Where to begin with the Take Back Virginia Rally held in Glen Allen, Virginia, last night? How about, well, the beginning, when emcee Martha Boneta introduced a flag used at the violent Jan. 6 insurrection that resulted in at least 140 Capitol Police officers being injured, which she categorized as a “peaceful rally with Donald J. Trump”?
The flag came from “Kim from Chesapeake,” and was used for supporters of Republican governor candidate Glenn Youngkin to recite the Pledge of Allegiance as led by Virginia Tea Party bigwig Mark Kevin Lloyd, who’s known for his misogynistic and xenophobic beliefs.
As Meidas Touch notes, there is historical precedent for such a shocking pledge.
Youngkin finally issued a statement on the insurrection flag used at the Take Back Virginia Rally, claiming he “doesn’t know” and “wasn’t involved.”
The event explicitly backed Youngkin for governor, included an endorsement from Trump, and, according to an organizer, even involved the distribution of campaign signs that Youngkin’s team had donated.
As far as rebukes go, Youngkin failed on all fronts. The businessman said that “if that’s the case” that the flag was used, which it was, “then we shouldn’t pledge allegiance to that flag.”
Youngkin was nowhere to be found at the rally, but his push into politics tinged every major moment, which culminated in a phone call from Trump. The former president called Youngkin “a great gentleman” and continued pushing his conspiracy theories of 2020 presidential election fraud.
“We won in 2016. We won in 2020 — the most corrupt election in the history of our country, probably one of the most corrupt anywhere. But we’re gonna win it again,” Trump said, mere hours after releasing a statement urging Republicans not to vote “if we don’t solve the Presidential Election Fraud of 2020.”
Rally organizer John Fredericks gave a contradictory reading of Trump’s words when reached by The Washington Post, claiming Trump meant to inspire more voter engagement. Fredericks also effused that Youngkin was thrilled with the rally and even gave him campaign signs to distribute.
Youngkin, for his part, hasn’t exactly distanced himself from the Steve Bannon-headlined event.
He was downright appreciative in a radio segment with Fredericks, who hosted the Wednesday rally. Democratic candidate and former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe released audio of the exchange on Twitter.
Naturally, #GlennTrumpkin soon began trending on Twitter. It’s downright easy to dunk on a rally like this: Bannon claimed his MAGA coalition would govern for a century, evoking Hitler’s promise that the Third Reich would reign for 1,000 years; Fredericks, who co-chaired Trump’s Virginia efforts in the 2020 election, made his own hyperpartisan news site to push election conspiracy theories while decrying “fake news”; the list goes on and on.
It’s more meaningful to take action. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi urged Democrats to phone bank for McAuliffe and other Virginia Dems. Here at Daily Kos, we’ve got a whole host of ways for y’all to help, both on the ground and virtually:
This post has been updated to reflect that the person who led the Pledge of Allegiance is named Mark Kevin Lloyd, not Glenn Lloyd.