Bob McDonnell, in keeping with his national ambitions and his desire to portray himself as no longer a right-wing ideologue, asked the General Assembly now under Republican control not to “overreach.” Well, either they didn’t heed his message, or the whole thing was a sham all along. After all, if he really is serious about “overreach,” McDonnell simply has to veto any extremist stuff his party passes when it reaches his desk.
The most egregious so far is the requirement that any woman seeking an abortion undergo an unnecessary and often invasive ultrasound the day before the procedure and be offered a chance to view the results. Not far behind is the end of the reasonable one-gun-per-month limit on firearms sales. (Sadly, a couple of Democrats – including my own state senator John Edwards – went along with that.) Awaiting a Senate vote is “Crazy Bob” Marshall’s bill that states a person exists from the moment of conception.
Meanwhile, one of the most pressing problems facing the Commonwealth, a broken transportation funding system, has gone unsolved for yet another year. On that one, McDonnell showed he is hardly moderate but, instead, a typical Republican proposing cuts to social programs and education to avoid any gas tax increase. Thankfully, his raid of the General Fund for his “Asphalt Fund” have been rejected so far. Still, transportation is a problem the Republicans have proven over and over they are incapable of solving.
The General Assembly also has ignored the biggest “elephant in the room” in Virginia. If the Washington does indeed continue to cut the size of government and the military, Virginia’s economy will be impacted severely. Northern Virginia runs on federal employment, while Hampton Roads is dependent on military spending. Instead of working to solve the state’ serious problems, the GOP in Richmond has spent its time and effort advancing a radical social agenda. It’s time for Virginians to wake up and elect representatives who aren’t beholden to ALEC and their own extremism in 2013.
Remember, for every one dollar Virginia sends in taxes to Washington, it gets $1.51 back in federal spending in the state. Virginia also is the top recipient of federal defense spending. The looming loss of a portion of the jobs created by federal spending is far more important than Bob Marshall’s worship of zygotes or the GOP bowing down to gun worshippers.
We have already borrowed against future federal transportation funds to spend on our failing transportation infrastructure. The only action taken so far this year regarding transportation is tying the gas tax to the rate of inflation. That’s no solution. Growing gridlock in NoVa and Hampton Roads and a secondary road system that’s falling to pieces are a direct result of the Republicans in charge in Richmond, including Bob McDonnell, not having the political courage to find sources of revenue to meet the state’s need.
Then, again, when McDonnell is spending most of his time and energy on becoming a vice presidential candidate instead of governing the state, what else can we expect? It’s past time for voters to wake up and finally elect moderates to run the Commonwealth, representatives who don’t believe in extremism.