Virginia Democrats are incapable of being courteous even in the midst of a pandemic. Due to the coronavirus, the House of Delegates will reconvene this week in a tent; but the Democrat majority did not even have the decency to inform Republican delegates of important matters, such as how votes would be taken and whether voting remotely would be permitted. Consequently, Republican delegates have been learning about the Democrats’ plans through the media. This is disgraceful, but it is typical of the way that arrogant Democrats have acted since they managed to seize full control of Virginia – with the substantial assistance of liberal billionaires.
For generations, politics in the Commonwealth have been conducted the Virginia Way – meaning that lawmakers acted civilly toward each other, listened to opposing viewpoints, and compromised when necessary. The Virginia Way helped make the Commonwealth a good place to live and helped us steer clear of the toxic politics of Washington. Those days are gone.
One of Democrats’ most shameful displays occurred in February when a black pastor, who had been invited by a Republican delegate, gave the opening prayer for the House of Delegates. The pastor’s prayer expressed his traditional family values, which offended Democrat legislators. Some responded by heckling him and walking out as he prayed. Even more egregiously, the House Speaker, Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Fairfax County), silenced the pastor by gaveling his prayer to an end and abruptly beginning to lead the chamber in the Pledge of Allegiance.
When Democrat legislators are not busy disrespecting a pastor or passing left-wing legislation, they are busy practicing the politics of spite and retribution. For example, Sen. Bill Stanley (R-Franklin County), proposed legislation to increase the pay for sheriffs’ departments by three percent. Every Senate Democrat voted against the bill. After the bill was defeated, Sen. Dick Saslaw (D-Fairfax County), the octogenarian Majority Leader, told Stanley that the bill had been defeated because sheriffs had informed legislators that they would not enforce unconstitutional gun laws.
Democrats who dare to step out of line may also suffer retaliation from their own party. After a Democrat state senator voted against a sweeping gun control bill, a Democrat-run committee in the House of Delegates killed a noncontroversial bill sponsored by that senator – without regard for those who would have benefitted from the bill. The legislation, which passed unanimously in the Virginia Senate, would have allowed part-time police officers to purchase their service weapons when they retire. (The law currently allows full-time officers to purchase their service firearms upon retirement.)
Things are so bad that Democrat senators felt the need to threaten the Democrat House Speaker’s agenda to persuade her to do her job. After running on redistricting reform last fall, many House Democrats were suddenly not interested in real reform once they grabbed power. As this year’s regular legislative session neared its end, nine House Democrats broke with their party and voted with the House Republicans for a state constitutional amendment to reform redistricting. However, after the amendment passed the House, Speaker Filler-Corn refused to transmit the amendment to the Senate prompting fears that the bill would be killed. In response, Senate Democrats, who supported the amendment, threatened to retaliate by killing several liberal House bills. Eventually, Filler-Corn relented and transmitted the amendment.
Unfortunately, the lack of decency in the Virginia Democrat Party extends to the Governor’s mansion. Despicably, he supported a bill to make it easier to kill a baby right up until birth – an extreme position only supported by a fraction of the electorate. As if that were not bad enough, we learned early last year that Northam had the nickname “Coonman” in college; absurdly, he claimed not to know how he had acquired this moniker. We also learned that there was a photo of two individuals with one in a KKK outfit and another in blackface on his page in his medical school yearbook. At first, Northam admitted he was in the photo – without saying whether he was wearing blackface or dressed as a klansman – then quickly reversed himself and claimed not to know how the photo appeared on his page. This is the same man who, during his campaign for governor, smeared Republican voters as murderous racists.
The good news is that next year there will be elections for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, and the House of Delegates. Because these thuggish Democrats have shown themselves to be unfit to serve, perhaps Virginia’s voters will take them to the woodshed and deliver a thrashing they will not soon forget.
Richard McCarty is the Director of Research at Americans for Limited Government Foundation.