In an important special election yesterday, Democrat Dave Marsden won the state senate seat in the 37th district in Fairfax County, adding to the Democratic majority in the Commonwealth's upper chamber.
Meanwhile, the Washington Post reports today that Virginia Republicans, emboldened by their victories in November, plan to launch an updated version of the 1960's "massive resistance" movement. In the '60's, politicians across the South, trying to out-demagogue each other on race, pursued various measures of "massive resistance" to federal laws dismantling the system of racial segregation that prevailed in states like Virginia.
Now, Virginia Republicans--faced with a gaping $1-2 billion deficit, a transportation crisis, a weak economy and other problems of governance--have decided to . . . introduce a bunch of bills challenging federal authority.
One bill would make it illegal to require people to purchase health insurance; another would "declare" that the feds cannot regulate as interstate commerce any good or service produced or performed entirely in Virginia, and another would take aim at federal regulation of gun transactions in the state.
These are all quite empty symbolic gestures, as they deal with issues that are in the province of the courts--FEDERAL courts.
It's just as well, however. It gives us hope that the GOP, left to its own devices, will quickly give up the gains it made in November by being silly, instead of seriously addressing the Commonwealth's most pressing needs.