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Battle for Soul of the Republican Party Rages in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District

Posted on Tuesday, August 31, 2021
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AMAC Exclusive – By Seamus Brennan

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Seven years after Dave Brat shocked the world by defeating sitting House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, the future of the Republican Party will once again likely be determined by a debate that is raging right now in the GOP primary for Virginia’s 7th Congressional District (VA-07). The winner of the contest between establishment candidate Taylor Keeney and outsider Tina Ramirez will take on Democrat incumbent Abigail Spanberger next fall. Spanberger is widely regarded as among the most vulnerable House Democrats in 2022.  

The issue that has revealed the sharp divide between the two Republican candidates is the misleadingly titled “infrastructure” bill that was recently passed in the Democrat-controlled Senate. Despite the package’s emphasis on left-wing political projects, 19 Republican Senators voted for it—many of them aligned with McConnell’s “establishment” wing of the part.   

Many of these Senate Republicans have faced a sharp backlash from voters back home. Senator Lindsey Graham was censured by the Aiken County Republican Party, which said that Graham “consciously violated the platform of the South Carolina Republican Party.” Senator Deb Fischer was censured by Nebraska’s Hitchcock County GOP, which claimed that she “Violated the basic tenets of her publicly-asserted conservative principles” and “acted contrary to and with disregard for the repeatedly-stated financial concerns of her constituents.”

The Senate Republicans who voted no on the legislation have earned the praise of the conservative grassroots. As Senator Ted Cruz summed up the opposition in a statement, “Too many Republicans just enabled Democrats’ efforts to claim bipartisanship, spend over a trillion dollars, and then ram through their $3.5 trillion liberal wish list of crushing taxes and radical spending.”

As the infrastructure debate is dividing the Republican caucus in the Senate, however, Republican House candidates are having their own nationwide intra-party debate. And nowhere is that debate playing out with higher stakes than between the two candidates vying for the Virginia seat formerly held by Eric Cantor and Dave Brat.

Taylor Keeney, a self-described conservative who once worked for former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell and has received his endorsement, recently announced her support for the Democrat legislation that is, in reality, anything but conservative. After initially attempting to withhold her opinion of the package during a recent radio interview, lauding the bill for its “bipartisan” support but refusing to “speculate on votes,” Keeney ultimately admitted—after being pressed—that she supports the bill. “Yes, I would vote for the $1 trillion infrastructure bill,” she said.

Keeney’s primary opponent Tina Ramirez has taken the opposite stance. In an August 11 statement, she lambasted the bill as “Green New Deal initiatives, special interest favors, and other wasteful spending that has nothing to do with infrastructure.” Ramirez continued: “At 2,701 pages, Abigail Spanberger, progressives, & weak-kneed Republicans are embracing the Nancy Pelosi ‘pass it to find out what’s in it’ playbook, and Pelosi has already said that she will use this bill as a Trojan horse to pass trillions more in progressive legislation.”

Calling bipartisan support of the legislation “unacceptable,” Ramirez implored Americans to support only those Republican candidates who “won’t throw their support behind massive spending bills and progressive agendas that they haven’t even read.”

In so doing, Ramirez clearly carved out her stance as the conservative candidate in the primary—and the debate over infrastructure could ultimately prove decisive as to the outcome of that contest. As former President Donald J. Trump wrote in a statement, “It will be very hard for me to endorse anyone foolish enough to vote in favor of this deal.”

Republican leaders like Trump have contempt for the legislation for very good reason – it is a plan for radical social transformation disguised as a plan to build bridges and tunnels. 

The infrastructure bill is especially destructive for Congressional districts like the Virginia 7th, which is largely suburban. As USA Today reported in April, the “infrastructure” plan is the latest front in the Democrat’s total war on suburban zoning: “Biden’s proposal would award grants and tax credits to cities that change zoning laws to bolster more equitable access to affordable housing.”

“A house with a white picket fence and a big backyard for a Fourth of July barbecue may be a staple of the American dream,” the article continued, “but experts and local politicians say multifamily zoning is key to combating climate change, racial injustice and the nation’s growing affordable housing crisis.”

The so-called bipartisan “infrastructure” bill advances the Democrat war on suburban communities like the Virginia 7th in several ways. First, the bill includes a provision outlining a “Housing Coordination Plan” that would allow “a metropolitan planning organization serving a transportation management area” to “develop a housing coordination plan that includes projects and strategies that may be considered in the metropolitan transportation plan of the metropolitan planning organization.” The provision goes on to include hot-button progressive terms like “zoning plans” and “housing development,” which makes clear that the bill would open the door to the long-sought Democrat goal of abolishing single family zoning under the guise of a “transportation plan.”

