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Thursday, March 30, 2023
Editor’s NotebookEditor's Notebook: Time is running out in Richmond

Editor’s Notebook: Time is running out in Richmond

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We’re now past “crossover,” where legislation from the Virginia House of Delegates has been sent to the state Senate and vice versa.

With the two bodies in hands of opposite parties, expect a lot of killing of bills in coming weeks. Republicans in the House of Delegates will slice away at the bills coming from the Democratic Senate; Democrats will start whacking away at bills newly arrived from the Republican House.

In other words, exactly what the Sun Gazette’s editorial page was hoping for when it called, before the November 2021 election, for divided government.

From the editorial:


We’re not particularly interested exactly how this might shake out. Maybe it means letting Terry McAuliffe have a second time in the Governor’s Mansion, but give him a Republican House of Delegates and Republicans as lieutenant governor and attorney general to balance things out. Or let Democrats hold the House of Delegates but install Republican Glenn Youngkin as governor.

But, voters, if you want sanity in statewide government, divided government is the way to go. Now you just have to go out and make it happen.

And, in their wisdom, voters did!

The end result will be that the only legislation that gets to Gov. Youngkin’s desk in coming weeks will be that which has support of both parties, or at least some within each party. All those party-line votes taken in the House of Delegates, and those in the state Senate, in recent days will amount to nothing in the long run.

It’s a win-win: Virginians get less legislation (and less is always preferable to more) and the only measures that will pass will be in the middle, not on the extremes. Hooray!

KINDA FUN TO WATCH: After a couple of years in control, it’s perhaps natural that Democrats in the House of Delegates are a tad testy these days, now that Republicans are in power and are treating the minority party the way that, well, Republicans were treated when Democrats ran the show.

Most interesting to watch are the mouthy-est of the Democrats, who seem to be auditioning either for political offices up the food chain or for cable-news TV spots.

You’d think all of these types with high ratings on the obnoxious-o-meter were concentrated in Northern Virginia, but no; a couple of the most aggressive come from downstate.

And as is always the case, no matter which party is in power, the majority just sits back, lets the words flow from the other side, then votes the way they intended to vote all along.

Elections have consequences. Or, as B.H. Obama more directly put it, after each election one side gets to say to the other: “We won, you lost, get over it.”

  • Scott McCaffrey
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