It’s no shock that the New York Times is beating the social issues drum. The Democratic house organ is merely swimming with the narrative tide that the GOP is advancing a host of abortion, gun rights, voter ID and other bills and, in the process, engaging in overreach that will inevitably alienate the independents who decide elections.
It’s also no surprise that this has “some Republican strategists and officials” worrying that all this social issue focus will cost the party in November. But as such talk is supposedly anathema, they were “reluctant to be identified because they do not want to publicly antagonize the party’s base.”
Profiles in courage, they are.
But let’s take a look at the state of the opposition here in the commonwealth — aka, the wiry bicep of the Republican overreach effort. Virginia Democrats aren’t exactly primed to make a comeback. The recent fight over the state budget, a patch-job narrative that was really a fight over power in the Senate, ended in a whimper. Democrat Chuck Colgan broke ranks, giving the state its spending plan and leaving Democratic leader Dick Saslaw to mutter “That was a big mistake.”
Saslaw intended his remarks to be a warning to Republican leader Tommy Norment. But it was one of those statements that cuts both ways. Democrats were unable to radically change the budget. Power-sharing eluded them. Caucus discipline, rarely a strong suit, failed when it was needed most.
One mistake feeding the next, leading ultimately to collapse. Virginia Republicans are very fortunate indeed to have opponents such as these.
[Continue reading Norman Leahy’s post at Bearing Drift.]
Norman Leahy blogs at Bearing Drift. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.