Transportation is Still a Virginia Issue

At the risk of beating a dead horse, I can’t help but notice how incensed out-of-state and national voices have become at Virginia Republicans for passing the transportation bill.

Whatever you may feel about the transportation issue — and those who were kind enough to read my previous posts probably know where I stand — it is a Virginia issue. At least it is now.

We can disagree as Virginians about what is best for the Commonwealth, and I would argue it’s much more productive than engaging in debates about national-level politics.

But when we see the national Tea Party machine — as it were — kettling in at the eleventh hour with its famously shrill and steaming whistle only after a deal has been made with senate democrats we have to wonder what they were doing since the beginning of January. Call me a cynic, but I think there is a weird sort of histrionicism in the Tea Party that absolutely thrives on attention, even if it means preying on the perceived failures of those whom they once supported.

We’ve now got a Facebook page dedicated to urging the governor to veto his own idea.


“Ok, class, who wants to play the part of Falstaff? Tea Party? Good. Your line is:
….’let men say we be men of good government,
being governed, as the sea is, by our noble and
chaste mistress the moon, under whose countenance we steal.'”




It is much easier to run against a plan than to create your own, I suppose, and perhaps national figures can be forgiven for subjecting Virginia so often to the national spotlight. Its proximity to Washington, DC gives it an interesting demographic filled with political transplants in the DC suburbs. Perhaps that why so many people commit the political fallacy of making federal conservative principles equal to local conservative principles. Perhaps we can forgive ourselves and others for making that error.

But when voices imply Gov. McDonnell and Republican legislators are heretics, and that any tax increase (even at the local level) is anathema to good government, and we should excommunicate anyone who voted yes on the transportation bill, perhaps we need to pause. Mark Levin has vowed on his national radio show to oppose any Republican in the statehouse who voted for the bill. But at least he’s a Virginian.

Perhaps people like Rush Limbaugh, though, need to stay out of Virginia politics on this issue. When he described McDonnell as “totally throwing in with Obama,” we would be wise to examine that statement in light of Limbaugh’s understanding of the governor’s motives: “he’s up for reelection and there’s this big pile of money Obama’s promising.”

Yes, folks, if you didn’t know, Gov. McDonnell is up for re-election, and he figures the best way to get re-elected is by raising taxes in the twilights of his term. No, Rush, Virignia governors can’t run for successive terms


“O, thou hast damnable iteration and art indeed able
to corrupt a saint. Thou hast done much harm upon
me, [Bob]; God forgive thee for it! Before I knew
thee, [Bob], I knew nothing; and now am I, if a man
should speak truly, little better than one of the
wicked. I must give over this life, and I will give
it over: by the Lord, and I do not, I am a villain:
I’ll be damned for never a king’s son in Christendom.”



There’s a lot to dislike about the transportation bill, but it’s all for Virginians not to like or dislike.

As a matter of fact, other states should be applauding us.

Would we, as Virginians, rather give money to our locally elected representatives and allow them the duty of maintaining our transportation networks? Or would we rather every other citizen in every other state raise the revenue they send to Washington, DC, so Congress and the Department of Labor can through National Emergency Grants fund the fixing of our roads for us. Because if Richmond doesn’t fix it now, you can guarantee we and every other state will be fixing it later through the oppressive coercion of block grants.

But histrionics are necessarily short-sighted, and capitalize on controversy. They clamor for whatever attention they can receive, even if the attendees have no business getting involved. But make no mistake, when national Republicans get involved on this issue, check their motive. My opinion of this bill was not formed on whether or not it would favor Republicans or Democrats in future elections; my opinion on it was formed on how dire the need is for Virginians to fund their commercial, industrial, and recreational connectivity. And if bipartisanship and compromise, even at the local level, is heretical, then kindly abandon your admiration for Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, George Mason, and James Madison and excommunicate them with your current governor.


“A plague upon you all! Give me my horse, you
rogues; give me my horse, and be hanged!”