by Shelt Garner
Apparently there is a growing sense within the Republican monied class that they need a Great White Hope because of all of Trump’s legal problems. Among the people they’re considering is my governor, Glenn Youngkin. He’s waiting until the fall, after a state election, to decide if he will run or not.
The thing to consider about Virginia is it’s not really a swing or purple state so much as it is two states — one Red, one Blue — fused together who fucking hate each other’s guts. Rural Virginia is all-in with Trump and MAGA to the point that some Red counties in Virginia wanted to secede when we had a Blue governor.
The issue about Youngkin is he has proven himself to be just sort of There. He is moderate in temperment, but not politics. He is very much a MAGA person who would be just as fascist as Trump — and more effective — if he ran and became president. The Republican Party has been consumed by some very dark political forces to the point that the moment there is another Republican President, I don’t see how traditional American democracy survives.
And don’t forget that Youngkin won in Virginia not so much because of his message so much as enough moderate, independent Virginians were tired of having Democrat governors and voted for change. So any success he has had says more about the general ebb and flow of a functioning democracy than him any particular political aptitude on his part.
All of this interest in Youngkin seems like moved deck chairs on the Titanic to me. Something incredible would have to have happen at this point for Trump not to be the nominee and for him not to win the general in 2024. His victory in 2024 — and the dark, bonkers events that will be caused by that victory — seem to be something of an immutable force of political history at this point.