Youngkin Is Just Bad

Posted on: 2022-01-17

Updated on 2022-03-01

I live in Virgina. In the recent election cycle Youngkin won against McAuliffe for Virgina governor. A few days ago he took office.

Prior to the election it was pretty obvious what Youngkin was all about. He was supported by Trump. Much of his base were Trump supporters. The special 'clever' thing he did was not talk about it. Then said he really cared about schools (or CRT). Sadly and unfortunately predictably that appears to have worked.

To make it clear that prior to the election anybody even casually curious could have found out what Youngkin was about, here are some examples...

Is Trumpy/Pro Sedition

The pledge at a rally for the Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin in Virginia on Wednesday night was different. At the beginning of the event, which Steve Bannon hosted and Donald Trump phoned into, an emcee called an attendee up onstage and announced, “She’s carrying an American flag that was carried at the peaceful rally with Donald J. Trump on January 6.” Attendees then said the pledge while facing the flag. (Youngkin didn’t attend, and later tepidly criticized the moment.)

This is a bizarre subversion. The pledge affirms allegiance to the republic, indivisible and offering justice to all. This flag was carried at a rally that became an attack on the Constitution itself: an attempt to overthrow the government, divide the country, and effect extrajudicial punishment. Elevating this banner to a revered relic captures the troubling transformation of the events of January 6 into a myth—a New Lost Cause. This mythology has many of the trappings of its neo-Confederate predecessor, which Trump also employed for political gain: a martyr cult, claims of anti-liberty political persecution, and veneration of artifacts."

The Atlantic

How Trumpy. Steve Bannon (!?) is there to endorse him. The guy who went to jail but was pardoned by Trump. One of the main people behind the Jan 6th insurrection. Youngkin says nothing or course. If he talks about it, it's makes everything obvious - I appreciate it's pretty obvious already, but for the motivated reasoning, they can claim that 'he wasn't there' and/or that he hasn't spoken about it and/or he doesn't control who endorses him.

But of course it's obvious what it means to 'the base'.

It's also obvious that if he disagreed he could say and do something about it.

Glenn Youngkin is running as Trump-lite; it's a challenging journey.

The GOP nominee for governor of Virginia is trying to thread a delicate political needle: to be Trumpian enough to energize the party's hard-core base, but not so much it turns off independent-minded suburban voters who have turned the state politically blue this century.

It's awkward as the wealthy former private equity executive parades as a populist, trying to appeal to both sides on issues ranging from election integrity to COVID-19. His worst fear may be if Trump, who has said Youngkin will “make Virginia great again,” actually comes into the state to campaign for him.

The Hill

Is Pro Right Wing Snowflakes

"The ad does not identify the book, nor does it mention that Murphy is a Republican activist. But the story was covered by the media at the time, back in 2013. Murphy’s son told the Washington Post that the book, assigned for his Advanced Placement English course, “was disgusting and gross. It was hard for me to handle. I gave up on it.” He also complained that he suffered “night terrors” as a result of reading it. Murphy sought to have Beloved banned until “new policies are adopted for books assigned for class that might have objectionable material,” said the Post.

One irony here is that Republicans are rallying around a privileged snowflake who claims a book millions of children have read caused unbearable trauma. If their principle is that parents should be able to prevent schools from assigning texts that upset their kids, what are they going to say when progressives start demanding the school excise texts by Mark Twain, Richard Wright, and other authors who have run afoul of the left for depicting racist dialogue?

If you wanted to demonstrate the pitfalls of a parental school veto, you would probably use an example like Laura Murphy: If we give parents a veto over school material, some crazy right-winger might show up demanding a ban on Toni Morrison. But this is the case Youngkin has chosen to highlight.

A reporter asked Youngkin’s campaign this week if he would support banning Beloved, but did not get an answer. But if Youngkin believes this episode is the perfect demonstration of his principle of parental control, then why doesn’t he support the claim? Either Youngkin agrees that schools can ban Beloved, or else his own plan would lead to outcomes even Youngkin can’t support."


Again we see Youngkins 'brilliant' strategy. When pushed to actually show what he stands for he says nothing. In doing so people can project their hopes onto him - like perhaps he's moderate. Not saying what you stand for does not make you a moderate.

Additionally snowflakeness seems to be really just cover for right wing supporters to go on about their bruised feelings, all whilst claiming a big problem in the country is 'wokeness'/'snowflakes', which is just anybody articulating something they disagree with. Yes it's projection.

Is the Elite

"McAuliffe reported a cumulative campaign haul of $57.3 million, while Youngkin reported $57.6 million. The former Virginia governor spent $18.8 million between Oct. 1 and Oct. 21, while Youngkin spent about $11 million.

Importantly, $3.5 million of Youngkin’s latest fund-raising report was a loan he made to his campaign on Oct. 13. In total, Youngkin has loaned his campaign $20 million and received > $242,781 from an LLC he’s linked to.

Open secrets

He's just an ordinary guy just like you or me! He can just throw $20 million to his campaign, and it's not a problem.

The GOP keeps going on about the 'elite'. But Youngkin isn't?

That's because 'elite' is a codeword like 'snowflake' or 'woke'. It just means people with power/money/audience who don't agree with the GOP.

Nazi Apologist

Republican candidate for governor Glenn Youngkin appeared on Sebastian Gorka’s “America First” radio show in a clip posted to Gorka’s website Monday night.

Gorka, a former Trump White House official turned Salem Broadcasting radio host, has a long history of Islamophobic comments, once saying that taking Muslim refugees into America would be a “national suicide.” A Nazi-linked Hungarian group—whose pin Gorka wore to Trump’s Inaugural Ball in 2017—says that he is one of their sworn members.

