It has been a vicious week for Corey Stewart, starting with Mike Rubino’s scathing evaluation of his performance on the Trump campaign in Virginia and ending with a complete gutting of The Bull Elephant — the mouthpiece of what remains of the now-splintered Conservative Fellowship on RPV State Central Committee, where the majority has increasingly been taken over by mainline conservatives.
To wit, here is the interview on The John Fredericks Show:
Perhaps with alarming speed, The Bull Elephant issues a scathing condemnation of Corey Stewart — one designed to separate him from the loyal Trump supporters of whom TBE editors and writers claimed to represent.
Trump supporters in Virginia have responded with a vengeance that I have not seen in years, one that could very well jeopardize the SCC interests of the remaining “fellowship” members who have now been exposed as hostile to the interests of Trump grassroots supporters, not to mention terribly condescending and brutal towards those with dissenting opinions.
Of course, The Bull Elephant’s checkered past with racist alt-right viewpoints is well known in Virginia. The open disdain for conservatives and Trump supporters alike — read: anyone who threatens their grip on power — is well-cataloged. Fake news before fake news was a thing, perhaps.
For those watching from the outside, that makes the rough alliance between Corey Stewart and fellow VLM affiliate Bearing Drift all the more interesting — the former looking to expose the truth about “paid bloggers” in Virgina; the latter finally getting its comeuppance against the same:
— Corey Stewart (@CoreyStewartVA) December 14, 2016
Now longtime readers will immediately recognize that Bearing Drift has been consistently critical of Corey Stewart’s policies as an “embarrassment” in Prince William County, particularly as his “probable cause” ordinances have targeted immigrant and minority communities there. Stewart’s production on behalf of Trump was sub-par at best (then again, there are rumors that this sub-par performance was by design — more on this later).
Yet when the knife was turned against Donald Trump and the rumors of a “loyalty oath” surfaced, Bearing Drift editors rushed to Trump’s defense. When Corey Stewart was dismissed from the honorary position with Trump’s campaign, it was Bearing Drift who set aside previous challenges on issues and rallied to his defense on process — a consistency that is not to be missed here. To wit, with regards to his “firing” as Trump Virginia chairman, Bearing Drift observed that it would probably work to Stewart’s credit:
Stewart will more than likely continue to support Trump regardless of his title. That’s not why he’s involved; not a single Trump supporter will waver from supporting Stewart at the end of the day because of this event. In an odd twist, Stewart gained from this incident — lost a title; gained some trust.
So today’s press release from the Stewart campaign announcing the support of Virginians for Trump grassroots leaders probably comes as a gut-shot to The Bull Elephant, who previously claimed to represent their voice — and perhaps as a pleasant surprise to Bearing Drift editors who on the whole have been suspicious (but fair) in their critique of Trump thus far.
From the Stewart campaign:
“No one worked harder than Corey in support of President Elect Trump and he was loyal to the end, a characteristic much admired by Mr. Trump,” said Alice Butler-Short, Founder and State Director Virginia Women For Trump. “When others were pushing votes toward Hillary with their anti-Trump rhetoric, Corey was fighting in his defense. I stand beside this man of great character with pride.”
Ron Hedlund, a County Chair for Mr. Trump, was struck by the “selfless dedication and boundless effort Corey Stewart expended to promote the Trump campaign across the entire Commonwealth,” and is endorsing Corey Stewart largely because of his “tireless energy and determined focus.”
The press release follows with no less than 12 grassroots endorsements from the Trump activist pool.
Obviously much of this is a tempest within the Tea Party, one that probably cost The Bull Elephant what little credibility remained among Trump supporters (to wit, the reaction from a handful of tweets was a complete volte face from the previous editorial line), who are with visible concern watching (and separating) those who rode the Trump Train to change America for the better vs. those who sought to cash in.
Nevertheless, there does not seem to be much infighting among Trump supporters in Virginia at all. They seem (at the moment) rather unified in their support for Stewart. What is notable is that The Bull Elephant doesn’t speak for them in the slightest.
UPDATE: Over at Bearing Drift, Brian Schoeneman chimes in:
Given the significant attacks launched by Rubino and Lloyd at Stewart over the last few days, responding with a list of Trump campaign figures who are endorsing Stewart is a good way to reinforce his campaign’s narrative that he’s the Trump candidate for Governor in Virginia. At the same time, putting out a list like this with so many other prominent Trump campaign names not listed is likely to invite the inevitable response from Rubino, Lloyd and others that this effort was merely an attempt by Stewart to use President-Elect Trump’s name to further his own ambitions, a charge they have already leveled against him publicly over the last week.
…thus pitting Mike Rubino and Mark Kevin Lloyd against the character and reputations of Pastor Jack Morgan, 7th District SCC representative Ron Hedlund, and Virginia Women for Trump director Alice Butler-Short.
This should get interesting quickly.