You Know How the Story Goes …

Mark Twain once observed that while history did not always repeat itself, it often rhymed. I am waiting to see whether this will be the case with the Virginia Flaggers’ dalliance with Matthew Heimbach. After all, in case you haven’t seen this before, I have two words for you: Rob Walker.

After all, Susan Hathaway saw Walker’s presence and participation as a case of divine intervention (“There is no denying God’s hand in this… in bringing Rob to Monument Ave. last November, and then, miraculously again last night at the exact moment and time to prevent what could have been irreparable damage to one of our most treasured monuments AND facilitating the first arrest [that we are aware of] of these punk vandals that have no regard for the rule of law:  neither God’s nor man’s”). Of course, as she later had to admit, the Lord works in wondrous ways. Yet she couldn’t wait to congratulate her fellow Flagger Heimbach on getting an award from the SCV and shared a picture of Heimbach behind the Flaggers’ banner. And we all know who brought Walker to the attention of the Flaggers, right? Why, Tripp Lewis, of course … the same guy who’s openly testified that Heimbach’s a “nice guy” and who’s standing next to Heimbach in the picture that started it all. And we’ve had Connie Chastain try to explain it all, and we all know that doesn’t work.

What would an intelligent person do here? Simple. First, shut up while you prepare a response. Investigate the matter. Tell people you take these charges seriously. Then, at the right time, declare that you were wrong, disavow what Heimbach believes in, and move on to reaffirm the message you want people to believe you believe. Admonish your own supporters by telling them that they haven’t helped matters, and to keep quiet until this blows over. Devote your energies to the event twenty-seven days away.

For the most part, in fact, this is exactly what Hathaway and the Flaggers did in the Walker taser incident. Hathaway remained silent while investigating the claim, leaving it to Chastain to engage in a feeble exercise in what Hathaway terms “heavy hitting.” Then Hathaway issued a statement (one Chastain sent to me) explaining and apologizing, while reaffirming her commitment to the cause. Somehow they made sure that Lewis remained silent (always a good idea).

For some reason, the Flaggers failed to learn from history. Of course, this time the evidence is even more damning, especially as so much of it was provided by the Flaggers themselves. It appears that they were not unaware of Heimbach’s principles. They could not claim (as Chastain originally tried to do) that this was a single point of contact (make sure your spokesperson has the story right before she flies off the handle). Lewis openly embraced Heimbach: seems they are good friends. Hathaway pledged not to answer questions (last time she actually thanked bloggers for alerting her about Walker). Chastain’s just being Chastain, which leaves outsiders wondering why such a person handles Flagger communications and manages their blog.

I would have advised the Flaggers to proceed as they did last time in controlling the damage, but you know they won’t take my advice. Instead, they have forgotten yet another lesson of history: it’s the coverup that often sinks you. Their decision to attack their critics without dealing with Heimbach directly will prove costly. Their decision to share their warm and fuzzy feelings about Heimbach will prove costly. Their decision not to disavow his beliefs (and how he associates the Confederate flag with them) will prove costly. Their decision to let Lewis chime in uncontested will prove costly.

Oh, in the end the Flaggers may try to recover. They may offer their excuses. They may try to invent explanations, delete Facebook conversations, and the like. They may try to undo the damage they have inflicted upon themselves.

It’s too late. We’ve seen them for who they are, and so will everyone else.

11 thoughts on “You Know How the Story Goes …

  1. Billy Bearden September 1, 2013 / 9:28 pm

    The pic of the Virginia Flaggers entry in the January 2012 parade with Matthew Heimbach……
    Well, wasn’t that in January 2012? Taken in January 2012?

    Tom Cruise was unable to provide the Flaggers with a ‘Minority Report’ in January 2012, so all that stuff he is now famous for after January 2012 is just stuff the Flaggers failed to foresee that what occurred in later 2012 and 2013.

    • Brooks D. Simpson September 1, 2013 / 9:36 pm

      Try again, Billy. You guys are really pathetic when you’re desperate. You can’t even read the date on a picture.

