We’ll see how McDonnell’s pledge not to be “arrogant” or “overreach,” now that Republicans largely control the Virginia General Assembly, plays out. Specifically, we’ll see whether McDonnell can control the numerous right-wing ideologues elected to the State Senate and House of Delegates this past November, maintain his “moderate” image (and yes, it’s overwhelmingly an image), while not pissing off and/or disappointing the right wing of the party.
Also, to the extent Republicans control the State Senate, the question is how many of the bat****-crazy/extremist bills that come over from the House will no longer die in the Senate, as they did the past two years. And, to the extent Republicans stymie the Teahadists, how angry will it make those people, and how much of a backlash will there be?
Meanwhile, this entire session will take place in the context of intense political jockeying: Bob McDonnell for a spot on the national ticket (or in, god forbid, a Republican administration starting in January 2013); Ken Cuccinelli for leadership of the Tea Party faction of the Virginia Republican Party, as well as for the Republican nomination for governor in 2013; and Bill Bolling, trying to figure out a way to somehow defeat Cuccinelli for the nomination.
Finally, I’m sure we’ll see a major push by powerful corporations and interest groups, plus groups like ALEC, to push their agendas in Richmond. The question is, will Republicans just go right along with their agendas, at the expense of the vast majority of Virginians, the environment, etc., or will they push back in any way, shape, or form? My betting is on the former, but I’d love to be proven wrong.