Dear West Virginia Primary Voters: Please Don’t Pull a Roy Moore Redux

Dear West Virginia Primary Voters: Please Don’t Pull a Roy Moore Redux

Dear West Virginia Primary Voters: Please Don’t Pull a Roy Moore Redux

It’s Primary Day in four states, including Ohio, Indiana, North Carolina, and West Virginia. All four chose the Republican nominee in 2016, and West Virginia in particular loves Donald Trump. They chose him over anti-coal Hillary Clinton by landslide margins. And they overwhelmingly support him today. But there’s a cat-fight going on right now between President Trump, Mitch McConnell and the other usual suspects, and the candidate reported as “surging” in at least two internal GOP polls.

His name is Don Blankenship, and he was imprisoned for a year and is currently on probation for a mine safety and health standards violation connected to the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster that killed 29 West Virginian coal miners. If you haven’t seen the ex-con’s interviews and campaign videos, here’s a taste of what you’ve missed in this vertigo-inducing ad:

Ok, I get that he doesn’t like Mitch McConnell. Neither do I. But Blankenship’s claims—done while exploiting who I’m assuming are his granddaughters—about McConnell, his wife-slash-Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, and her father, James, who is a U.S. citizen, are just flat-out cringe-worthy. Here’s Fox’s Martha MacCallum questioning him on his accusations:

And here’s the information on which Blankenship bases some of his criticisms:

Now, Mr. Blankenship may have a point about ethics violations, or at best, improprieties. And he’s free to voice that. But it’s his choice of race-tinged language, and ironically, unproven allegations given he insists he’s an innocent man wrongly convicted, that are problematic.

Cue Trump’s Twitter finger:

I dunno. It’s kinda catchy…but I digress.

Mr. Blankenship responded with a veiled accusation that President Trump (whom he didn’t vote for due to his incarceration) is embracing the “establishment,” and mentions Trump’s support for a “pedophile” in the Alabama race:

Flawed opponents? Dude, you spent a year in prison after 29 coal miners died under your watch, you use the moniker “China People” in reference to American citizens of Asian ancestry, and accuse Mitch McConnell of trafficking in cocaine. Sigh.

Now, Blankenship’s opponents include Evan Jenkins, the candidate backed by McConnell et al. And if their last debate is any indication, he’s as phony as a three-dollar-bill. He was a decades-long Democrat until 2013—he switched parties and blamed Obama for hijacking the Democrat Party—and frankly, I can’t tell the difference between him and Joe Manchin. BUT…from where I’m sitting, he and Ted Cruz-endorsed Patrick Morrissey—sitting Attorney General for West Virginia and the best candidate of the bunch, in my opinion—have the best chance of toppling a highly-vulnerable Joe Manchin in the general. A convicted felon, who paints Americans who happen to be of Asian decent as “China People,” is ripe for attack-ads-from-hell come October. And we can expect them to be bipartisan. Not to mention, I predict the Washington Post suddenly unearths more damaging “evidence” against him, just as they did with Roy Moore. You know, AFTER a primary win.

(Left to Right) Top three Republican candidates for U.S. Senate hoping to boot Joe Manchin (D-WV): Patrick Morrissey, Evan Jenkins, and Don Blankenship (Photo Credit: Twitter)

My apologies to those who may like Mr. Blankenship—I get the attraction: like Trump, he’s a say-what-he-thinks kinda guy and professes to buck the establishment—BUT…here comes the caveat: this guy is a walking, talking stereotype of what the Left paints Republicans as: ignorant and racist. I’m not presuming to know what’s in his heart. I kinda, sorta, in a twisted-like-a-pretzel way, get that his “China People” language is an (incredibly boneheaded) attempt at mocking politically-correct Speech Nazis who demand that we eliminate gender in our everyday language. And his criticisms of McConnell cronyism are legitimate gripes. But every time I hear him utter the words “China Person,” I physically shudder. Like from head to toe, including bulging eyes and the gag reflex. So here’s some tough love, West Virginians: if you pick the convicted coal baron with a penchant for uttering perceived racist rhetoric, say hello to six more years of Joe Manchin standing in the way of Making America Great Again™.

And to Mitch McConnell: maybe next time you should either 1) keep your nose out of state decisions, or 2) back the worst candidate on the ballot. That way maybe you’d ensure the candidate who has the best chance of unseating a Democrat incumbent in a red state gets elected to do just that. Because, these days, any candidate you promote is Voter Kryptonite.

In the meantime, you can watch the primary returns for Ohio, Indiana, North Carolina, and West Virginia here. My apologies in advance for the New York Times link, but they do a pretty bang-up job reporting election results.

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2 Comments
  • David says:

    Got up early this morning in Beckley WV, the heart of southern WV coal country, to vote for Pat Morrissey. I won’t be unhappy if Evan Jenkins wins, but as state Attorney General, Morrissey has been excellent on second amendment issues, and has shown he can win in a statewide election. Anybody but Blankenship.

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