The other day Jim Hoeft pointed out the wonderfully “post partisan” way that Virginia Democrats in the Senate of Virginia are exercising their leadership which isn’t a whole lot unlike the way Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi demonstrate the new “post partisan” era on Capitol Hill. Unlike Republican Speaker of the House Howell ensuring proportional representation in all House committees, Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw has decided that Democrats deserve a two-thirds majority on several of the most important committees in the Senate despite the fact they only hold a two seat majority in the Senate. By reducing the number of committee assignments given to Republican members so that Democrats have a 10-5 advantage in committee, Democrats can exercise power over bills at the committee level far beyond their ability to do so on the floor.
That’s representative democracy, according to the party that fatuously labels itself “Democratic.”
Jim notes one of the mainstream media outlets that have talked about this:
As reported by the Roanoke Times and elsewhere, the Senate Democrats, apparently by their massive two-vote advantage in the Chamber, have decided to do away with the long-standing tradition of proportional representation for Senate committees.
Instead, the Democrats have decided that this two-vote advantage gives them the right to have two-thirds of the seats on two of the most influential committees in the Senate, Courts of Justice and Education and Health. But they didn’t stop there:
Democrats eliminated a seat on the budget-writing Senate Finance Committee, leaving them with a 9-6 majority on the panel. Democrats chose to shrink the committee rather than appoint a replacement for former Sen. Ken Stolle, R-Virginia Beach, who has left the Senate and was succeeded by a Republican.
The downside of this shenanigan, and it’s all downside for the Commonwealth, is that bills which make it through the House with overwhelming bipartisan support will be killed in these Senate committees. It’s always hard to get good legislation through committees such as Senate Courts, but with the restructuring Dick Saslaw has done, it will be considerably harder. Now popular bipartisan initiatives to bring E-Verify to Virginia, Bob Marshall’s HB 10 that would secure our 10th Amendment rights in Virginia, and a host of other initiatives are in serious doubt as a Senate Committee entirely unrepresentative of the electorate or the choices they made will decide if these ever get to the floor, where they would most likely pass. Democracy dies in committee in the Senate of Virginia.
Senior Senators that have long crowed about their “legendary” fairness and how their ethics are above reproach were utterly silent when this happened. I’m thinking specifically about Senator Chuck Colgan here, the most senior member of the Senate of Virginia and chairman of the Finance Committee, who could have pretty easily put a stop to this. Colgan repeatedly assured his heavily Republican district that we could trust him, a Democrat, to make decisions that would be fair, ethical, and while we might not always agree with him, at least those decisions would be defensible. Now, right under his nose and pertaining specifically to the Committee he runs, Dick Saslaw reconfigures membership with nine Democrats and six Republicans and Colgan doesn’t say a word. In the absence of any action to even question why Democrats deserve 60% representation on a Committee, one has to assume he supports the idea of dis-proportional representation for Democrats, and Democrats only.
The stink of Democrat partisan politics goes all the way from Washington right to the chambers of the Senate of Virginia. With the cratering of Democrat’s popularity nation-wide, Virginia Democrats will without a doubt try the old Mark Warner ploy of “sure we’re Democrats, but we’re not like those Democrats.” The hell they aren’t. Democrats have no interest in actual Democracy, regardless of whether they’re in Chicago or Richmond. Their only interest is in seizing and maintaining political power wherever it can be had, and by any means necessary — ethics be damned.
I sincerely hope that the stink of this consistent behavior from the “Democratic” party sticks to Democrats running for Congress this year such as Gerry Connolly and Tom Perriello. They’re going to try the “we’re moderate Democrats you can trust” garbage which never turns out to be true, and sorely need to be retired so we can wrest control of congress away from the corruption of Nancy Pelosi.
Saslaw and Colgan, you’re next.
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