Fun times in the Virginia State Senate today, as things got heated over – ironically? – the decorum of the Senate (e.g,. whether a Senator should “yield” for questioning or not, blah blah blah). In the end, the Clerk of the Senate, Susan Clarke Schaar, intervened, pulling Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax (D), Majority Leader Dick Saslaw (D), Minority Leader Tommy Norment (R) and Sen. Mark Obenshain (R) – who started the entire thing by being his usual, absurd, thin-skinned, all-around-assinine self – off the floor for a few minutes to hash it out. Perhaps the most dramatic moment came when Minority Leader Norment and LG Fairfax went at it.
Norment: “And then that individual to try to respond without being called upon probably is not adhering even liberally to the parliamentary debate.”
Fairfax: “You’ve directed that at me, I presume. And I’ll remind the Senator that *you*, some weeks ago, made another admonition that’s directly contradictory to what you’re saying right now, citing Rule 43 – no member shall speak more than twice upon the same subject without leaving the Senate, nor more than once until every member choosing to speak has spoken. So we can have that discussion offline. But you cited a rule that you wanted followed. When it’s followed, you now don’t want it followed in discretion. So, I’m going to let you continue, but I don’t accept your admonition.”
Norment: “Mr. President, I don’t expect you to admonish me on the rules of the Senate.”
Fairfax: “I don’t expect you to admonish me either. So continue.”
Norment: “Mr. President, I would remind you, you are NOT a member of the Senate.”
Fairfax: “I was elected by 1.36 million people…”
Then, as an added bonus, Sen. Obenshain got up to whine, posture, and basically be his usual self. After that, Susan Schaar called everyone into a “time out,” and the Senate was “at ease.” Fun, fun, fun.
Meltdown temper tantrum from @MarkObenshain & @TommyNorment on Senate floor. @LGJustinFairfax calls out Norment for hypocrisy, Norment says he’s “not a member of the Senate,” Fairfax reminds him how many Virginians voted for him. They recess to cool off. Meanwhile, Senate women: pic.twitter.com/EqARIGmIN5
— VAPLAN (@vaplan2018) February 5, 2020
RTD’s Bob Brown captured Senate Clark Susan Clarke Schaar pulling Sens. Dick Saslaw, Tommy Norment and Mark Obenshain and Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax into a room after a quarrel broke out on the Senate floor pic.twitter.com/xPA3GpVWDP
— Amy Friedenberger (@AJFriedenberger) February 5, 2020