Home Virginia Politics Video: Your Weekly Dose of Virginia Republican Paranoia, Wackiness, Idiocy

Video: Your Weekly Dose of Virginia Republican Paranoia, Wackiness, Idiocy

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For their weekly address, Virginia Republicans roll out standard-issue right wingnut Sen. Richard Stuart. You’d expect “teh crazy” from this guy, and in this address, he certainly doesn’t disappoint. A few highlights lowlights:

*First, he whines/rants that “Senate Democrats ignored the Rules and longstanding precedent to seize control” of the State Senate, completely ignoring the fact that Republicans did the exact same thing 2 years ago (“Republicans seized control of an equally divided Senate on the first day of the General Assembly session Wednesday, relying on arcane maneuvers to take over the last part of the state government they didn’t already control.”). Did he complain 2 years ago? Of course not. #FAIL

*He goes on the expected anti-Obama rant, claiming: “President Obama has been unable to convince Congress to go enact his agenda. So now, he has declared that he will enact it himself, overriding the power vested in the people’s elected representatives to enact policies as he sees fit.” He’s talking about executive orders, and the fact is that Obama’s issuing them at the LOWEST rate since Grover Cleveland was in the White House in the late 1800s. Also note that Republican presidents have issued more executive orders on average than Democratic presidents. Sen. Stuart doesn’t mention any of those inconvenient facts, of course, as yet again “reality has a liberal bias.” Heh.

*Stuart froths at his spittle-flecked mouth that Attorney General Mark Herring’s “abandonment of the rule of law and disregard for constitutional government threatens all of us,” that the “President, Virginia’s Attorney General, and now the entire Senate Democratic Caucus have all determined that the law will be what they say it is,” and that all these supposed horrors “[establish] a precedent that could infect government for generations to come, undermining public confidence and diminishing respect for our most cherished institutions of democracy.” Of course, none of what Sen. Stuart says in the slightest bit true, but that never stopped a right-wing Republican now did it?

  • My Fellow Virginians,

    I will try to get back to writing an occasional Compass on issues of interest and substance as we get farther into 2014.  So, here’s the first one…

    This week we saw the Democrats reach 20-20 in the Virginia State Senate and they promptly conducted a takeover of the committees, threw some members off of committees, and rewrote the rules in a particularly egregious manner.

    Here’s the bottom line: The Dems blatantly broke the senate rules to “rewrite” those rules to allegedly “allow” much of what they did in the Senate on Tuesday.

    What does this mean for the future?  It means that anywhere you find anything in the Rules of the Senate that supposedly requires a super-majority vote (e.g., 2/3 vote to amend the rules or remove a member from a committee), you don’t actually need a super-majority vote.  All you need is 20+1 (either a 21st Senator or the LG) who are willing to re-write the rules.

    The rule of law died in the Senate on Tuesday.  Don’t believe Don McEachin’s and Dick Saslaw’s lies about this situation.  This is totally unprecedented and it is NOT equivalent to the Rules voted for by the Republican Senators plus then-LG Bill Bolling after the 2011 election.

    One question I have is will the GOP have the backbone after the 2015 elections (if they get to 21) to use the same kind of rules in running the Senate, or to at least restore the rules that were thrown out AND remove some senior Dems from major committees?  Hopefully we’ll see in two years.

    Okay, to the nuts and bolts.  Rule 49 of the Senate said that the rules were good for four years (until after the next full Senate election in 2015) and required a 2/3 vote of the members to amend.

    This is the rule that was blatantly violated by the Dems.

    Perhaps the most pathetic thing is that they didn’t need to violate the rules to reach majorities on all of the committees.  They could have simply used the opportunity of the arrival of new Senators to add enough Dems to all the committees (without removing any Republicans, which also requires a 2/3 vote under Rule 20) that they would be the majority on the committees.

    But that wasn’t enough for them.  One of the rewrites of the rules also allows Senator John Edwards – a tool of his leadership – as Chairman of the Rules Committee to grab any Senate bill that gets amended at all in the House to be sent to the Rules Committee for new and separate consideration.  Note that the Rules Committee is stacked 13 Dems to 4 Republicans, so the Dem leadership can effectively kill ANY Senate bill that gets out of the Senate if so much as a comma gets moved over in the House.

