Virginia Republicans have embarrassed themselves in the unforgiving glare of the national spotlight this winter by muscling through the General Assembly a batch of partisan, incendiary and pointlessly provocative legislation. They’ve enacted bills to thrill the gun lobby (and gun traffickers), delight antiabortion activists and impede voters who lack IDs — mainly Democratic-leaning minority, poor and elderly citizens — based on phony concerns about the nonexistent problem of voting fraud.Note they also picked up the gun ban lobby's talking points on "gun traffickers" too. But, while the Post makes it clear they don't like the new Senate leadership, they also make it clear that the Democrats currently holding a new state budget hostage, are on very shaky ground.
The few, flimsy objections Democrats have raised about the budget are a smokescreen. Their real issue is power-sharing: Democrats want it; Republicans won’t give it.Democrats are quick to point out the powersharing agreement they agreed to in 1996. The difference is they had one member, then Democrat State Senator Virgil Goode, who was ready to caucus with the GOP if the Senate did not agree to share power in an evenly split chamber (Goode later went on to serve in Congress as a Democrat, switched parties after 2000, and was defeated in the Democrat wave of 2008). Before that occurred, the Democrats were ready to let Lt. Governor Don Beyer, a Democrat, cast the tie breaking vote to organize a Senate majority.
In this instance, the Republicans are right: They have the tie-breaking vote in the person of Mr. Bolling. It’s no surprise that Democrats would like to negate that advantage, but the means to do so are through elections, not the nuclear option of government shutdown. And given Republican overreach, Democrats would be shrewder to stand down and let the GOP continue to lay the groundwork for its own defeat.
I have to give credit to the Post for pointing out the obvious - for now, the Republicans have just enough votes with the Lt. Governor to conduct most of their business. That could change after 2013, which is why VSSA and NRA pushed hard to repeal handgun rationing. The iron was only going to be hot for so long.