The “infrastructure” package also includes a pilot program for a mileage tax, which would disproportionately burden suburban and rural drivers. Trump administration EPA official Steve Milloy points out that an “additional by-the-mile tax will penalize suburban and rural drivers because of where they live.”

Ultimately, the language of the “infrastructure bill” and the Democrat’ linked budget reconciliation plan paves the way for the urbanization of the suburbs under the Democrat party’s all-encompassing crusades to fight “climate change” and alleged social injustice.  As President Trump and former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson wrote in an August 2020 Wall Street Journal op-ed, the Democrats’ goal is “to remake the suburbs in their image so they resemble the dysfunctional cities they now govern.” The inclusion of vague housing provisions in the Democrats’ multi-trillion dollar spending bills should be clearly understood as part of their longstanding efforts to abolish the suburbs as we know them.

If Taylor Keeney prevails in the GOP primary race, voters will be asked to choose between two candidates, Spanberger and Keeney, who both support the Democrat infrastructure package and its plans for social transformation. Such an outcome could significantly suppress the conservative vote in the district in November 2022—and should Republicans fail to take out Spanberger, one of the most vulnerable Democrats in the House, it will be widely regarded as a huge missed opportunity for the GOP.

The primary campaign in VA-07 is shaping up to be a paradigmatic battle for the soul of the Republican Party going into next year’s midterms. Will the GOP follow the path of President Trump, Ted Cruz, and House candidate Tina Ramirez in opposing left-wing radicalism? Or will the GOP follow the pork-ridden path of Senator Mitch McConnell and the GOP establishment—a path that is accommodating the Democrats in their quest to impose socialist boondoggles on the American people?

Spanberger herself once decried her party’s obsession with “socialism” and far-left policies.  Following the 2020 election, Spanberger famously said, “We need to not ever use the words ‘socialist’ or ‘socialism’ ever again… because while people think it doesn’t matter, it does matter. And we lost good members because of it.” She then issued a blistering warning to her Democrat colleagues: “If we are classifying Tuesday [the 2020 Election Day] as a success from a Congressional standpoint, we will get [expletive] torn apart in 2022.”

Only a few short months following Spanberger’s words of caution, it now appears she is doing everything in her power to make her own fears come true. Let’s just hope Republican voters don’t fall into the same trap.

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R. corcoran
R. corcoran
2 years ago

I can only hope whoever gets in is not a rhino and they grow some

Mike Baker
Mike Baker
2 years ago

The only way we will ever change the Republican Party is from the ground up. We must take over the precinct apparatchiks and install America first candidates on the local and state levels then on the National level. Locally we should concern ourselves with school board elections in order to insure a future for conservative ideals. Voting only for President or senator is not going to get the job done anymore. We must concern ourselves with all aspects of a bottom to top take over of the Republican Party.

Garye
Garye
2 years ago

Perfect – call them out, expose their actions when they support democrat, liberal bills.
Keep America First ????????

William Pat Cunningham
William Pat Cunningham
2 years ago

Virginians, remember your Revolutionary War ancestors and trash this liberal garbage. We cannot afford to go down these paths, either fiscally or morally. Would you force your grandchildren to live in soulless high-rise public housing?

Enuf Said
Enuf Said
2 years ago

Well, it only took Spanberger a few short months to show her TRUE colors–Look what Sleepy Joe has done in a few LONG months–seems like years ALREADY. If the people of Virginia have any sense left (beginning to doubt it), they better look after the futures of their children and grandchildren by electing Ramirez. As for as Graham is concerned, I am a South Carolinian and have 3 e-mails on my computer today from him. He was just re-elected and NOW has 5 years to hope we forget– that will NOT happen. Our state representative Tom Rice KNOWS his butt will get primaried “out” in 2022. How do I know? We have VOTER ID. Just ask Jamie Harrison, after he pissed away $130,000,000 dollars of out of state money and got his butt kicked.

Vickie
Vickie
2 years ago

I believe many people like me, who formerly voted for some Democrats, some independents, some Republicans, and people like Ross Perot, are part of a new body of citizens. I believe we should be called Moderates. We believe in most of the ideals articulated by President Trump but undermined by the establishment Republican party. We want to help preserve our wilderness and environment, our jobs, our religious freedoms, our children’s future, our borders, and our military. The establishment Republican Party, from the local level all the way to the US Senate, is mainly interested in preserving their status quo and business partners.

