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Thursday, August 11, 2022
Editor’s NotebookEditor’s Notebook: We’ll mark them down as ‘undecided’

Editor’s Notebook: We’ll mark them down as ‘undecided’

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It’s always entertaining, at least to me, when almost blatantly partisan political groups attempt to veil themselves in a sheen of nonpartisanship. The public sometimes buys it, after all.

But enough of that. On a completely unrelated topic from the above paragraph, the Virginia League of Conservation Voters is out with its scorecard of General Assembly performance in the session just gone by. No surprise: Local legislators, Democrats all, scored at or near the top.

The interesting part of the press release was that, for the first time, the organization decided to grade a governor’s performance. (Only the cynical among us would say the reason that this idea didn’t occur to the group during the eight years of the McAuliffe-Northam era because it didn’t want to have to say even the most limited of critical things about either, even though each had a somewhat spotty record on environmental issues.)

With Republican Glenn Youngkin now in the office, apparently the conservation group is hap-hap-happy to slap him around.

“We unfortunately had to give him a grade of ‘F’ for his deprioritization of environmental protection, his attacks on important environmental protections, a host of appointments with deep ties to the fossil-fuel industry, and for a petty and vindictive style of governing,” the organization said.

Well, tell us how you really feel!

“A number of gubernatorial actions were taken into consideration in developing this grade, including executive actions, appointments, his overall environmental agenda, his vetoes of and amendments to legislation, the state budget, and his overall style of leadership and approach to governing,” it added.

Some of the criticisms indeed have validity. Yet whenever I read such things, the words of one Barack H. Obama, responding to his own critics, ring in my ears: “I won, you lost, get over it.” Get engaged to try and win the next one.

The organization says grades for governors will continue into the future, akin to the phrase “the floggings will continue until morale improves.” One expects F’s for Republican governors as a matter of course (of course); the interesting thing will be how future Democrats are rated. Stay tuned.

– Scott McCaffrey

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