The Democratic ‘messaging’ machine is working overtime lately, trying to spin, spin, spin the litany of bills coming through the General Assembly. Voting rights, worker’s rights, the very existence of LIFE ITSELF is under threat by those wacky out of control Republicans!
This would be funny if we weren’t constantly bombarded by those in the media that cover the General Assembly (Julian, Schapiro, we’re looking in your direction) who continue to fuel stories long after they’re dead.
Case in point, this electoral college nonsense.
A Republican State Senator submitted a bill reallocating electoral college votes by congressional district then at large, rather than winner of the popular vote. Democrats raise OUTRAGE! HARUMPH HARUMPH! Pilot, Washington Post, Slate, MSNBC, Richmond Times-Dispatch breathlessly report daily updates and protests/petitions/press conferences on this CRITICAL issue.
The bill was verbatim, to the letter, that Democrats had submitted time and time again when they controlled the State Senate. So we have hypocrisy to begin with. Yet this element went unreported until mentioned in passing by Schapiro in his twitter feed yesterday.
The bill was dead on arrival when multiple Republicans said they wouldn’t approve such a bill, beginning two weeks ago. Yet up till and including the day of the Committee vote, Democrats continued to harp on the issue (fine, whatever) but inexplicably, the media granted them an audience and publicized their feigned outrage!
This reminds me of the coverage on wacky Bob Marshall’s plethora of bills that Republicans and Democrats just shake their heads about. Don’t ask don’t tell for the Virginia National Guard, allowing Virginia to have it’s own currency, these are a few of Bob Marshall’s greatest hits. And it was amusing, it would get coverage for a day, but everyone knew it wouldn’t pass and so the story goes away.
The electoral college bill was exactly the same scenario that played out for the past decade under the Democrat-controlled State Senate and Democrats in the house. Submit a bill that has no chance, it gets ZERO coverage from anyone, and dies in committee.
So why cover it now?
Part of it is the slowly dying nature of print media in their desperation to compete with a 24-7 news cycle and a hunger for neverending news. Part is the clear liberal bias in the media, to be sure. This electoral college nonsense puts the contrast clear as day, despite Democrat-sponsored bills in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, etc changing the electoral college, there was no significant coverage given. But the first time Republicans submit a bill that’s clear to be dead on arrival, it’s stop the presses time.
The bill died two days ago, yet even today the Virginian-Pilot reported a ‘news conference’ with 18,000 petitions against redistricting and, yep, you guessed it, changing the electoral college.
And all this press coverage does is fuel the Democratic machine. Despite electoral college bills dying in Virginia, Michigan and Wisconsin, Democrats are blasting out fundraising appeals to their base with facts rooted in overhyped media coverage on bills that don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of passing.
Where’s the breathless coverage of Mamie Locke’s dead on arrival bill to end payday lenders in Virginia? (SB 755) Or Louise Lucas’ bill to authorize gambling in the state? (SB 695) Or the dead on arrival Democrat ploy to ratify the 1972 Equal Rights Amendment? (HJ 677)
Or how about bills that benefit Republicans? Like SB 701, discrimination in state government. You may remember a few years ago when Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s opinion that until the General Assembly passes a bill, state colleges can’t create laws banning discrimination on sexual orientation. After Democrats got up in arms protesting for, well, no reason, since Cuccinelli was 100% right in a Dillon Rule state, what you may not have heard, since the media gave it no coverage is that Democrats conceded this year and agree with Cuccinelli, passing SB 701 in the State Senate on a bipartisan basis, clarifying that sexual orientation is not a basis for discrimination. But coverage of that would have cut into covering the electoral ‘debate’ so something had to wind up on the editors’ floor, right y’all?
The media could cut out the middle man, and just start crafting the fundraising pleas themselves. Lately, that seems to be all they’re good for.