Standing Fast

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader has, from time to time, expressed his almost always favorable opinion of his state government. Overall, he thinks that we here in the great Commonwealth of Virginia have it pretty good when it comes to state government. We have a Democratic Governor (Tim Kaine) and a Republican General Assembly (lead in the state Senate by your Maximum Leader’s Senator John Chichester; and lead in the House of Delegates by your Maximum Leader’s Delegate Bill Howell).

We’ve had, here in Virginia, a little bit of a budget impasse over the past few months. The normal ebb and flow of our budgeting process has been disturbed by our Governor, Mr. Kaine, trying to get a tax increase through the General Assembly. The Governor has had the support of Republicans in the State Senate, including the support of Mr. Chichester. The obstacle to passage of the tax increases was Speaker Howell and the (generally quite fiscally conservative) House of Delegates Republican majority.

In the end, your Maximum Leader is glad to say, Speaker Howell and House Republicans killed the tax increases. Your Maximum Leader will commend to you the Fred Barnes article in Opinion Journal for some analysis on this point. The great idea in Barnes’ piece is the rediscovery of the bicameral legislature (and idea articulated by arry Sabato of UVA). One house in a bicameral legislature holds great power. Power that is often not exercised in the name of “getting along” or “bipartisanship” or “getting things done.”

Long-time readers will know that your Maximum Leader is quite fond of gridlock and NOT getting things done. In Virginia, the “thing” to get done was a tax increase. Thanks to our House of Delegates that thing didn’t get done. Just because both houses of the legislature are controlled by Republicans doesn’t mean they have to work lock-step with each other. One hopes that now our federal government will take a cue from Virginia. The issue that comes immediately to mind is immigration “reform.” The US House and Senate have passed widely divergent bills on this subject. They will meet in conference to try and work out a compromise bill that both houses of Congress can agree upon. Your Maximum Leader hopes that the House Republicans will decide not to compromise and kill all hopes of an immigration bill in this Congress. No bill is better than a bad bill.

Carry on.

Polymath said:

Thank God! Now, if we could get some legislation passed allowing the sale of raw milk…and home distillation of alcohol…

Polymath is a gentleman, a scholar, and a judge of beautiful women.

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