( – promoted by lowkell)
It appears Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling is trying to appeal to Ken Cuccinelli supporters by setting himself up to the deciding vote on an extremist hard right agenda aimed at securing his flank for 2013
by Paul Goldman
While Governor McDonnell makes great strides national by building an image of a problem solver who looks for practical, hopefully bipartisan solutions (like joining with Democrats Webb and Warner and Kaine to push for job-creating, education improving tax credits), his Lieutenant Governor, Bill Bolling, is going hard right with the “rule or ruin” GOP Senate power play.
Unlike in 1996, when Democratic LG Don Beyer agreed to a power-sharing agreement after the Senate election ended in a 20-20 tie, this time Republican Bill Bolling is behind a GOP move to reject the bipartisan approach for a 100% GOP-controlled power push right over the Democrats.
My hunch: This is Bolling’s play to the hard right in the GOP, who see their chance to ram through, with the help of the GOP Senate, an extremist agenda despite the mainstream views of Virginians.
Bolling appears to have made this calculation: By going for the 100% power-grab, this means the GOP can stack the committees so those bills get to the Senate Floor.
Then, once on the floor, LG Bolling gets to play hero to the Cuccinelli forces by casting the deciding vote on all kinds of things they want.
Presto: The allure of Mr. Cuccinelli as the only true conservative believer is diminished, since now Mr. Bolling has the some serious right-wing street cred.
Then, having gone far right enough to win the GOP gubernatorial nod, Bolling can swing back toward the middle with a push from Governor McDonnell.
Sorry Bill: It sounds like a Boyd Marcus/Ray Allen play – go far right, swing back – alright, and they are smart guys for sure.
But the secret to the wins of Holton, Godwin, Dalton, Allen, Gilmore and McDonnell were their ability to avoid the extremist tag.
By setting himself up as the poster boy for putting partisan ideology over mainstream governance, Bolling guarantees a sharper, hard-right image should he manage to get the GOP gubernatorial nomination in 2013.
In that regard, Mr. LG sir, you get all the negatives now associated with the AG, but without his positives. Moreover, you hurt Governor McDonnell, who has a better chance nationally if his state doesn’t fall into a partisan mess over hard-right legislation due to a Republican power grab.
It may help inside the GOP, but it risks a big loss with the general public.