Republicans’ Race to the Bottom
In Virginia, Ed Gillespie, a former Republican National Committee chairman and counselor to “compassionate conservative” George W. Bush, is attacking his Democratic opponent for governor, Ralph Northam, for being too sympathetic to immigrants and too unsympathetic to Confederate monuments. One particularly incendiary commercial accuses Northam of “increasing the threat of MS-13,” a drug gang from El Salvador that is evoked with pictures of tattooed gang-bangers who actually belong to a rival outfit. Gillespie’s tendentious reasoning? As lieutenant governor, Northam voted against a bill in Virginia’s Senate that would have prohibited the establishment of any “sanctuary cities,” even though Virginia does not have any such cities. MS-13 has long been a favorite Trump target, symbolizing the supposed menace of Latino immigration.