As a lot of folks are tuned into the GOP Presidentlial debate tonight, I think it's kind of important to look at what one of the leaders of the Republican Party recenty said. Sarah Palin attacked Northern Virginians while speaking at a Tea Party rally in Iowa last week by referring to them as “unlike the rest of America" and suggesting that Northern Virginia residents are immune from the economic hardships of the recession because they live near the nation's capital. While George Allen continues to promote policies and an attitude similar to Palin, there are some leaders who have called out Palin and her cronies. Gerry Connolly, for instance, joined former Governor Tim Kaine in criticizing Sarah Palin for her offensive remarks about Northern Virginia.
“Once again, Sarah Palin has delivered a harmful and hateful message that has little basis in fact. If she thinks that Northern Virginia is immune from our current economic recession, I invite her to meet some of our residents who have lost their homes or seen their retirement funds depleted due to the economic policies of the Bush administration,” Connolly said.
“As the former Alaska governor and FOX News media star should know so well, Alaskans reap more federal largess than any other Americans, according to several studies and reports in the New York Times and USA Today. ‘Alaska is the top recipient of federal stimulus dollars per capita — with no close second,’ the Times reported; while USA Today also pointed out that Alaska was the biggest recipient of federal pork barrel spending from earmarks,” Connolly said.
“I would suggest that this is the pot calling the kettle black,” he said.
Of course, this isn't the first time that we've heard the Republicans show a lack of respect for NOVA. During the 2008 campaign, for instance, McCain's brother went on a tirade against the region and called it "community country." In other words, this seems to go beyond a simple statement from Sarah Palin but in fact represents a trend in the GOP. They clearly don't like Northern Virginia even though it's become a crucial area in presidential elections and is home to millions of crucial working class families.