The Virginia Republican Party unleashed a nasty attack on Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam, all but calling him a race traitor for supporting removal of Confederate monuments from public spaces. But Northam wasn't about to let them get away with it.
The Virginia Republican Party seems pointedly dedicated to unleashing obscene, race-based smears on Democrats in the state.
Fresh off a repugnant attack on former Democratic congressman Tom Perriello, in which the organization labeled the practicing Catholic a “Christian-hating bigot” for opposing white supremacy, the Virginia GOP has now jumped back into the racist Twitter fray.
After the neo-Nazi riot in Charlottesville, Ralph Northam, currently serving as Virginia’s Democratic lieutenant governor and running for governor this year, released a statement supporting the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee from Virginia’s Emancipation Park.
“I believe these statues should be taken down and moved into museums,” Northam said, echoing the opinion of the majority of Americans.
But, unsurprisingly, not the opinion of the Virginia GOP, which lashed out at Northam on Twitter with an appalling claim that he had “turned his back on his own family’s heritage” — a disturbing echo of Donald Trump’s words at his unhinged rally in Phoenix Tuesday night.
As Slate’s chief political correspondent Jamelle Bouie noted, the tweet “is basically calling [Northam] a race traitor.”
And Northam wasn’t about to let the vile attack go by without standing up for his values, and calling the GOP out for such specious garbage:
— Ralph Northam (@RalphNortham) August 23, 2017
Incidentally, in a follow-up tweet, the Virginia GOP accidentally provided the proof that Northam’s stance is on the right side of the issue:
By saying that Northam will “do anything or say anything” in order to win the race for governor, and by implying that opposing Confederate monuments in the public square is one such thing which will help him do so, the Virginia Republican Party just admitted that Northam’s opposition is a popular viewpoint.
Perhaps what is actually #Pathetic is being so narrow-minded and dead-set on honoring bigotry and playing down slavery in the false name of “heritage” that you negate your own spiteful argument, and imply that someone is a race traitor for denouncing institutionalized prejudice.
Indeed, as Northam said, he is not turning his back on anything except hatred, division, and white supremacy. And if that principled stance helps him win his race, it would be because the people agree with him — just as the Virginia GOP unwittingly argued.
Update: Virginia GOP subsequently deleted its original tweets and offered a pitiful defense in a new tweet, stating, “Our previous tweets were interpreted in a way we never intended. We apologize and reiterate our denunciation of racism in all its forms.”