Tag: Bobby Scott
There really wasn't much in the way of genuine politics going on. It was more of an alumni meeting than a political rally; more of a gathering of cronies practicing the Virginia Way interrupted a couple of times by a couple of hecklers. It seems that the last few seasons of rowdies have driven away the attendees who used to come show some civil revelry on behalf of their candidates. And now, with no one in any race to rally around, the most demonstrative types stayed home; and that would leave a big hole in what had become this Ruritan charity event attendance.
Additionally the candidates themselves, apparently led by the Republicans, declared a tacit truce on the sign war; they realized surrender was the better part of valor in that battle. There were a few signs along the road, but not the plastering to which we've become accustomed; maybe a dozen on 460 coming in from Richmond.
And then there was that road. We've discussed here the slow strangling that the McDonnell administration orchestrated during his four years in office in the name of balancing the budget. Well, now it is manifest here. What has been a well-maintained macadam rural route has deteriorated. In fact, the last half mile or more to the event parking area entrance and everything beyond is now feathered with gravel to cover the potholes. It really is symbolic of the treatment of Virginia's infrastructure, from schools and social programs to health care and public safety; not to mention the fraud perpetrated on the Virginia Retirement System when McDonnell announced that the unfunded obligations had been resolved.
There is more to discuss about what was less and that will come in a subsequent post. But if this level of enthusiasm is any indication of the turnout for this fall's election, the margin will come down to the grassroots get-out-the-vote effort. Problem is, for both sides, yesterday showed the grassroots really haven't been fertilized.
What drew the LCV's ire? Every single Republican voted for the House Republican budget resolution to gut the Clean Air Act & Clean Water Act, to protect billions in tax giveaways for oil corporations that banked $137 billion in profits in 2011, and to weaken offshore drilling safety rules even as they pushed to bring oil drilling to the Virginia coast:
Statement on Balanced Budget Amendment
Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, VA 11
U.S. House of Representatives
November 18, 2011
Today this House will vote on the momentous issue of whether to amend the Constitution of the United States. All of us should understand that this is no symbolic vote. This is not a routine legislative act, not another amendment or bill we are considering. We are asked to consider amending the most sacred document of a free people with a provision not contemplated by the Founders. The argument is propounded that the times demand it and that there is no other choice, given the size and import of our current debt posture. Public opinion favors it.
But as legislators we must hold ourselves to a higher threshold to amend the Constitution. Is the proposal essential? Did the Founders fail to consider the issue that now must be addressed in and only in a constitutional framework? Is there no legislative remedy? What are the negative and foreseeable consequences of such a constitutional mandate? And importantly, we must remember that, but for one, all constitutional amendments are written in indelible ink.