Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Virginia GOP’s War on Moderates (and Women and Minorities)

As the Virginia General Assembly prepares to convene tomorrow, all indications are that the Virginia GOP will continue its war against women, moderates, minorities, and, of course gays during the coming session.  Despite the GOP's disastrous showing in the 2012 elections, the Kool-Aid drinkers and Christofascists believe that even more extremism is the recipe for better results.  One can only hope that they set the stage for a strong defeat for the GOP come November.  The Washington Post looks at the continued extremism in the GOP.  Here are editorial excerpts:

LAST YEAR, REPUBLICANS in Richmond did their utmost to drive the state’s independent and swing voters into the Democratic column. Witness their mean-spirited, provocative and extremist stances to mandate transvaginal ultrasounds; make voting more difficult for minorities, youths and others who may lack photo IDs; oppose a highly qualified judicial nominee who is gay; loosen the state’s already lax gun laws; and mandate drug testing for welfare recipients.

Some of those measures were enacted, some were defeated and others were watered down. All helped brand the GOP as the party of intemperance, alienating moderate voters, particularly in Northern Virginia, which accounted for a third of the state’s ballots. As Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) has noted, that region’s overwhelmingly pro-Democratic tilt turned Virginia blue in 2012.

Now, as state lawmakers again convene in the capital for a 45-day legislative session, the question is whether Republicans, who control the General Assembly, have learned anything from the election. Early indications are they have not.

Once again, Republicans are gearing up to tighten restrictions on voting, this time by offering bills that would narrow the forms of ID required to vote. Once again, they are submitting a variety of anti-abortion and anti-contraception legislation. Once again, they will propose laws seeking to stigmatize the least fortunate Virginians, who are disproportionately African American and Hispanic, by forcing them to undergo humiliating drug tests if they receive welfare subsidies. Once again, even after the massacre in Connecticut, they are primed to spike sensible gun-control initiatives while pushing measures to allow more guns around schools and college campuses.

All of this is light years away from the core issues that moderate and swing voters, particularly in Northern Virginia, care about. Critically, those voters want Richmond to fix the state’s transportation funding mess, which has been allowed to fester for more than two decades. Virginia needs at least $1 billion more in annual ongoing revenue to maintain and improve its badly overburdened system of roads, rails and bridges; without it, the state will run out of construction money four years from now.

The sad reality is that the Virginia GOP takes its marching orders from the Christofascists at The Family Foundation - which has ties to the hate group, Family Research Council - and Tea Party lunatics.  It is safe to say we will witness all kinds of batshitery during the coming legislative session.

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