    This is intended to reduce the power of the House of Delegates and the relevance of those Senate Dems who are not outrageously liberal and may, on occasion, cooperate with a Republican on a bill.  This is not just a consolidation of Democrat power, this is particularly a consolidation of Liberal Democrat power.  This is an unprecedented legislative club for the most extreme liberals to beat all the other Senators with and the members of the House of Delegates.

    In my humble opinion, Republicans have more opportunities for pickups in the 2015 elections than the Dems do, so it will be interesting to see how this plays out come the 2016 session!

    Finally, you might ask, ‘why don’t the Republicans just sue?’  The simple answer is because they would probably lose.  Courts leave wrangling over legislative rules to the legislative bodies themselves.  Article IV, Section 7 of the Virginia Constitution says that “Each house shall select its officers and settle its rules of procedure.”  When you combine this with the separation of powers doctrine, you end up with a situation that a court is not likely to be willing to resolve.

    However, if ever there were a case of a simple and brazen violation of a legislative body’s own rules, this is surely it!  Nonetheless, the real opportunity to “fix” this is in the 2015 elections.

    Sincerely,

    Ken Cuccinelli

  • My Fellow Virginians,

    I will try to get back to writing an occasional Compass on issues of interest and substance as we get farther into 2014.  So, here’s the first one…

    This week we saw the Democrats reach 20-20 in the Virginia State Senate and they promptly conducted a takeover of the committees, threw some members off of committees, and rewrote the rules in a particularly egregious manner.

    Here’s the bottom line: The Dems blatantly broke the senate rules to “rewrite” those rules to allegedly “allow” much of what they did in the Senate on Tuesday.

    What does this mean for the future?  It means that anywhere you find anything in the Rules of the Senate that supposedly requires a super-majority vote (e.g., 2/3 vote to amend the rules or remove a member from a committee), you don’t actually need a super-majority vote.  All you need is 20+1 (either a 21st Senator or the LG) who are willing to re-write the rules.

    The rule of law died in the Senate on Tuesday.  Don’t believe Don McEachin’s and Dick Saslaw’s lies about this situation.  This is totally unprecedented and it is NOT equivalent to the Rules voted for by the Republican Senators plus then-LG Bill Bolling after the 2011 election.

    One question I have is will the GOP have the backbone after the 2015 elections (if they get to 21) to use the same kind of rules in running the Senate, or to at least restore the rules that were thrown out AND remove some senior Dems from major committees?  Hopefully we’ll see in two years.

    Okay, to the nuts and bolts.  Rule 49 of the Senate said that the rules were good for four years (until after the next full Senate election in 2015) and required a 2/3 vote of the members to amend.

    This is the rule that was blatantly violated by the Dems.

    Perhaps the most pathetic thing is that they didn’t need to violate the rules to reach majorities on all of the committees.  They could have simply used the opportunity of the arrival of new Senators to add enough Dems to all the committees (without removing any Republicans, which also requires a 2/3 vote under Rule 20) that they would be the majority on the committees.

    But that wasn’t enough for them.  One of the rewrites of the rules also allows Senator John Edwards – a tool of his leadership – as Chairman of the Rules Committee to grab any Senate bill that gets amended at all in the House to be sent to the Rules Committee for new and separate consideration.  Note that the Rules Committee is stacked 13 Dems to 4 Republicans, so the Dem leadership can effectively kill ANY Senate bill that gets out of the Senate if so much as a comma gets moved over in the House.

    This is intended to reduce the power of the House of Delegates and the relevance of those Senate Dems who are not outrageously liberal and may, on occasion, cooperate with a Republican on a bill.  This is not just a consolidation of Democrat power, this is particularly a consolidation of Liberal Democrat power.  This is an unprecedented legislative club for the most extreme liberals to beat all the other Senators with and the members of the House of Delegates.

    In my humble opinion, Republicans have more opportunities for pickups in the 2015 elections than the Dems do, so it will be interesting to see how this plays out come the 2016 session!

    Finally, you might ask, ‘why don’t the Republicans just sue?’  The simple answer is because they would probably lose.  Courts leave wrangling over legislative rules to the legislative bodies themselves.  Article IV, Section 7 of the Virginia Constitution says that “Each house shall select its officers and settle its rules of procedure.”  When you combine this with the separation of powers doctrine, you end up with a situation that a court is not likely to be willing to resolve.

    However, if ever there were a case of a simple and brazen violation of a legislative body’s own rules, this is surely it!  Nonetheless, the real opportunity to “fix” this is in the 2015 elections.

    Sincerely,

    Ken Cuccinelli