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Buena Vista
Buena Vista
3 months ago

Youngkin may well be the Republican nominee in 2028 or later, but for now he doesn’t have anything remotely close to the recognition and accolades of Desantis.
Youngkin currently does not have a fully-cooperative state legislature–the Dems control the state senate–but that could change in a year. The ability to actully pass legislation and roll back the damge done by Ralph Northam and co. will hopefully cement Youngkin’s legacy. As I am a Virginia resident, I hope it turns out that way.
Yesli Vega actually ran a pretty good race against Abigail Spanberger, but she was a lackluster candidate and the RNC didn’t give her nearly the help she needed. Given the political makeup of the district (Virginia 7th), I’d say the final tally–52 to 48 in favor of Spanberger–was better than expected, and this was due to frustration with the Dems in general. Youngkin had nothing to do with it.
And why would Unherd ask a guy from Pittsburg to comment on Virginia politics? I’m feeling a textbook case of Gell-Mann amnesia.

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
3 months ago
Reply to  Buena Vista

“Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray’s case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward—reversing cause and effect. I call these the “wet streets cause rain” stories. Paper’s full of them.
In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story, and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about Palestine than the baloney you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.”
― Michael Crichton

Last edited 3 months ago by Matt Hindman
Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
3 months ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Yep. Oliver Bateman is a reliable example.

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
3 months ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

I am proud to say that I was red pilled by Covid to the point where I just assume international news is a pile of BS as well. I mean who really knows what is going on in Ukraine – we are literally being fed wartime propaganda. Same with China and their current unrest. There are massive protests in Brazil we don’t hear about (because they are over allegedly stolen elections by progressives) and Dutch farmers are in huge protests which we don’t hear about (because fighting global warming by destroying modern agriculture is necessary … or something).

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
3 months ago
Reply to  Buena Vista

Youngkin is a hedge fund manager with no track record. The man hasn’t successfully governed anything, let alone stood up against the hurricane of the elite press trying to destroy him.
DeSantis has stood in that gale for at least 3 years and not just defended his territory but gone on offense to make their lives harder. He has driven real legislation against the strongest opposition of all of media and corporate America.
Those of us who want a Trump alternative need to make sure we don’t have no many. Youngkin may get there someday, but 2024 isn’t his year.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
3 months ago
Reply to  Buena Vista

It is laughable to read what Mr. Bateman thinks about who should lead the Republican party. Perhaps Tucker Carlson should write the next article on who should lead the Democrat Party.

Richard Pearse
Richard Pearse
3 months ago

This article was quietly disturbing for a number of reasons (besides the raw gaslighting) – he’s trying to lump Desantis with Trump, while differentiating Youngkin as a “reasonable centrist”.

He also has the fantasy that there is a Romney-Chaney “wing” of the Republican Party (both of who are extremely unpopular among the great mass of Republicans) that must be catered to (to do what exactly?

It struck me as a left wing guy wishing that Republicans were more like Democrats- who have gone over to the nutty left.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
3 months ago
Reply to  Richard Pearse

The article is a complete joke. As if Tucker wrote about who should the Dems’ elect.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
3 months ago

This seems like the wishful thinking typical of establishment liberals whose bias always shows in their attempts to convince themselves and everyone else that whatever the current incarnation of ‘liberal’ happens to be, (nevermind that liberal today means something quite different than in 1980 or 1880) it’s right on the verge of taking over as the dominant worldview and allowing them to accomplish all their utopian fantasies. First off, Youngkin isn’t a moderate. As the author points out, he was the Trump supported candidate in the primary, which he won. He was not expected to win the general election, or even come particularly close, but he did win. The establishment types love Romney, Cheney because they are basically no different than the Democrats. They were for big government, against personal choice and states rights, favored open borders and free trade, supported internationalism, etc. They were just more coastal elites who lowered taxes and pretended to care about guns, abortion, and other pet issues of the right. They made reliable governing partners who agreed on the big issues and thus, were acceptable. They were easy to deal with, easy to understand, and easy to beat in elections without much risk of the public seeing the actual endgame of neoliberal policy. As much as I personally loathe the man and think he’s a woefully incompetent grifter, Trump flipped a table that somebody needed to flip so that there could be a real opposition party. Unfortunately for the author and others in that boat, there is no way to undo what Trump did. The Republicans are now a true opposition party representing a very different constituency, and are likely to remain so. Either side might succeed in building a monopoly on federal power, though that would be tenuous and likely temporary, and it would breed resentment that might well be channeled into violence and secessionism. It is GOOD that there are two parties that represent different groups and ideas. It is GOOD that they are relatively balanced. If either of these things changes, it will be bad, regardless of how journalists feel about the matter. The author is right to fear civil war. He’s got the rest backwards. Romney, Cheney, and a bunch of moderates won’t save America. Outlets for political anger like Trump, DeSantis, etc. on the other hand, perform a valuable function. They serve as outlets for political anger that might otherwise build up into outright rebellion. I, for one, would rather live in a country with honest political disagreements and a barely functional government than a de facto one party state that ignores the views of most of its people.

