C-Ville Weekly’s exposure of the real Rep. Virgil Goode is getting some serious online traction since I posted about it at 3pm today. Talking Points Memo Muckraker picked it up, with their Paul Kiel linking to my entry an hour and a half later. It exploded from there, with everybody from Think Progress to Glenn Greenwald expressing their shock.
I think that this story is likely to get bigger from here. If I know Rep. Goode — and I may well not, given how surprised I was to see him to act so shamefully — he won’t say a word about this. Perhaps a blah blah press release, issued only under great duress. But he’ll never apologize, never conduct an interview, and just wait for it all to blow over.
What particularly frustrates me about this story is that it makes Virginia look stupid. To the eyes of many throughout the nation — particularly liberal Democrats — this just confirms every stereotype that they have about the south. Look at this comment posted to TPM Muckraker:
I am shocked that people are shocked.
Of course rural Southern legislators will do this. Do you think that this country looks like Rhode Island as whole? Give me a break. Damn surprised he did not call for the Congressman to be arrested for treason. There will be more such, I expect a whole caucus. Maybe they will try not to seat Ellison.
This is their country, folks. There are more of them than there are of us liberals and libertarians. They built it on xenophobia and hate. That’s why they call it fly-over country, because not many of us city folk want to land there.
I wish every liberal would get the hell out of Starbucks for a week and visit rural Oklahoma or Virginia or Alabama. The rednecks they elect there get elected to do this sort of thing.
Now, you and I know that this isn’t true. We’re better than that in Virginia. But this foolishness from Rep. Goode has set Virginia back yet again, piling on top of how stupid Sen. George Allen made us look with his “welcome to America” declaration to S.R. Siddarth this summer.
I’m accustomed to Rep. Goode setting back Southside — err…”Southern” — Virginia with his belief that he was elected to perform constituent service, not to represent the Fifth District in Washington. If that economic harm constitutes injury, then this latest stunt surely is adding insult to that.
Nothing will change. Rep. Goode will continue shambling about the district, shaking hands and kissing babies, and we’ll all be the worse for it. A minority of the district will thank him for “standing up for America,” or some such jingoistic pap, and the rest of us will hang our heads in shame at our growing reputation as racist rubes.