Monday, 21 November 2011 23:15 GFP Columnist - Michael R Shannon
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The bad old volcano days are but a distant memory for Lt. Governor Bill Bolling. That’s when he was trapped in Florence Italy for almost a week during April 2010. European air travel was canceled after an Icelandic volcano, with a name no Virginian could pronounce, spewed ash and gas into the skies over Europe, canceling the Lt. Gov’s flight plans.

Now you may contend a politician stranded by hot air is a situation rich in irony, but it’s not funny when you are the strandee. The particularly humiliating part was almost no one noticed.

No Amber Alerts for Bill Bolling. No thwap, thwap, thwap from helicopters searching overhead. Just an empty coffee cup, abandoned on a lonely desk in Richmond. The Commonwealth even managed to conduct both a special session of the legislature and the annual Shad Planking in Bolling’s absence, with no one — other than a few thousand shad — inconvenienced in the least.

But it’s a situation that won’t be repeated. On Election Day Democrats suffered losses in both the Senate and House, but the loss of two Senate seats created a 20–20 tie, which makes Bolling ‘Mr. Tie Breaker’ and rockets him from vestige to Viceroy.

Senate Republicans are considering requiring Bolling to wear one of those home detention ankle bracelets so they can locate him at a moment’s notice.

Virginia’s absentee ideological nanny, The Washington Post, feared that in spite of Senate Democrat’s gerrymandering efforts, an ignorant electorate might put Republicans in control of all three branches of government.

The WaPost tried its darndest to warn us regarding the dangers of conservative government. In endorsement editorials Democrats were glowingly portrayed as: “smart,” “sober,” “sane,” “savvy,” “sensible” and “grown–ups.” Conservative Republicans, on the other hand, were: “incendiary,” “loopy,” “reckless,” “extreme,” “partisan” and “over–the–top.”

But if anyone is out of step with Virginia, it’s the WaPost.

In Prince William County the Post endorsed Del. Luke Torian (D–Dumfries) described as an incumbent who “must woo a swath of new voters in this redrawn district.” What is not said is the district was designed to elect a black delegate, new voters or not.

Staunch conservative Del. Bob Marshall, (R–PWC) also had a newly drawn district that removed much of his base and put him in a politically precarious situation. Our betters at the WaPost describe Marshall as a “loopy…take–no–prisoners culture warrior.” Naturally, since Marshall is one of the Republicans too extreme for Northern Virginia, WaPost endorses his “smart, sane, sober, moderate” opponent.

Torian wins re–election with 61 percent of the vote and Marshall also won with an almost identical 60 percent of the vote, so who is out–of–step with whom?

We have the same phenomenon in the Senate. Incumbent Sen. Chuck Colgan (D–PWC) gets the endorsement as a “civil, widely respected and deeply committed lawmaker.” In Loudoun County’s open senate race, conservative Republican Dick Black is characterized as, “one of the legislature’s most over–the–top ideologues.” His Democrat opponent is endorsed as “a cogent, serious–minded businessman who has common–sense proposals.”

Strangely enough, on election night Colgan wins by 55 percent, while non–incumbent Black wins his hotly contested seat by 57 percent. If I didn’t know better, I’d think Virginia voters support conservatives.

Bill ‘Tie–breaker’ Bolling is soon to discover with his great responsibility comes the potential for great blame if anything conservative should occur on his watch.

The WaPost editorial page has already started its ‘not so fast, buster’ routine, complaining, “Few Republicans candidates emphasized (social) issues on the campaign trail.” Consequently, according to the WaPost, the GOP is not allowed to introduce any social legislation in the next session.

This shows a basic lack of understanding with regard to branding, which could account for the Post’s loss of subscribers and money over the past few years.

Voters are smart enough to understand a conservative Republican is pro–life, pro–traditional marriage, pro–law enforcement, pro–Second amendment, pro–business, anti–tax increase and anti–illegal alien.

During a campaign the positions that matter most to the voters at that time are the positions discussed. Just because a Republican doesn’t mention abortion during the campaign, it does not mean he’s hoping for an appointment to the board of Planned Parenthood.

Voters knew what they were getting when they voted Republican.

Meanwhile, if Bolling wants to stay in the good graces of the WaPost, he would be wise to urge the Senate to double the funding for ‘public broadcasting’ and book another flight with Volcano Travel.


Image Courtesy of http://www.greenfudge.org/: Blowing ash from Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull Volcano creates an eerie look in this image.


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You are here:   The FrontPageColumnistsUnited StatesMichael R. ShannonThe Light Governor Gains Heft
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