Monday, August 22, 2016

A Lesson for Griffith Foes From Donald Trump

Trump supporter Griffith
Donald Trump was in Fredericksburg this past weekend campaigning on the issue of coal mining jobs, which makes about as much sense as campaigning in New York City for corn subsidies.

A story in Salon (here) related the following information Trump apparently doesn't know, but should before spending time and money in a state he can't win with an issue that is dead:

"His pitch came down to 'coal,' basically. 'I visited the hardworking coal miners in this state, and they are hardworking and they love being coal miners,' he said, lavishing praise on a vanishing energy industry that is concentrated in the southwestern part of Virginia (many, many miles from Fredericksburg).

"Coal production has been steadily declining in Virginia for about three decades, as has the number of coal jobs: in 1984 there were more than 14,000 mining employees in the state, but by 2014 that number had shrunk to just over 3,700. As such, coal no longer has the political heft in the state that it once did – the current governor, Terry McAuliffe, campaigned on environmental themes and easily weathered a determined 'war on coal' assault from Virginia Republicans. The Trump plan for victory in Virginia seems to rely on somehow resurrecting the political and economic power of a dying industry."

Trump: Is his mouth is separated from his brain?
This is all pretty much a done deal, but what about the residual effects, the "down ticket" ripples from Trump's large rock in a small puddle? Think Morgan Griffith, the 9th District Congressman, who doesn't even live in the 9th District. Griffith supports Trump, though it's mostly a "cover your ass" support, as is much of what he does as a Congressman.

Salem's Griffith, who won some years ago against highly effective Rick Boucher on the coal issue still bases his outward campaign on coal and his unconditional support of mine owners--the rich people in the 9th. He should be vulnerable to a well-run, well-financed campaign from a known entity in the 9th--preferably one who lives there and supports jobs for the region, retraining coal miners, federal support for the transition.

Griffith, like so many in his sub-Tea Party, campaigns on "no change" for the mining industry, no controls for its pollutants, no additional taxes for its rich owners. But the Democratic Party in this part of Virginia is not especially active, not well financed and falls short of  being a threat at all. Good leadership could dismiss Griffith from the halls of Congress where he only belongs as a tourist.

1 comment:

  1. Griffith has done nothing for Patrick,Henry or Carroll counties..Doesn't even visit himself sends his aids..