Virginia GOP gubernatorial nominee, Glenn Youngkin, is currently taking critical race theory for an electoral test drive after GOP activists accused Loudoun County school officials of teaching CRT in the classroom—a charge the district has denied. But facts be damned. In a recent Fox Business appearance, Youngkin claimed Democratic governors, including his opponent Terry McAuliffe, had injected CRT into the state’s classrooms.
“We watched critical race theory come into our schools and try to divide our children based on seeing everything through a lens as opposed to the content of their character,” Youngkin said, adding that he’s “not afraid” to take on this fight over the state’s teachings.
Scapegoating people of color and white liberals for all of conservatives’ perceived societal ills is the battle flag Republicans are carrying into 2022.
But it’s all just a scrapheap of GOP manufactured controversy. From the great Seuss silencing to Potato Head hysteria to cancel culture, Republicans will do almost anything to distract from what they really absolutely don’t want to talk about ever: The Capitol insurrection and the critical role Donald Trump, his cult following, and GOP lawmakers played in fomenting that attack.
Why are Republicans so scared of it? Because if any one of them is held accountable then the vast majority of them will also be deemed equally as culpable in the court of public opinion at the very least. That’s why GOP Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy promptly killed the bipartisan Jan. 6 commission that had met every single one of his demands.
Unfortunately for McCarthy and the rest of the Republican Party, they’re going to have to do a hell of a lot more distracting between now and the fall of 2022.
Just this week, the Department of Justice argued to continue holding insurrection defendant Michael Perkins in jail because he poses an immediate threat to society, as NBC investigative reporter Scott MacFarlane noted.
“The danger the defendant caused by assisting the violent mob cannot be understated,” federal prosecutors argued. “He is thus a danger to our society and a threat to the peaceful functioning of our community.”
On Friday, the Justice Department made a similar argument about keeping Jan. 6 defendant Alex Harkrider on home detention. Given that Trump continues to make false election claims and “insinuate that he may be reinstalled in the near future as President,” prosecutors argued, the defendant is “not a good candidate to be out in the community without electronic monitoring to ensure the safety of the community and the safety of democracy in the current environment.”
In other words, Trump and his followers continue to pose a threat to society.
Right on cue, an attendee of a Texas CPAC event sent Forbes reporter Andrew Solender a card that was being distributed outlining a 7-point plan to “restore Donald J. Trump in days, not years.”
Democrats would surely like to center their midterm campaign message around policy and policy alone. In 2018, House Democrats’ laser-like focus on health care was masterful and absolutely won the day, not to mention the House majority. But this isn’t 2018, and Democrats cannot afford to ignore the flashing-red warning signs coming from all quarters of the Republican Party.
First and foremost, Democrats must continue to deliver wins to the American people. The American Rescue Plan was a fantastic downpayment that they need to take sole ownership over. But some formulation of Biden’s American Jobs and Families plan must follow.
But the second part of that equation must include a full-scale indictment and Trump and Republican lawmakers for the havoc they continue to wreak on our democracy. As I argued several weeks ago, Republicans aren’t just telling a Big Lie—they’re a domestic terror threat to our democracy.
If Democrats play this right, they have an opportunity to deliver a one-two punch in 2022: We deliver solutions for society while Republicans are a menace to it.
This is the argument that Republicans fear most, and they are doing everything possible to keep it at bay.