Last edited 3 months ago by Steve Jolly
J Bryant
J Bryant
3 months ago

The only thing I’m not convinced by in this article is the assertion that, “The base will always be there, as long as they’re not infuriated by your criticism of their supposed backwardness.”
Is it really that simple to hold the Republican base? My impression is many of them need a firebrand like Trump to motivate them to turn out and vote. I also suspect a successful Republican presidential candidate will have to be more moderate on issues such as abortion where many of the base hold strong views.
I very much hope the Republicans field a more moderate candidate in 2024. One who actually knows how to govern and implement a conservative agenda. The Republicans poor performance in the midterms, and Trump’s unwillingness to step back and become elder statesman, is not encouraging.

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
3 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

It was not the base asking Rick Scott to announce that he would destroy Social Security and Medicare or Lindsey Graham to declare that he would implement a national abortion ban if they took Congress. The party had even explicitly told their voters abortion would be left strictly to the states if Roe was overturned. Mitch McConnell made the decision to pull funding out of the races of populist candidates. Those were GOP establishment choices. When the Democrats were sabotaging Republican primaries by conducting false advertising campaigns about what the candidates they were voting for stood for, the Republican party could have raised hell and let all their voters know what was going on. They did not. Having no stated agenda for the American people, but hoping that just how unpopular their opponents were would bring them victory was a party establishment choice. Trump fundraising with candidates and then taking almost all of it for his personal campaign war chest… no wait, that one was all Trump.
The point is the Republican establishment is terrified. They own many of these screw ups. They are trying to put as much of the blame on Trump as possible, but the fact they are too afraid to even mention Dobbs or Scott’s comments is telling. As for Trump, his star is waning. It is rather impressive when you think about it. His own unchecked ego is somehow more dangerous to him than the entire deep state, Democrat party, and media establishment combined. Which is rather impressive when you think about it. I imagine both of them will continue to run into trouble since neither of them wants to learn any lessons.
I’m putting my money on DeSantis. Youngkin is just another name thrown out by scared neocon dinosaurs who cannot understand why hardly anyone has fond memories of the Bush administration or why most Americans have no trust in the big business wing of the party. Cheney, Haley, and Pence are pretty much toast and they have almost no one else to throw out there. The base does not trust them for good reason.

Last edited 3 months ago by Matt Hindman
Warren Trees
Warren Trees
3 months ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

There is no difference between the establishment Republicans and establishment Democrats. They are both feasting off the public trough at our expense. That is why Trump resonated so well with many.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
3 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

A more moderate candidate? One who will cave into media pressure and sign onto the hard left progressive agenda, simply to “get along”? Further alienating the base. I suggest not. Why do Republicans have to be moderate, whilst the left is not?

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
3 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

You’re right, and this is why liberal writers should either move to Nebraska and live there for about five years or give up trying to write about and understand Trump and Trump’s supporters. They don’t get it and they don’t really want to. They don’t understand it and there is little that humans fear more than the unknown. They want to wake up tomorrow and all this Trump populist stuff is over so they can go back to peddling end of history utopian globalism. They’re in for a rude awakening.

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
3 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

If Trump announced as a third party candidate he wouldn’t be able to win – but he’d take a lot of his base with him and destroy the Republican Party.

Garrett R
Garrett R
3 months ago

Youngkin does not have the pedigree or the national profile of DeSantis. At the end of the day, he is a PE man worth hundreds of millions like Romney who had the luck to run in 2020 against one the worst run campaigns in the nation. You can be sure that Democrats will ruthlessly expose his investment record and his cozy connections at Carlisle and DC power like they did to Romney in 2012. For DeSantis, it is very, very easy to lean into the Dem attacks about Youngkin being a DC insider. DeSantis will also come across as far more relatable to poor and rural areas with a younger family and wife he just supported through cancer.

The real question could be this: would DeSantis appoint Youngkin as a running mate or possibly to his cabinet? I think DeSantis likely picks a woman if he secures the Republican nomination, but we will see.

Chauncey Gardiner
Chauncey Gardiner
3 months ago

“Youngkin focused his campaign on education.”
Sort of. The issue found Youngkin. He did not proactively take up the issue.
Loudon County was the epicenter of a spontaneous rebellion–a rebellion by parents, by reliable Obama/Biden/Hillary voters situated right outside DC. The county swung 10 points from Democrats to Republicans between the 2020 election and the 2021 election that ushered in Youngkin and his posse of Winsome Sears (Lt. Governor) and Jason Miyares (Attorney General).
This trio was collectively running a vacuous campaign. The CRT matter erupted. The trio had the sense to nominally support the parents over the Loudon County school system. The ten-point swing accounted for the entire winning margin in the election.
Youngkin and his posse barely won. So far, they are still the path-of-least-resistance Republicans they have always been.
I get their campaign materials in my inbox. Vacuous stuff. All fluff and no substance.
Youngkin is not so much the Republican future. He is the Republican present. Republican Do-nothing-ism is nothing new and may very well dominate the Republican future.
I worked in a polling station in 2021 and 2022. I will work in a polling station in 2023 when a lot of seats in the state Senate will be contested.

Michael W Enc
Michael W Enc
3 months ago

Good piece

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
3 months ago

If this man is already 67, how much of a “long game” can he realistically play?

Pat Rowles
Pat Rowles
3 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I think you’ve misread it – he’s 6’7″ (six feet seven inches tall), and aged 55. Or, possibly, you’ve ‘misunderstood it for comic effect’…

Stoater D
Stoater D
3 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Well Joe Biden is 80 and talks of putting himself
forward for president in 24.
Joe Biden is incompetent and has dementia.
Youngkin is much younger at 55.
What’s your problem with Youngkin ?

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
3 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Realistically, about 79 inches long.