Does a Virginia Senate Majority Matter?


    Of course it does. But it would be more meaningful with effective Democratic leadership. On votes that were important to preserving women’s rights, an almost solid Democratic caucus nearly succeeded in halting reactionary social engineering. But Senator Saslaw failed to influence either of two colleagues to simply walk away.

    Senator Mamie Locke (D-2nd) and Delegate Robin Abbott (D-93rd) express their dissatisfaction with the lack of success the Democratic members of both chambers have had working together. As Senator Locke points out, if a bill comes across from the House of Delegates with what appears to be overwhelming Democratic support, there is small reason to suspect serious deficiencies.  So it isn’t just in the Senate where Democratic leadership fails.

    Two of the bills, HB 2434, Health Insurance Abortion Opt-Out, and SB 924, Abortion Center Safety, passed on a 20-20 vote. In both cases, if either Senator Colgan (D-29th) or Senator Puckett (D-38th) had just not voted, the measures would have failed.  

    • Peter Rousselot

      A Democratic majority in the VA Senate would matter a lot if the VA Senate had effective progressive leadership. Such leadership is currently absent. It’s hard to argue with the proposition that it is better to have a majority than a minority, but it is very wrong to suggest that we should all hurl ourselves into round-the-clock activism to preserve a majority that too often drops the ball. The current uninspiring, ineffective leadership hasn’t earned that degree of confidence, and cannot command it by threatening that doom will befall us unless that leadership is returned to power.