Hal
Hal
2 years ago

If the DemonRats put out legislation that is sound, appropriate, AND Constitutional, I would NOT hold it against a Republican (or Independent, if any exist). But this latest legislation is an economy boondoggle. Too empty headed libtards, they need to learn that all that glitters is not gold.

Jerry
Jerry
2 years ago

All RINOS should go, vote them out, drain the Swamp!!!!

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
2 years ago

But RINOs & DC Estd Republicans HURT Party & we lose

Jesse Tiede
Jesse Tiede
2 years ago

At this point in time, I could not care less about the current situation of politics in the USA. There is, in my humble opinion, no hope for the American political organization. I am a registered Republican, a fact I am reminded about almost weekly, despite my refusal to give any more money or devote any time to “Republican” issues. This is because I finally started LOOKING at RESULTS, at what was actually being DONE, not what was being promised during campaigns. I found out that no matter which party was in control of the US Government, Republican OR Democrat, there was virtually no progress in so-called Republican goals. Conversely, the Democrat objectives were almost always being passed into law. So, I left the Republican Party in 2008, and subscribed to the Taxed Enough Already (TEA) Conservative Party. While I do continue to vote for Republican candidates, on occasion, I also vote for certain Democrat candidates who profess beliefs and standards I subscribe to, as well. Having said that, I believe that the ones to benefit from the political actions of any politician, is that politician, him/ herself. Elected candidates may go to Washington, DC to represent the American Citizens who sent them there, but, for far too many of those elected officials, the only one to benefit is the politician, or, in some cases, the spouse or other family members get rich. So, in my personal, humble opinion, I believe the only recourse we have to survive the business-as-usual political actions of BOTH parties by removing EVERY SINGLE Politician, and starting all over again. Yeah, like THAT would ever happen…

Larry
Larry
2 years ago

It doesn’t matter, too many RINOs, the Republicans worth their salt will blow an opportunity. I served this country over fifty years ago, it’s not the same country. Hard day ahead, I’m afraid. Going the wrong way now.

Kenneth D.
Kenneth D.
2 years ago

The National Republican Party sold its soul decades ago to the Democrat Party and Beltway Establishment. Conservatives have come and gone, but the ones who stayed did not remain active as constitutional conservatives. Since 1964, The Congressional incumbent re-election rates have been 82% for the House and 96% for the Senate. If you “play ball with the system”, you are virtually guaranteed re-election both within the party primaries and the general election. Statesmen/women who place allegiance to the Constitution and national interests above those of the Establishment and Party quickly become persona non grata, regardless of their record. Just ask Donald Trump or Dell Miller or Joe Manchin what happens behind closed doors when you act on principle. The national political system has morphed into feudalism on steroids as the GOP is basically functioning as Democrat Lite. Biden and Harris are acting as “Useful idiots” for the globalist elites pulling their strings from the back room.

J. Farley
J. Farley
2 years ago

We the President, Trump supporters, the heart and soul of the Republican party, need to rid ourselves of the RINO’S among us, if we truly wont to make America Great again. we do not need a Mr. or Ms. nice guy, we need people who will follow the direction of those that sent them to Washington. We need people that will make the Republicans look great again not RINO’S that make the Demonrats look great. The Republicans do not need to help the Democrats destroy America, they are getting that job done just fine all by themselves. Make RINO’S sorry that they ever voted with the Dumpocrats.
God Bless America, make America Great again !!!!!!

Bob
Bob
2 years ago

The Vehicle Mileage Tax is an interesting part of the proposed bill. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg had assured the American public there would not be a mileage tax, yet here it is.
His rationale, the American public, due to there gas economy of today’s vehicles, are not buying as much gasoline and therefore the Federal Government has lost revenue. Isn’t that a good thing, especially for the the Green New Dealers, cleaner air? Clean air, I guess, is only good for political slogans to insure reelection and improved air quality runs second to Federal funding.
It is believed that in order to insure accurate mileage accountability the Federal Government will use GPS systems to gather the required data for the IRS. Isn’t technology grand? Here is the rub. Do we, the American citizens, want the Federal Government know where we drive every day? Talk about control. Maybe Secretary Buttigieg should read the 4th Amendment.

