Thursday, November 14, 2019
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Video: Virginia LG Justin Fairfax Walks Out as Republican Senator Pays...

Check out the video, below, which shows Virginia Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax (D) recognizing Sen. Emmett Hanger (R-Augusta County). Hanger then proceeds to...

Marshall Pattie: Political Chameleon

What a surprise awaited me today when I read in the Augusta Free Press that Marshall Pattie, assistant professor of management at JMU, is announcing his intention today to challenge Emmett Hanger for the Republican nomination in the 24th State Senate District. What amazed me so much? Well, for starters, Pattie was chair of the Augusta County Democratic Committee until 2011, when he resigned to run successfully as an independent in a three-way race for a seat on the Augusta County Board of Supervisors.

I distinctly remember when a much younger and less conflicted Marshall Pattie, just returned to Virginia after finishing his education, appeared before the 6th Congressional Democratic Committee to express his interest in running against Bob Goodlatte for Congress. Then, he seemed to have no problem with running as a Democrat. As I recall, he quickly lost interest when it was pointed out to him that, as an untenured instructor at JMU, his superiors would not look too kindly on his taking off from his teaching duties the amount of time required for a congressional run.

Pattie's "conversion" from activist Democratic leader in Augusta to independent county board member to full-fledged GOPer ready to challenge an incumbent first elected in 1996 must have heads spinning, to say nothing of the difficulty of explaining his "road to Damascus right-wing redemption" to the Republican voters of Augusta County and beyond. (However, Pattie certainly was massaging Republicans at the Staunton-Waynesboro-Augusta County party to "celebrate" the victory of Mitt Romney over President Obama...snark. The photo above shows Pattie glad-handing former Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling before the GOP tears began flowing as Romney and Allen went down in defeat.) (Note: It has been pointed out to me that the photo that accompanies this post was taken by Lynn Mitchell at the 2012 SWAC breakfast, where Bill Bolling was guest speaker, not at the time of the 2012 election.)

As far as I am concerned, I wish Emmett Hanger the very best of luck in his primary, not because I like Hanger or his political views, but because I have nothing but contempt for people like Marshall Pattie who have only one political stance: a desire for power befitting their overweening ego.

Virginia Republicans Seem Determined to Foil the Future

It isn't just Medicaid expansion that has been obstructed by "conservatives." As Staunton School Board member Joel Grogan points out, the new state budget sets funding for schools at pre-2009 levels. The economic impact of this epic legislative failure washes over the future of Virginia. This is McDonnell's leadership legacy.

Whether GOP legislators want to believe it or not, Virginia education is already in crisis. Grogan discussed the departure of Waynesboro High School Teacher of the Year Josh Waldron. After six years of teaching, this accomplished young man is taking home only $100 a month more than when he started.

"The job, though, is about much more. And I have very real concerns about the sustainability of public education in Waynesboro (and as a whole)." - Josh Waldron in his personal blog

Grogan wishes that the organization that represents school board issues hadn't shied away from the Medicaid expansion issue. He was told that they had to stay away from it because the organization is nonpartisan. But this, he says, is not a political issue; it's a moral issue and an economic issue. He argues it is a myth that this is a political issue, pointing out that there are about a dozen states with Republican Governors and legislatures that have either found a way to expand Medicaid or are on the way to it. Even in Virginia, a traditionally conservative organization, the State Chamber of Commerce, favors expansion, proving it isn't a left and right issue. This expansion will create 33,000 jobs.

At least Staunton's Republican state Senator, Emmett Hanger, has broken ranks to plow a path toward a special session that can consider expansion. That means that the battle is not over. Grogan calls for remaining positive and holding our delegates' feet to the fire on this issue.

McDonnell Stirs Up Confederate Hornet’s Nest

Let me start with my Confederate heritage. Five of my great-great-grandfathers fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War. Two of them never returned to their wives and young children and lie in unmarked graves on battlefields. Another was a prisoner of war for a time.

Having said all that, I think the way Bob McDonnell chose to sneakily - and without mentioning slavery - proclaim April as "Confederate History Month" was both ridiculous and cowardly. Evidently, he was fulfilling a old campaign promise he made to the Virginia chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. In the process, he blew a hole in his "Mr. Moderate" image so big that Gen. Lee could have marched Pickett's division through it.

The Washington Post reports:

We've known for quite some time we had a good opportunity {for the proclamation} should he ascend the governorship," Brandon Dorsey of the Sons of Confederate Veterans said. He noted that McDonnell had indicated that back when he was interviewed by them during his 2005 attorney general's race.
In that same article, Sen. Emmett Hanger (R-Augusta), responded to the growing Confederate proclamation controversy. "It would be totally inappropriate to do [a proclamation] that would just poke a stick to stir up old wounds...I think it's appropriate as long as it's not fiery."

I don't know what Hanger thinks of as "fiery." Perhaps it has to be as bad as the diatribe former Gov. George Allen unleashed in his Confederate proclamation, which called the Civil War "a four-year struggle for [Southern] independence and sovereign rights" and made no mention of slavery.  McDonnell followed Allen in one sense. He also had no mention of slavery and simply called the Civil War "a four year war between the states for independence." (The entire text of McDonnell's proclamation in on his website.)

No, the Civil War was a war to preserve the institution of slavery in the South and to spread slavery to as many of the western territories as possible. The goals were to be achieved by seceding from the United States. The rationale used to justify the declaration of war by the Confederacy was states' rights and secession.