- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 14, 2018

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Corey Stewart, Virginia’s voter-chosen Republican to fight for Democrat Tim Kaine’s U.S. Senate seat, is a divisive guy who calls it like it is, cares little for political correctness and who finds himself in frequent defensive stand-offs with a hostile press.

In other words, he has a really good chance of winning this November.

In other words, commentaries like this one, posted in RedState, simply aren’t justified.

“The Virginia GOP Has Already Lost the Senate Race,” blared RedState, in a piece by managing editor Joe Cunningham.

It went on: “Let’s not beat around the bush here: Corey Stewart should never be treated as a serious candidate, much less a party’s nominee.”

Why not?

Cunningham’s beef is that Stewart has been tied to “the incredibly racist” Paul Nehlen and to Jason Kessler, “the man who organized the Charlottesville ‘protest’ that was little more than a rally for white supremacist groups,” he wrote.

That Stewart has reportedly cut-slash-clarified ties with both is duly noted in the RedState piece — but apparently, of little consequence to Cunningham.

“Even if you truly believe Stewart when he says that he does not share their beliefs, the fact of the matter is that he is tainted goods, electorally speaking,” he went on.

Well, what politician isn’t tainted goods?

And this is a guy, Cunningham, who self-identifies as someone who wants to see the Republican Party win at the ballot boxes. With friends like that, who needs enemies, right? He’s hardly the only Republican writer to take umbrage with Stewart’s win, however.

Corey Stewart wins in Virginia,” tweeted Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol. “It’s worth fighting for the GOP. But for now it’s getting worse not better.”

Then come the caustic comments from Stewart’s own party members.

“I am extremely disappointed that a candidate like Corey Stewart could win the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate, former Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling tweeted. “This is clearly not the Republican Party I once knew. Every time I think things can’t get worse they do, and there is no end in sight.”

Then come the snarky comments from the left-leaners in the press.

Corey Stewart wins the GOP nomination for Senate in Virginia, per the AP,” tweeted Nate Cohn, who covers elections and polling and writes for The New York Times. “Hard to see how this is good news for the GOP candidates for US House in Virginia.

The list goes on; truly, we get it: Stewart’s not the choice of the left, not the pick of the press, not the person his own party wanted.

But all that, in this political climate, means zero-to-nothing.

Stewart’s a guy whose entire political career with the Board of Supervisors in Prince William County, Virginia, has stirred pots of controversy. For instance: He was the face of hate to the left during the widely reported, widely watched fight over 287(g), the program the county implemented years ago to crack down on illegal immigration in the community.

When pro-immigrant groups led by far-left politicos banded and bused in hundreds from out-of-county, even out-of-state, to protest the program, Stewart — along with his fellow 287(g) supporters on the board — stood strong and made clear the battle was about law and order and life and death, and that the good men and women of Prince William were sick and tired of illegals killing their law-abiding citizen-friends.

You can see where the left would go nuts with that. You can’t see why Republicans wouldn’t respect that.

Regardless, recall — that’s exactly the message that pushed Trump to the head of the pack during campaign days. Kate Steinle, anyone?

Now comes Stewart, hated by the press, hated by the left, hated by many of his own party — speaking politically incorrect rhetoric that revolves around a single core message, America First. Make that, a winning core message of America First.

“Congratulations to Corey Stewart for his great victory for Senator from Virginia,” Trump tweeted. “Now he runs against a total stiff, Tim Kaine, who is weak on crime and borders, and wants to raise your taxes through the roof. Don’t underestimate Corey, a major chance of winning!”

Republicans, take a memo.

The left will never understand. But it’s way past time for the elites and establishment types in the Republican Party to get it through their heads: GOP voters aren’t looking for the status quo. They aren’t looking for the Donald Trumps and Corey Stewarts of the political world to go away.

They’re looking for pols who will fight and buck and score and win for the conservative cause, for the American cause — for the citizens’ causes. They’re sick of the betrayals, and they’re not going to take it any more.

• Cheryl Chumley, who covered politics and educations in Prince William County for years, can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter, @ckchumley.


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