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General Assembly Week Four:
Trans-Positional Feel
By Stephen J. Rossie

Square2017 imageRichmond – The calendar deceives. Most people involved one way or another at the General Assembly live a particular sensation, that they are one day ahead of the actual day. Tuesday feels like Wednesday, Thursday like Friday.

That’s because of the ferocious pace and tortuous hours. It’s not easy running one of the largest states in the union in only 46 days. This year, though, because of the weight of the issues, their number, and the fact that they gobsmacked everyone from day one and have relentlessly pressured the calendar ever since — the so-called ERA, Medicaid funding shortfall, tax reform and conformity to the federal code to prevent an automatic massive state tax increase, internet sales tax, the introduction of gambling, redistricting reform, the budget (always the budget!), ownership of human embryos and abortion on demand, to name only the highest of the high profile topics — have accelerated the trans-positional feel.

Now, Tuesday feels like Thursday, Wednesday like Friday. Not only does it take a toll physically, with 12-14 hour days a minimum, but mentally. It is disorienting, It’s a marvel that the atmosphere remains, generally, civil. It’s The Virginia Way, in effect.

Perhaps this is why, during a radio interview during the middle of last week, during an uproar over the fallout of a heinous bill by Delegate Kathy Tran (D-Springfield) to allow, in essence, partial birth abortions — which itself blanketed the national discussion — fellow Democrat and Governor Ralph Northam took it one step beyond, apologizing for infanticide, which is perfectly explainable when you are bought and paid for by Planed Parenthood and the abortion industry.

It may also explain why, with the abortion comments raging internationally, when confronted with a picture from his medical school yearbook two days later on Friday, he admitted that he was one of two men posing in it — one in blackface, one in a Ku Klux Klan robe and hood — only to deny it Saturday at a bizarre news conference carried live on national and statewide television.

Yes, Virginia. We’re are the news. Again. Ralph Northam’s "macaca” moment times 1,000.

But in a desperate ploy to save his job, because his political career surely is dead if his attempt to disprove his appearance in the photograph fails, his team apparently leaked a story about Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax’s alleged sexual assault on a woman some years ago in order to make it unpalatable for a Fairfax succession. The woman made the claim on social media as well. Democrat Fairfax at first denied it then fell back to the typical default in such instances — that it was consensual. After all, according to the Left, always believe the woman, right?

Republicans, for their part, gladly stepped aside and let their adversaries engage in fratricide for a change. After all, when it’s a party that ignores matters of substance and hinges itself to identity politics, its days eventually will feel like years.

Stephen J. (Steve) Rossie is a Richmond-based public and government relations’ consultant. He has been a General Assembly lobbyist since 2006 and has written about Virginia government since 2007.


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