This congressional race was kind of lost in the overall excitement of the election, but it was of particular interest to me. I don’t know if ya’ll remember Virgil Goode, he was the Congressman from Virginia who attacked Keith Ellison for being a Muslim, and suggested that his being elected to congress was the precursor to an Islamic takeover of the United States–unless we overhauled immigration laws. Lost on Mr. Goode was the fact that Ellison is black and was born right here in America. But you, know, details details.
In any case, Goode actually lost on election day, but not to a conservative Democrat, but to a very outspoken liberal, Tom Perriello. Just goes to show you, the South really is changing. Even “Real Virginia.” You can read all about it in my latest piece for The American Prospect.
Goode is reviled on the left, particularly among the netroots, for attacking Congressman Keith Ellison of Minnesota, the first Muslim American elected to Congress, several years ago. Goode’s bugaboo is immigration, and he warned that unless more in Congress “adopted the Virgil Goode position on immigration” more Muslims would be elected to Congress. Ellison was born in the United States. Earlier in the fall, Goode released an ad that recalled his preoccupation with Ellison two years ago. The ad featured a doctored photograph of a dark, sinister and bearded Perriello. The ad was supposed to make Perriello look like the first cousin of Mohammed Atta. Both Perriello and some local newspaper editorials decried it as race-baiting. At a mention of the ad, Perriello gives a wry smirk. “It looked like a Saturday Night Live parody of a Lee Atwater ad,” he says.
More excerpt after the jump.
In their third debate on Oct. 24, Goode railed against ACORN and argued that “the credit crisis and the crisis with the banks has been brought about by pushing loans to people who are risky at best, and I do not support making politically correct loans over financially sound loans.” Perriello responded, “That is by far the scariest thing you will hear tonight. That isn’t out of touch with the district; this is out of touch with reality.” The audience at American Legion Post 325 erupted into applause.
Read the whole thing here.
Cheryl Contee aka "Jill Tubman", Baratunde Thurston aka "Jack Turner", rikyrah, Leutisha Stills aka "The Christian Progressive Liberal", B-Serious, Casey Gane-McCalla, Jonathan Pitts-Wiley aka "Marcus Toussaint," Fredric Mitchell
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