The Lord of the Flies is upon us! We have been plunged into the darkness by a tsunami of moderate to progressive Democrats who have taken both the House of Delegates and the state Senate for the first time since 1993.
This means that Democrats now control everything from the offices of the Governor, Lt. Governor and Attorney General. All three had been tainted by scandal but it turned out that Virginia voters thought that President Donald Trump was a much dirtier, ruder and offensive customer, hence their sweep.
A view big wins: Ghazala Hashmi, a Democrat, a retired school administrator and the first elected Muslim ever in the state legislature, beat Republican pretty boy Glen Sturtevant. In Suffolk, Democrat Clinton Jenkins took down powerful GOPer Chris Jones. House Speaker and Republican Kirk Cox kept his seat but will have to leave the coveted House Majority Speaker slot to most likely Eileen Filler Corn, now Democrat House Minority Leader. Some old standbys like Tommy Norment and the ever-amusing Amanda Chase stay in power.
What’s likely? A short list:
- A more progressive assembly will be more smitten with improving healthcare through some kind of Medicaid funding and expansion and some new form of limited cost prescription drugs. These were big polling issues and show just how out of touch old GOP Mossbacks like Bill Howell were with their skinflint attitudes about what voters want most.
- There will finally be a breakthrough on gun control, especially after the mass shooting in Virginia Beach last spring. Once again, polls show that Virginians want something done about guns despite gobs of National Rifle Association money and the phony patriotism of gun nuts. All gun control efforts got shot down in committee. Not any more.
- There will likely be more give on abortion and other women’s issues.
- There’s a better chance, but not a certain one, that Virginia could ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. That would mean that the ERA dating way back to the 1970s, would finally become the law of the land.
- Dominion, now rebranding itself as the “green” utility that you never heard of, will find itself hemmed in when it tries to steamroll issues that it wants such as regulation on its terms and handing on the ratepayer’s profits. Expect more renewable power and more challenges to two controversial natural gas pipelines.
- Like the Kochs and McGlothlins and Altrias of yesteryear, expect from Dem money to come from new, rich sources from inside or outside of the state. Some contributors on this blog will whine about this, but hey, what’s sauce for the goose . . .
- While a new $15/hour state minimum wage might not win, some form of wage reform will be addressed. The old ideas of keeping them pregnant and barefoot and not daring to question the Big Boss are coming to and end, especially if Virginia wants to progress in the21st Century in the Knowledge Economy that once was all the rage on this blog. Right to Work might not happen, but some kind of organizing relief may be in the mill. Once again, it’s not 1920 anymore despite what you hear from the Virginia Chamber of Commerce and former Gov. Robert F. McDonnell, who accepted gifts and trips and loans that ordinary Virginians aren’t about to get.
As for me, I’ll probably become more of a Social Justice Warrior and more strident in my liberalism. This day has been a-waiting for many years. It is a sign that Virginia voters are becoming more diverse, better educated, younger and far more worldly. Going but not gone is a world dominated by white good old boys. In 1982, I left the state, sickened by the constant, nauseating conservatism of the place, only made worse by working for the Richmond Times Dispatch. Now I think I’ll stick around.There are currently no comments highlighted.