      In fact, this is such an inane comment that you must be pretending to be Billy Bearden, right? You’re just trying to make all the Flaggers look stupid. Certainly Susan Hathaway could not have been inspired by such a nitwit, right?

      You folks crack me up.

  2. SF Walker September 2, 2013 / 12:45 am

    Interestingly, Heimbach’s association with these folks could end up hurting his cause, too. You’d think someone with his education would exercise better judgement in picking his allies–he’s already got enough going against him. Surely Heimbach has political aspirations he’d like to pursue in the future with regard to his philosophy. In order for him to be successful at a higher level (which is probably his goal), he’d have to win over a lot of people of different stripes–which, first and foremost, would mean convincing them that he isn’t a racist. That won’t be any easier for him with the albatross of the Confederate flag around his neck.

    • Andy Hall September 2, 2013 / 7:20 am

      That’s why the LoS’s recent anti-immigrant rally in Georgia — which Heimbach was headlined to attend, but was a no-show — specifically barred the Confederate flag, among other things. It carries too much baggage even for the secessionists.

      • SF Walker September 2, 2013 / 7:52 am

        That’s a major concession for the League of the South! But it shows that even they have some concept of PR. I wonder if their decision to bar the flag was one of the reasons why Heimbach didn’t show? It seems like this would have been an ideal event for him to have made.

        • Brooks D. Simpson September 2, 2013 / 8:08 am

          Maybe, as a loyal Virginia Flagger, he stood on principle and refused to go if the Confederate flag was not welcome at such a rally. After all, how are his beliefs any different than the ones that Flagger mouthpiece Connie Chastain espouses?

          Flaggers stick together.

        • Andy Hall September 2, 2013 / 8:09 am

          No idea why he wasn’t there, but I doubt it was the flag thing. The organizers were very careful to prohibit unapproved signs, banners, and even had a dress code. Yes, they’ve gotten smarter about PR.

        • Andy Hall September 2, 2013 / 8:22 am

          Heimbach hasn’t abandoned the CBF entirely, though — back in February he and one of his buddies, Scott Terry, attended the big annual conservative conference, CPAC, in DC. They sat in on a session about minority outreach for the GOP, and proceeded to harangue the audience about how African Americans should be grateful to white people for providing them food and shelter during slavery. Heimbach wore a Dixie Outfitters I-pledge-allegience-to-the-Confederate-flag shirt for that special occasion.

    • Thelibertylamp September 2, 2013 / 8:33 am

      Heimbach’s future is pretty grim anyway. Many of these guys who land on their sword for the cause of white nationalism have limited their opportunities.

      Very few actual white nationalists lead successful lives. Many go into the construction field, either as owning the business or as a wage worker.
      If they prefer more intellectual based work, some become university professors like Michael Hart or Kevin MacDonald. Many go into investing, buying and trading gold and silver is big with them.

      Most of the tattooed racist skinhead types either go into manual labor, or if their criminal wrap sheet gets too big they become drug dealers and/or go on the dole.

      Heimbach really cannot get into politics at this point, unless it means working around the joke candidates The American Third Position crowd puts out now and then.

      He isn’t hirable as a wonk for a policy group or work at a nonprof, thus K st is pretty much out of the picture for him, nor is he eligible for a Hill job.

      He might, perhaps, go to law school. Rumor has it that he and his buddy Matt Parrott have settled out in MI. They could be buying up cheap Detroit property and hope to sell back to developers when the right time comes or try to get into some other kind of real estate.
      There is a nasty little nest of Neo-Nazis and various other kinds of white power types in the Michigan area.

      Heimbach grew up in a pretty nice and upper middle class area, Poolesville Maryland, it is doubtful that he is going to be able to sustain himself in the same life he grew up with.

      He’s still young and stupid, about 10-20 years from now he is going to regret the mess he got himself into.

  3. Michael Confoy September 3, 2013 / 9:08 pm

    Speaking of non-citizens in this country, perhaps it’s time to get a petition going to remove all the monuments from Monument Avenue that are not American citizens. Of course that might only leave Arthur Ashe.

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