I had planned to write a review of an article by an economist from the New York Fed on the most efficient way to implement a voucher program for K-12 education, but then I remembered that rational analysis in not in vogue in Virginia — the Republicans are in charge.
The last several days in Richmond have been very instructive. Several days ago a group calling itself “The Sons of Confederate Veterans” held a rally in the “Fan” district. Residents of this section of Richmond are used to reenacters and although some find this activity offensive. The famous case of a group of neo-Nazis marching through Skokie Ill. firmly established the right of extreme groups to express their awful views in public.
This group marched around screaming, “Kill the Yankees-Kill all of them.” This is hate speech of the worst kind. Republican Governor Jim Gilmore has endorsed this group by enabling them to have a vanity plate provided by the State of Virginia. The silence concerning this is as troubling as it is instructive. No Republican leader in the state has moved to have this plate discontinued. What a great way to attract venture capital from New York and Chicago. I guess I missed that lesson in economic development in grad school.
The gun nut wing of the Republican party has managed to re-establish Virginia as the source of weapons for every gang from Washington D.C. to Portland, Maine. The repeal of Doug Wilder’s “one gun a month ” law will make law enforcement more difficult throughout the East coast. I guess those Constitution-reading Republicans haven’t learned the difference between a drug gang and a militia , as stated in the Second Amendment, something that the lobby for the NRA seems to forget. I can hardly wait when those beer-drenched frat boys at the KA house in Charlottesville can pack heat when Ken Cuccinelli has his way.
Those Republicans who are truly interested in reforming education showed their stuff when they passed a bill to evaluate teachers by using test scores but refused to move the school year to increase the number of instructional days before the tests are given. Perhaps the Redskins would win more games if the quarterback took fewer snaps at practice
The Republicans demonstrated their interest in promoting economic growth by spending recent days discussing a policy that has shown its stimulative effect in world capitals from Kabul to Tehran — restricting a woman’s “access” to abortion. All like-minded theocrats agree that state-sponsored sodomy aka trans-vaginal ultra sound does wonders in increasing Gross Domestic Product. One of these students of the finer points of this type of economic stimulus was so pleased with himself he treated his legislative buddies to a song about his intimate relations with his wife while his Republican mates chortled like a middle school group of boys who have just seen their first edition of Playboy.
These Republicans really know how to bring press attention to Virginia. Rumor has it that most late-night TV hosts have furloughed their teams of comedy writers until this session of the General Assembly ends.
The Republicans of Virginia certainly have some interesting ways to deal with the economic woes of the new century–maybe the Reformation and The Enlightenment won’t get in the way of their agenda this time.
– Les Schreiber