James
James
2 years ago

Democrats stick together. Republicans do not. The Democrats know that and create separation in the Republicans. Our Republicans have great ideas! But never do anything to get them passed. Our country is an absolute mess. I hate to see it this way. I’m afraid we are going to hit rock bottom before we try to fix it. Cancel culture, Race theory, socialism is being taught to our kids and grandkids. It needs to stop! We need to get our kids back into church! So sad that a lot of middle school and high school age kids have never been to church! God please help our country!

BigLooie
BigLooie
2 years ago

I will only vote for T- party candidates or candidates aligned with President Trump, especially in primaries in my state of Texas.

PaulE
PaulE
2 years ago

Well per the two Republican candidates being discussed, the only one that actually seems to represent constitutionally conservative fiscal values is Ramirez from my perspective. The other candidate is your typical RINO masquerading as a fiscal hawk until she gets elected. Then she will “march across the aisle” and vote with the Democrats every chance she gets. We already have enough useless RINOs that keep assisting the Democrats in Congress with undermining our country as it is. We certainly don’t need another. So the choice seems crystal clear to me.

P.S.

The 19 RINOs that voted for the so-called bipartisan infrastructure bill also need to be replaced ASAP. Along with several other RINO Senators pretending to be “conservative”. With only about 23 percent of the actual bill dedicated to actual, real infrastructure, what is actually within the bill is a massive, permanent expansion of the social welfare state. Think people and make better choices.

Eddie Van Halen
Eddie Van Halen
2 years ago

JBS.org has a list of congress and senate “officials” and how they vote in Constitutional guidelines. Pathetic. All AMAC members need to join JBS and get educated about our Constitution.

Rae
Rae
2 years ago

“It has become important… every citizen should vote and fight for freedom…I myself…uninterested in politics…have become very involved in elections…being a Christian…I continue to educate myself on right and wrong…I believe in God, Country, and Freedom…have we differentiated between good and evil…this world is only getting us ready for the next…ask yourself…what legacy do you want to leave behind…It’s time America…”Wake Up”…feelings aside…who or what would be Great for the Country?”

Tim Toroian
Tim Toroian
2 years ago

Screw whether it Green Deal or Not, we can’t afford it. Think of these trillions in percentage relationship to the world GDP. 3.5 trillion is more than 3.5% of the world GDP. Soon there will be no money for us to borrow. There are many, many countries whose annual budgets are less than our budget DEFICEITES, most of them.

JJ Johnson-Smith
JJ Johnson-Smith
2 years ago

Ramirez would absolutely be MY Choice if I lived in Virginia. RINOS are NO different from Leftists, and in my opinion, they are WORSE. They pretend to be what they are not, and never have been, then stick the knife between the ribs of those who supported them. It is VITAL that all Conservative Voters send a loud message to the Traitors on the Right.

johnh
johnh
2 years ago

Do not know where this number came from, but on 700-club this morning there was segment on climate change. One item said AOC agenda NewGreenDeal would cost $93 Trillion.

Philip Hammersley
Philip Hammersley
2 years ago

Is there somewhere where we can see ALL of Trump’s endorsements? That’s what I’d go on; not the “promise” of someone!

Becky
Becky
2 years ago

RINOs are dangerous to America, and they DO NOT have anyones’ welfare in mind beyond their own.
Anyone who could support this bankrupting, completely and irreversibly, of America, is an enemy of America. McConnell and all his Globalist Communist ilk must be buried. Permanently.

Glee
Glee
2 years ago

These RINOs are wearing a different colored robe, but they’re singing in the same choir as the Worst of the Dems. I hope to live to see the GOP establishment uprooted, completely gutted, and so radically changed the DC elites won’t know what hit ‘em! And don’t let the door hit you in the butt on the way out, RINOs. That might leave your rotten stench behind.

Karen
Karen
2 years ago

Most important is freedom, free thinking, etc. I am very disappointed in the GOP and think it should be refurbished. As far as the Green Deal is concerned, it seems that the commies (Dems)j don’t read the write ups on this subject. Notable scientists have said that the global warming is true, but it is normal. Remember the ice age 10 thousand years ago. The world is going thru a natural change.
PS I hope they are right. Yes, the Green Deal is TOO expensive and the Middle Class (if they still exist) will suffer the consequences.

Michael E. Mack
Michael E. Mack
2 years ago

Basic problems are that too many Republicans in congress like their way of life, are not “conservative,” and have forgotten about representing their constituents.

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