Friday, October 16, 2009

Don't Go Hatin' A Playa

With a sigh of only slightly premature resignation, I'm coming to terms with the likely reality of a new GOP governor in my home state of Virginny. It's been something of an inevitability since the rather uninspiring Democratic primary, in which the best the donkey party could muster was 1) a flamboyantly flagrant Clintonista carpetbagger and 2) a rather taciturn but decent and "authentically Virginian" rural state Senator.

Given the choice, Democrats went with number two...but all along, it's not looked good.

The reason for this is the GOP candidate, who is Mr. All American. He's tall. He's rugged. He's the high school quarterback who married the Redskins cheerleader, and then went on to have a really quite photogenic family. He's also a quite competent politician. I say that not by way of insult, but out of admiration. He ain't just a pretty face. He is quite evidently smart and articulate. Though his campaign has involved some impressive lowest-common-denominator assault politics, he's stayed mostly above the fray.

Ultimately, though, I think Bob McDonnell will be the next governor of Virginia because all human the idea of getting something for nothing. The big issue of this campaign is our crumbling and overmatched transportation infrastructure. McDonnell is convinced that this can be made better without a single additional dime coming out of the pockets of Virginians. Deeds has published that he'd support new taxes that are targeted to revamping transportation...but then can't bring himself to actually say that in public.

As Deeds has hemmed and hawed around the issue of taxation, McDonnell's folks are going to town. Deeds is a waffly stuttering tax-and-spender! Taking our money in these troubled times! Doing harm to Virginia's families! Taking your hard earned dollars and using them the roads you need to get to work...but it's still Your Hard Earned Money!

I've read McDonnell's plan for funding transportation. What's interesting about it is that it is largely reliant on 1) selling off public property and 2) bond revenue. If Virginia were a person, that's pretty much the equivalent of hitting the pawn shop and then taking out a second mortgage. The stuff we'll sell, like the profitable state-run ABC stores that put $104 million dollars annually into the state coffers, we ain't getting back. The $3 billion in new state bonds he'd issue...well...they have to be repaid at some point. How do those bonds get repaid? dollars. But only after McDonnell's finished his 4 year term, so it technically won't be his responsibility. Ka-CHING!

It's amazing how effective conservatism has been at convincing Americans that actually paying for what you need is for suckers.