Rightwing watch

Seems to have lots of white supremacist support. I wonder why?


A secretly recorded video of Virginia’s Republican candidate for governor has ignited debate about abortion, NBC4 reports.

NBC Washington reports a video of candidate Glenn Youngkin was secretly recorded during a June campaign event. Two activists, posing as people against abortion, asked the candidate if he’s going to go after “the abortionists.”

“The short answer is, in this campaign I can’t,” Youngkin said. “When I’m governor and I have a majority in the House, we can start going on offense, but as a campaign topic, sadly, that in fact won’t win me independent votes that I have to get.”


Wait what? During the campaign you are not going to say what you are going to do, but once in office you going to those things? That's not how democracy is supposed to work.

Happy to Take 'Dark Money'

Billionaire donor who funded Jan. 6 group now pouring dark money into Glenn Youngkin campaign

A billionaire Trump donor who funded a group that marched on the Capitol ahead of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot is bankrolling a dark-money group boosting Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin's attacks on Democratic opponent Terry McAuliffe.


Is FAR Right

Virginia Republican candidate for governor Glenn Youngkin will speak Friday at a gathering of right-wing and far-right political activists hosted by the Family Research Council, which has been designated an anti-LGBTQ hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Youngkin, who spoke last Saturday at a gala hosted by the anti-LGBTQ and anti-choice Family Foundation, has been endorsed by FRC’s political affiliate.

Rightwing watch

How strange for such a moderate fellow he seems to be surrounded by extremists...

A routine campaign stop for Virginia gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin turned chaotic on Saturday night after the candidate's team was forced to boot a local Republican leader and apparent white nationalist from the event, causing a scene that a spokesperson called "antithetical" to the Republican hopeful's message.


It's almost as if his position are extreme and extremists like them. But shush don't say it out loud! Is Youngkin a white nationalist? I'm going to say probably. It's hard to know for sure, because his plan of not saying what he's about so he appears "moderate" blurs things a little. I think we can say he is totally on board with having the white nationalist vote though.

But He's Moderate!

In a debate McAuliffe perhaps clumsily articulated that it probably wasn't the best idea for parents to dictate what should be part of the curriculum. This then sealed what is thought to have been the critical factor for Youngkins win - his 'schools' initiative.

His key 'moderate' policies I'm told are...

  1. Giving parents say in schools (articulated as removing Critical Race Theory from Schools - stupid, because CRT isn't taught in schools)
  2. Raise teachers (and police) wages
  3. Remove/reduce food/fuel taxes as something about reducing inflation.

There are a bunch of other policies, but these were supposed to indicate he is a 'moderate'. That the first two are claimed to fix schools and the last to combat inflation.

On 1 - CRT is not taught in schools. It's not 'parents' who are going to be vocal about what books are used in schools. It's going to be the extreme fringes. That's what we see now. Is that really what you want? Wouldn't it be better if we had people who are experts in education decide what material provides a good education? An undercurrent here is that teachers can't be trusted.

So how did this work? Right wing media built up a frenzy about CRT. The main stream media often was drawn into it and then fell for the classic GOP strategy of by getting people to talk about it make it a 'real problem'. It's not a real problem.

For the far right/white supremacy crowd this is all an amazing dog whistle. Here's a candidate for 'white rights'. Without saying directly saying that.

On 2 - A GOP candidate who claims to want to raise teachers wages? Thats... unusual. I suspect it went from wanting to raise police wages. When McAuliffe gaffed, that was added. Or it's a cynical ploy so he can claim he supports teachers, all whilst undermining them.

Just to be clear giving teachers better wages seems like a good thing to do.

Call me cynical though, but I don't think it would have been part of the platform except as part of a pivot to 'parents/schools'. Moreover I'll believe it when I see it. Additionally when such subjects came up previously the GOP would be howling 'how are we going to pay for this?'. Presumably we are going to raise taxes? Oh no point 3 says we aren't.

Why no discussion about how it's going to be paid for. It's strangely that's absent. I wonder why?

On 3 - Um. How's that help reduce inflation? It's not.

Is it a tax cut that is supposed to help offset inflation? It seems like crumbs financially, unlikely to make any meaningful dent. It seems more about posturing, and sending 'messages' to the base. What messages?

Climate change is a thing. The modern GOP though is all about playing pretend if something real doesn't work for them. So in this mentality much like COVID isn't real. Climate change isn't. So let's do more of the things to make actively make outcomes worse, be it death/sickness or climate change.

Obviously that's dumb beyond belief. But here we are.

We also now see this is the tip of Youngkin 'make things worse' strategy by his appointment of Trumps EPA chief.

Again demonstrating Youngkin is in no way moderate.

Modern GOP seems to be all about finding (often stupid), creating or making problems worse. They have no appetite, desire or apparent ability to actually fix anything. That's somebody elses problem.

What's next?

Well we're starting to see how awful Youngkin is in practice.

Much like prior to Trump taking office you'd hear people saying

That was all completely and utterly wrong.

Youngkin is probably not as stupid as Trump. He probably won't make as many unforced errors. He probably isn't so shamefully narcissistic. Trump doesn't really believe in anything, other than his own wants and needs. He is a weak, sad and largely transparent 'man'.

Youngkin may be more of a 'true believer'. In what exactly it's not entirely clear - he doesn't want to just come out and say it as demonstrated by his dog whistling, vacuous, opportunistic 'no clear answers' campaign. I think we can make some educated guesses though. His first few moves seem to foreshadow some pretty dark scenarios. Youngkin being a true believer is arguably scarier than Trump's believing in nothing. It means he has the potential to do more awful things and feel justified in doing so because if you are a true believer the ends always justify the means.