Last night Governor Terry McAuliffe gave the 2016 State of the Commonwealth address.
McAuliffe began with nice things. He talked about the economy and “jaabs,” which is how the New Yorker says “jobs.” But then he mentioned he’ll try again to bankrupt us saying he will try to “find a way forward together on the important issue of Medicaid expansion.”
Toward the end the governor decided to flex his muscles a little with, “I am prepared to veto bills that roll back the progress that we have made on marriage equality and women’s access to health care.” And by “health care” in this context McAuliffe means abortion on demand.
Then he offered counterintuitive logic on the 2nd Amendment when he said, “I will also reject proposals that limit this Commonwealth’s ability to keep Virginians safe from gun violence.” Disarming law abiding citizens will keep them safe?
He also highlighted the urgency of giving in to the green lobby saying we need to “react to the very clear and present danger of climate change.” Clear and present danger is a term used to describe a test for the courts to apply to potential limitations on 1st Amendment rights. It is also the title of an exciting movie. Here, the governor got really creative. The term is not, in any way, an accurate way to describe climate and instead is just the latest example of the salesman governor saying what it takes to peddle his wares.
And then McAuliffe went from shady salesman to a downright dishonest political tactician when he said, “Even more important, I do hope that we will treat our newest Supreme Court justice with the respect that she deserves as a jurist who has served our Commonwealth with honor for 22 years. Allowing politics to deny this qualified and distinguished jurist a full 12-year term would send a dangerous message about this Commonwealth’s respect for the independence of the judicial branch.” What a ridiculous thing to say because of all the hyper-partisan political maneuvers made by McAuliffe when he placed this justice on the court through a recess appointment while not consulting with state Republicans. Now he talks about “a dangerous message” and “respect for the independence of the judicial branch.” If McAuliffe had any respect for an independent judiciary or for the traditions of the Virginia way, then we wouldn’t be in this controversy in the first place.
Governor McAuliffe and his “jaabs,” another attempt at bankruptcy through Medicaid expansion, a gun grab, a sky-is-falling push against climate, and a political play on the Supreme Court should make for a very active 60 day session in Richmond. Let’s hope Republicans stay on their toes and effectively push back on these plans.