Home Virginia Politics Democrats Falling Right Into McDonnell’s Trap on ABC Privatization?

Democrats Falling Right Into McDonnell’s Trap on ABC Privatization?

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Over at Tertium Quids, Norm Leahy analyzes the politics of Bob McDonnell’s ABC privatization plan. I don’t agree with all of it, including some of the tone (e.g, that Dem’s are “panting after” tax increases; puh-leeze!), but Norm does make some good points. Such as:

*“Democrats don’t have a transportation plan.”

Norm’s right, they largely don’t. Except perhaps, as Creigh Deeds so inarticulately stated during the 2009 campaign, to keep “everything on the table” (e.g., raise the gas tax, with every penny per gallon raising around $50 million).

*“…this is a ‘brain dead’ approach that benefits McDonnell.”

Yes, I’d have to agree with that. Right now, all the initiative is with McDonnell (and Cuccinelli, for that matter), on this and on many other issues. Meanwhile, Virginia Democrats fail to craft a compelling, alternative political narrative to compete with McDonnell’s. On this issue, their “plan,” if you can call it that, appears to be to kill ABC privatization in the Senate. The flaws in that “plan” are multifold.

For starters, if McDonnell’s privatization passes the House of Delegates, are Democrats really that confident they can stop it in the Senate? Reminder: Democrats “control” the Senate by a whopping 22-18 margin, which means that if Republicans hang together and Democrats lose just 2 votes (and there are many candidates), then McDonnell’s brain-dead privatization plan passes.  Then, even if Democrats do kill McDonnell’s ABC privatization in the Senate, the politics play out as McDonnell labeling Democrats as “obstructionists” without a real plan of their own (except to “raise your taxes”). Not good. Which is why Democrats need to get ahead of this and seize the initiative. If not, something tells me that Norm Leahy will be proven correct, and that Democrats will once again end up on the losing end.

Unless, of course, Dick Saslaw knows something the rest of us don’t know. Hmmmm.

  • Dan Sullivan

    The Democratic Party of Virginia “leadership” is letting this one become their own hangman’s noose.

  • If there’s a trap, it’s that the GOP is waiting for Dems to propose new revenue, so the GOP can go back to being anti-tax demagogues. If the GOP wants to run our transportation system into the ground, that sucks, but they can’t blame Democrats for it.

    Elections have consequences. One of them is that the GOP has to come up with solutions. If they can’t, maybe they should give the keys back to the adults.