Tuesday was a good day for Virginia Democrats. Ralph Northam won the gubernatorial nomination, and Tom Perriello offered gracious congratulations, tweeting: “Let's go win this thing—united. Let's take back the House and ensure VA remains a firewall against hate.” Justin Fairfax won over Susan Pratt and Gene Rossi in a race that was respectful and issue-oriented. Democratic turnout in Rep. Barbara Comstock’s district was higher than the state average. Not good news for her.
About 540,000 voters cast ballots in the Democratic gubernatorial primary, while just over 360,000 voters cast ballots on the Republican side.
And then...this. A horrible shooting at a Republican Congressional baseball practice Wednesday afternoon. Five wounded, including Majority House Whip Steve Scalise, Briefly, so briefly, the country united with its thoughts and prayers for the victims. As David Axelrod tweeted: This is an “assault on our democracy.”
The gunman turned out to have campaigned for Bernie Sanders. Republicans have pounced. Rep. Pete King (who else, of course?) was first out of the blocks in blaming Democrats for the shooting. “The violence is appearing in the streets, and it’s coming from the left.” Newt Gingrich jumped in (naturally).
To correct the record, gun violence has been on the streets for quite a while. It's not coming from the left. It's coming from the
hundreds of millions of guns that Republicans have permitted to pour into our communities because of their allegiance to the National Rifle Association. Not the Democrats, who have tried valiantly to stop it. Virginia, because of years of efforts by Republican governors and legislatures, has some of the loosest gun laws in the country. As Gov. Terry McAuliffe said today: “we have too many guns on the street.”
But Gingrich and King are just the first. Just wait until Rush Limbaugh, Alex Jones and the rest of the “fake news” gang piles on.
Democrats have much to be proud of. This crazed gunman isn’t one of us. We need to hold fast to our progressive values as people who care about each other and about this country. Work for our candidates – Northam, Fairfax and others – and our causes. Join Del. Kathleen Murphy’s Day of Action on June 17. Attend the FCPS School Board Endorsement Meeting on June 23. Watch for other announcements on this website.
Things are going to get even more ugly. And, yes, we’re angry. But let’s stay focused. The governor, the lt. governor and all 100 seats in the VA House of Delegates are up for grabs. Let us know how you plan to stay working to move our country off this terrible trajectory.