Wednesday, April 13, 2022


The govrnor of Virginia is infantile:
Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) continued to stoke partisan rancor this week with a flurry of unusual vetoes and bill amendments that political opponents and analysts saw as punishing Democrats and agitating culture-war talking points.

Youngkin vetoed 25 bills that had bipartisan support in the General Assembly, throwing sharp elbows particularly at lawmakers who represent blue areas of Northern Virginia. For instance, he vetoed nine of the 10 bills sponsored by Sen. Adam P. Ebbin (D-Alexandria) while signing identical House bills in six of those cases.

Typically a governor signs both versions, allowing both sponsors bragging rights for getting a bill passed into law. Longtime state legislators said they could not think of a case in which a governor signed one bill and vetoed its companion. “This is my 19th year, and I’ve never seen it before,” said Del. Mark D. Sickles (D-Fairfax).

All of Youngkin’s vetoes targeted bills sponsored by Democrats, and four of them were against bills filed by Arlington Del. Patrick A. Hope (D), including one to lift tobacco use penalties on health insurance premiums that was widely supported in both chambers.
And there was this:
Youngkin also drew strong reactions for proposing an amendment to a routine school board bill so that Loudoun County would have to hold elections for its entire school board this fall, shortening some members’ terms. That move — which would have to be approved by the General Assembly — took aim at a county where conservative parental grievance against the school board provided enormous energy for Youngkin’s election last year.
On the one hand, it's a totalitarian impulse to want to arbitrarily shorten the terms of elected officials you don't like for partisan advantge. (Youngkin undoubtedly believes that this will be a GOP wave year, which would make the hated Loudoun County liberals particularly vulnerable.) On the other hand, Youngkin won't get this past the legislature, where Democrats control the Senate.

As Jamelle Bouie notes, Virginia doesn't allow governors to have two consecutive terms, so Youngkin, in his first year in office, is clearly thinking about his future.

Pointless acting out impresses the base almost as much as genuine Ron DeSantis-style authoritarianism, as reporter and podcaster Will Sommer notes:
... after two years of feuds over masks on planes, Trump fans have found a new way to be obnoxious at the airport. A new trend has Republicans tricking airport staffers into paging fake passengers with names that sound like right-wing memes, like “Let’s go Brandon.”

Sommer says the trend speaks to “the prankishness of the American right right now.”

“He does it and has his little snicker at the Cinnabon,” he says of one prominent airport prankster, “but these videos rack up tens of thousands of views.”
Republican voters are overgrown children. But they have most of the power in this country, don't they?

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