by Don Rippert
Doppler shift from red to blue. As recently as 1977 both of Maryland’s US Senators were Republican. From 1993 through 2003 Maryland’s eight US House seats were evenly split between Republicans and Democrats. Today, Maryland’s 10 person Congressional delegation consists of 9 Democrats and a lone Republican. This shift caused Maryland to be routinely rated as one of America’s most liberal states but also one of the worst states for conservatives.
Yes, Virginia there is a trend here too. Maryland last saw a Republican US Senator in 1989, Virginia made it to 2009. In the state legislature nothing more than pure luck kept Republicans in control of the house. Republicans still hold the state senate but all of those seats come up in 2019. Maryland went from light blue to royal blue about 15 years ago and Virginia is tracking 20 years behind Maryland. Simple math says that Virginia will be fully liberal / Democratic by 2023. Arguably, the RPV’s recent bungling could accelerate this timeline.
In the RPV hope really does spring eternal. Unfortunately, hope is not a strategy. Hope gives Virginia’s Republicans a choice of EW Jackson (unelectable), Corey Stewart (unelectable) and Nick Freitas (a longshot, but maybe electable) in the recently held US Senate primary. The rightwing radicals who vote in primaries insist on the futile opposition to abortion as a litmus test and voila … “unelectable” wins the Republican nomination. When Stewart loses, those same lunatic fringe members will declare that Stewart just wasn’t conservative enough. Fast forward to 2019, repeat the same RPV process and the Dems are in perfect position to dominate the statehouse right in time for the next round of census-driven gerrymandering. Stick a fork in the RPV.
Judge Dillon’s revenge on Virginia’s conservatives. Contrary to popular opinion there are some very conservative areas in Maryland. They are too few to affect the state overall but they’re still very conservative. Secession has been discussed frequently in Maryland’s Eastern Shore and recently in Western Maryland, the most conservative areas of the state. Nobody thinks either plan has a snowball’s chance in hell of success but it’s “fun talk” anyway. However, conservative Marylanders have something conservative Virginians don’t – local autonomy. Even income taxes vary by county in Maryland. So, a liberal county like Montgomery has a high county income tax (3.2%) and many government services while conservative Worcester County has a low income tax (1.25%) and fewer government services. Conservative counties can stay somewhat conservative – even in the so-called Free State. Once the libs get full control of Virginia everybody in the state will pour ever more money down the rabbit hole in Richmond. Guns will become a dirty four letter word. School curricula will be standardized along liberal lines and designated safe spaces will be mandatory for all government buildings (including schools). When that happens I’ll be laughing at the addle brained Virginia conservatives who so loved our idiotic implementation of Dillon’s Rule here in the Old Dominion. They’ll have it far worse than the conservatives in Maryland.