which hasn’t won a statewide public office in about a decade.”

    Curious, what’s an “assault-style rifle”, she’s holding a semi-auto firearm. Is it assault style because of the detachable magazine, or the collapsible stock? As those two factors are the only different between this and a Ruger Mini 14. The latter which is molded after the M1 Garand and or M14, you know battle rifles. One would think that following being corrected multiple times the author would learn, however clearly learning isn’t his strong suit.

    • You are,of course, absolutely correct. It has the same, more or less, rate of fire as any semi automatic. The solution is clear. Manual eject only.

      • If you wish you require manual extraction (we don’t eject bullets or casings) you’d be firing a 50 caliber cap and ball. Which is going to provide you with a much larger hole and a bullet proof vest isn’t going to save you.

        • Bolts, levers and pumps. No gas or electric, i.e., non-manual.

          • You said manual? Bolts, levers or pumps are mechanical in operation, provide assistance to the handler. The bolt on a bolt action, lever repeating and or pump rifle extracts the casing the exact same way that the bolt on the stoner design does it.

        • Extract and eject are pretty much used interchangeably, although the mechanism in the firearm which performs the function is called an “extractor”.

          Bolt action, lever action and pump action firearms are all considered “manual eject” firearms because an operation separate and distinct from firing the weapon is required to eject a spent casing. The extractor requires a manual operation in order to function.

          Make no mistake, I strongly disagree with N_N’s comment, but hi terminology was not incorrect.

        • Yes, “manual” from the latin for “hand”, so hand operated mechanisms. I’ll even go for rotating chambers so long as the force to rotate it is strictly derived fom human mussle tissue within the hand with no assist from hot gases or electrical motors. You can fan it if it satisfies you.

      • The problem is that it’s black. Very scary for people on the left. The solution is clear, go with camo.

        Semi-automatic are here to stay. Get used to it.

  7. Haner. On writing, speak for yourself. Your stuff is so obtuse I have to go through it several times and even then I may not get what you are struggling to say. Isn’t this one if your ad hominem put downs? You don’t address the points I make— just attack me.

    • Irony, the guy complaining abut “ad hom attacks” just used them in his article. You just can’t make this sh*t up.

      • Adams. I have every right to discuss someone who could be my governor. Typically, when you cannot respond you come up with the “ad hom” crap and a tutorial on weapons.

        • Baconator with extra cheese

          Yeah Adams… you must be a white male…. or a Republican…. or a racist…. or like live babies… or guns… or have an article of clothing witb a pachyderm on it… or be a cop…

        • You’re not discussing them, you’re attacking her character. You’ve not addressed her positions or policy. You’re using the verbatim definition of an ad hom attack.

          Oh I wasn’t aware that “facts” were ad hom attacks.

          You’re the king of Ad hom and you aren’t a journalist, you’re just a bad joke.

    • Sorry, will knock it down to second grade level….

      The response to your “points” is she is not the nominee, many of us are working hard for somebody else, and she’s no further off center than many in your own party. I’m often expressing concern that the extreme elements have weakened the center.

      • Damned right extremes have weakened the center and it hurts everybody. Maybe there should be two more parties.

        • Baconator with extra cheese

          Now that is a statement I can stand behind…
          We do need at the least 4 viable parties. That would force either stalemates or a willingness to have dialogues.

          • We negated our solution a long time ago, the winner was the POTUS and the loser was the VP.

          • Matt-

            I agree. I think we should go back to the original method of electing pres and vice-pres.

            At the very least the two offices should be on separate ballots so we can split our votes if we want to.

          • I like to get rid of elections, and pick representatives via random selection of qualified candidates kinda’ like jury duty. To hell with political parties & campaign financing

          • “We negated our solution a long time ago, the winner was the POTUS and the loser was the VP.”

            We could update to the 21st Century. The winner becomes the POTUS and the loser becomes his Special Prosecutor.

  8. Looks to me to be a slide trigger safey is in the locked position, so she ain’t completely stupid. I don’t know the weapon, but I would assume forward would be the firing position.

    • There is no “slide trigger safety”, it’s a rotational selector switch, and the bolt is forward with a magazine in the well, its considered loaded as the bolt isn’t locked rearward without a magazine and you can’t see the star chamber.

      • What’s the slide just above the grip?
        It’s clearly a “slide” in the back position. There is embossing around where it would be if forward.

  9. Extraction port cover, it should be closed to keep debris out. It doesn’t slide it rotates up and latches into place.

    • So, the little, really small slide. Maybe 3/4 inch by 1/4 inch. Within easy thumbing distance of the grip. What is it?

      His rifle has one too, but his is in the forward posit, her’s is back.

      • Baconator with extra cheese

        What looks like it slides actually rotates with your thumb. Its the fire selector. It flips 180 degrees.
        It rotates like a windshield wiper… you can see the circle in the middle if you look close enough.
        And his looks back to me.

