The GOP across the country continues to live in a bubble that separates the party's elected politicians from objective reality. Nowhere it seems is the bubble stronger than here in Virginia where the state GOP leadership thinks the problem with the party's image as something to the right of Attila the Hun where women are to subjugated to men, blacks are to be disenfranchised, and gays driven back into the closet is all due to poor communications. Never mind that the Virginia GOP is controlled by wild eyed religious extremists orchestrated by The Family Foundation, Tea Party lunatics and gun loving white supremacists that have all too clearly communicated the GOP's agenda to anyone who doesn't live under a rock. Indeed, the extremism of the Virginia GOP's efforts during last year's General Assembly session likely did wonders to help Barack Obama carry Virginia again in 2012. No doubt Democrats are hoping that the Virginia GOP is insane enough to cling to poor communications as the source of the party's problems rather than realize that it is the party's policies and social agenda that is alienating voters - especially in the states burgeoning urban areas. Here are excerpts from the Washington Post:
As Republicans prepare to return to Richmond on Jan. 9, some are eager to avoid a repeat of the last General Assembly session, when they found themselves in a swirl of national media attention and even a “Saturday Night Live” parody over a bill that would have required women to get vaginal ultrasounds before abortions.
Some moderate Republicans are privately rooting for hot-button social legislation to die quietly in committee. But killing off those bills is not their entire strategy — and not one that conservative Republicans are on board with in any case.
More broadly accepted — among tea party favorites and establishment types — is the idea that Virginia Republicans have to get a better grip on how their work in Richmond gets conveyed to voters.
That means not only taking to social media but also pushing new issues — like a pair of proposed constitutional amendments to curb union power — that are likely to grab headlines and fire up the party base without igniting another reproductive-rights war.
“We recognize we must do a good job of messaging our entire agenda and making sure we cut through all the fervor and focus on social issues,” said Del. Ben L. Cline (R-Rockbridge), co-chairman of the conservative caucus. “We have to do a better job of communicating to the public the work that we do on fiscal issues, on pocketbook issues and on education.”
“Our problem is not being too conservative and our solution is certainly not wishy- washing the party down so we stand for nothing,” said Del. David B. Albo (R-Fairfax). “The problem is that we are not communicating.”
“What I’ve got to do is show my constituents that Dave Albo and the majority of Republicans are totally normal,” Albo said.
Albo lamented that in the midst of last session’s pitched social battles — in addition to the ultrasound issue, there was a failed “personhood” bill that would have bestowed legal rights on fertilized eggs, the rejection of a gay judicial nominee and a bill allowing state-funded adoption agencies to turn away prospective parents if they are gay — hardly anyone noticed that the state created 1,500 public university slots for in-state students.And then there are the Democrats, who played up the General Assembly’s antiabortion bills in the presidential and Senate races last fall and seem eager to keep the issue alive for the 2013 contests. Barbara A. Favola (D-Arlington) said there are bills in the works that would amend or repeal the ultrasound law, and lift new building codes for abortion clinics. “Just because they’re not going to bring it up again, I don think the issue’s dead,” she said.
Whether that happens could well depend on the fate of a single delegate’s bills, said Bob Holsworth, a longtime Richmond political observer and former Virginia Commonwealth University professor. . . . . “I think in this instance, a lot depends on what happens with Bob Marshall’s bills.”
Del. Robert G. Marshall (R-Prince William) is one of the House’s most prolific bill sponsors. Among his proposals last year was the personhood bill, which critics said could outlaw not only abortion, but IUDs and certain birth-control pills that can prevent implantation of a fertilized egg. The bill had cleared the House and was on its way to a Senate vote when it was scuttled amid the ultrasound uproar. . . . . “If [Marshall’s] bills get bottled up and don’t succeed in the House, I think at the end of the day, you’ll find people talking about how the party leadership exercised message discipline.”
Marshall is not particularly interested in being reined in. If Republicans don’t take bold stands on issues like abortion and gun rights, he said, “what brand do the Republicans have?” For this session, in response to the Connecticut elementary school massacre, Marshall is working on legislation requiring schools to arm some teachers, principals or other staff. Marshall is also considering resubmitting his personhood bill.
Dave Albo's comment that Republicans are "totally normal" is laughable. They are totally normal for someone out of the Spanish Inquisition but not compared to normal, rational, non-racist, non-religious extremist Virginians.