Sunday, February 6, 2022

Jeff Schapiro's Bad History Lesson

Richmond Times Dispatch columnist Jeff Schapiro quotes (perhaps with the intention as an homage) Karl Marx line history repeats itself first as tragedy then as farce.  He attempts to link Republican victories in 2021 with Democrat victories, are you ready for this, Democrat victories in 1885! 

The first sentence in his column, “Virginia Republicans were partying like it is 1885.”  I understand that progressive like to re write history, but this is downright insulting.

Virginia Republicans had no real power in the 19th century.  Schapiro admits later into the column that Fitzhugh Lee, elected in 1885 was, unlike Glenn Youngkin, a Democrat.  It reminds me of the time CNN claimed Ralph Northam was a Republican. A brazen lie that can fool the masses. 

Schapiro claims that while Lee was not a Republican, he was a “conservative Democrat”.  Well, in 1885 Republicans had a candidate for Governor, John Sargeant Wise, he lost, but Schapiro suggests that Republicans were still happy.  Indeed they “celebrated” the victory of Democrat Lee.  This is ahistorical nonsense.

Schapiro believes that conservative Democrats were the bad guys back then (the Republicans of today).  There is a reason he goes back to the late 19th century and not the early 20th century.  It would be inconvenient for him to talk about what the progressive Democrats did.  I will give you a hint, it was so horrific that for the rest of the century Democrats stopped calling themselves progressives. 

Schapiro writes: “What is new is old: 21st century Republicans by deed and dogma are harkening back to the late 19th century when Virginia, as they are doing now in partially restoring Republicans to power angrily rejecting racial, social and cultural advances, as too much too soon.”

Well, that statement is false. Virginia did not restore Republicans to power in the 19th century based on racial grievances nor did they in November of 2021.

Secondly, I don’t know how opposing “cultural advances” gets you back to 1885.  And I doubt Republicans will want to jettison electricity, which will be necessary if you really want the 1885 experience. 

As far as “harkening back to the 19th century”, why is that necessary.  In 2009 Republican Bob McDonnell was elected Governor, and Republicans kept the House of Delegates, the same situation as today.  Surely, Glenn Youngkin has more in common with fellow Republican Bob McDonnell then he would with 19th century Democrat Fitzhugh Lee.

Schapiro continues to feebly link Democrat policies of poll taxes and literacy tests to Youngkin’s resistance to 45 days of early voting, and ballot drop boxes. 

The comparison with poll taxes and ballot drop boxes off Lee highway is ridiculous.

I have been told that Jeff Schapiro was once a reporter.  Well, he should dust of his press badge, go to a Youngkin press conference and ask, “Governor Youngkin why are you so hell bent on taking the state back to 1885?”

Sadly, with the state of our media and educational system, that question wouldn’t cause a single eye to bat or roll.  It would simply cause the other reporters to lament, why didn't I think of such a great question.

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