        • could rotate 90. But, fire selector? From semi auto to fully illegal?

          • “Nancy_Naive | December 23, 2020 at 2:21 pm | Reply
            could rotate 90. But, fire selector? From semi auto to fully illegal?”

            It would only be “illegal” if it was produced after 1986 and the individual didn’t pay the tax.

  10. There is nothing to slide on an AR style rifle. There is a forward assist to seat the round if it incompletely chambers that is it. What you’re describing is the selector lever and it rotates via the thumb.

    In an instance produced after 1986 and not owned by the Military it says safe or semi (or whatever the manufacture decided to engrave in it).

    Also, as stated before at least her booger hooks are on the trigger.

  11. Ok you clowns
    . You got me with shifting the chat to rifles. I am just trying to boost Bacons views. Forty plus comments in three hours ain’t bad.

    • There was no shifting, you attempted to use a firearm to paint Chase as an extreme, that firearm doesn’t make her extreme. Her belief in invoking martial law is what is extreme, amount other things.

      • Yup, the martial law thing is a non-starter for me. I will “abstain” before I’ll cast a vote to elect her governor.

        If only “None of the Above” was going to be on the ballot.

        • Wholeheartedly agree, I didn’t vote in the Presidential Election for the very reason that neither were qualified to receive my vote.

          In 2016 I voted for Deadpool.

      • She is an extreme. She is using a rifle as a political statement. She knows exactly what she’s doing.

    • Hey man, you’re the one who posted the gun-porn. I did not even notice there were actually people in the photograph you posted until the third time I looked at it.


  12. I noticed the M-Lok and the individual to the right of Chase looks like the lady who brought Forest Gump onto the stage at the Washington Monument rally.

  13. James Wyatt Whitehead V

    Saint Petey Pete speaks. Ho ho ho!

  14. RPV Republican Potty Of Virginia

  15. Amanda Chase’s behavior for several years has left many conservative Republicans wary of her. I’ve been a conservative since high school, and there’s no way I would vote for her after her martial law suggestion. I’m sure there are some right-wing extremists who want her, but I hope it’s not enough to split the party and hand the election to another politically correct left-wing Democrat .

    There is nothing wrong with peacefully demonstrating for ones Second Amendment rights, since so many legislatures are trying to chip away at them. I’d feel safer in the vicinity of one of these demonstrations than near a BLM demonstration.

    BTW, Representative Riggleman did more than participate in a same-sex wedding. He was the one who actually married them. It is possible to acknowledge LGBTQ rights without celebrating what you personally don’t believe in.

    • Riggleman has good business sense. Good is bible thumping talking head in a suit. He’s idea of a business plan is to go pray, ask for donations, and hopes it works out

      Folks like Chase & Good are the exact reason moderates who deal with real world issues are evacuating from the Republican party; not that democrats don’t have a mirror image of that same problem on their side.

  16. Paul. I know that many conservatives are wary of Chase. My concern as a non Republican is that the Va party is so weak and disorganized that people like Chase and crackpots like Trump get into power. BTW, I haven’t always voted Democrat.

    • The attacks are similar no matter who we put on the ballot.

      “New Va. attack ad shows minority children chased by truck with Gillespie sticker, Confederate flag”

      “— — The Virginia gubernatorial election is now officially a week away, and a new ad from a Democratic group in the state is again sparking a bitter war of words between the two campaigns vying for the Commonwealth’s top office.”

      “The minute-long ad — entitled “American Nightmare” — from the Latino Victory Project features a pickup truck adorned with a Confederate flag and an Ed Gillespie bumper sticker driving aggressively through the neighborhood chasing young minority children fleeing in terror.”

  17. @Peter, Whats your problem with people from small towns? You think bigotry is OK, so long as its not from small towns? Sounds like you’re the bigot

  18. VDOTyranny. That is exactly the point that I was trying to make in my poorly written blog post. As you know I am not a real journalist but a “bad joke.” But then I have only supported myself and my family by writing for the past 48 years. The shit that people come up with! BR was not like this before.

  19. World’s Thinnest Book: GOP Profiles in Courage 2016 to 2020

  20. >>The shit that people come up with! BR was not like this before.

    I have to agree with this. And not limited to BR. But See, (again) the WAPO article by Mitch Daniels about taking a step away from this “shit”.

    For my part, I considered Peter’s post to be unnecessarily inflammatory in a couple of ways, but when I first read it, there were very few responses, and I had hoped that folks were just ignoring it rather than jumping in and going after each other. I guess it’s just too easy to do, and I’ve done it myself on more than one occasion. The old maxim, “If it bleeds, it leads” should probably be replaced with “If it’s snarky, they will come read it and respond”

  21. Crazy. Agree with your point. Yeah maybe my point was over the top but I think I needed to make it. Plus, I actually lived in small towns ones in West Virginia and North Carolina. Loved them. Why? The clarity.

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