Five people dressed like the white supremacists who caused the violent “Unite the Right” riots in Charlottesville four years ago showed up outside of Virginia Republican gubernatorial nominee Glenn Youngkin’s event in the town on Friday.The optics of this are awful -- and while I understand that you might hate the word "optics," a stunt like this, by definition, is all optics. Either it conveys the impression it's meant to convey or it fails.
But instead of actual “Unite the Right” supporters, it turns out that it was a half-baked stunt from the Lincoln Project, a group of Republicans who oppose President Trump—and Youngkin.
These men approached @GlennYoungkin’s bus as it pulled up saying what sounded like, “We’re all in for Glenn.” Here they are standing in front of the bus as his campaign event at Guadalajara started.@NBC29 pic.twitter.com/l681ejyBjc— Elizabeth Holmes (@holmes_reports) October 29, 2021
... The Lincoln Project acknowledged they were behind the stunt after VICE News identified one of the people dressed in the photo in front of Youngkin’s campaign bus as a low-level Democratic operative....
The real Charlottesville racists were menacing. They came in large numbers and threatened violence, then they killed a counterprotester. Five sad-looking guys in the rain aren't the least bit menacing. Maybe this could have worked if there were twenty-five or fifty of them and they seemed genuinely intimidating at a suburban campaign stop where Youngkin and his fleece vest were trying to reassure the crowd that he'll be harmless if he's elected.
Or, alternately, young men dressed like this could have shown up at Youngkin rallies and never pretended to be anything but actors. Maybe they'd show up every time and eventually get under the candidate's skin, like someone in a chicken suit who follows around a candidate trying to dodge a debate. I don't know how this would work or what these guys would say or do, but it would clearly be theater, and at least you wouldn't get the big, embarrassing reveal as soon as you deployed them --oops, those are Democratic operatives.
Or maybe you shouldn't even attempt this sort of thing unless you have the personality of a Roger Stone, with deep reservoirs of contempt and sadism. Ratfucking is a skill, and clearly it's a skill the Lincoln Project lacks.