The Founders and Framers bequeathed to We the People a system of government that not only protected the rights of the minority, but functioned even during the most arduous of partisan times. Many of the primary influences on our federal government hailed from Virginia, chief among them George Mason, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. Each of these great men understood that for a government to serve all of the people, those representing the people in the halls of government would have to not only work toward true and honest compromise, but hold faithful to the people and the service of executing government on behalf of their constituencies, avoiding the pitfalls of political faction.
Today, in Virginia, the people are not being served by those who have been elected to office, at least not those elected from the Democrat and Progressive factions of the political arena. In order to “serve” the people – and that does not mean only the people who voted for the political victor, those elected to office must faithfully – faithfully – execute their offices. Democrats and Progressives in Virginia, led by their newly elected governor and former Clinton operative Terry McAuliffe, are not only ignoring close to half of their constituents, they are threatening to punish the electorate for the non-conformity of the minority party in State government. On March 29, 2014, Virginia Senate Democrat Leader Richard Saslaw (D-Fairfax) stated:
We won’t vote for a budget – and I can’t be emphatic enough – we will not vote for a budget, nor will the governor sign a budget that doesn’t have some form of [Medicaid] expansion…
Following up on that remark, Virginia State Senator A. Donald McEachin (D-Henrico) said,
We had an election where our ticket ran on this, especially the governor, and we won on it…For the Republicans to think that they are just going to legislate out of existence 400,000 Virginians is just unwise.
This slash and burn, totalitarian approach mirrors perfectly the approach that the Obama Administration has pursued throughout its tenure, and especially with Congressional Republicans ever since the American people removed Progressives, under the leadership of Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) from majority status in the US House of Representatives in the 2010 Midterm Elections.
This gridlock producing approach – this “we-get-everything-and-our-opposition-has-to-eat-it-and-smile” approach – is the singular cause of partisan gridlock in Washington, DC. And, with the election of Terry McAuliffe as governor of the great State of Virginia, it appears this gridlock, courtesy of arrogant Progressive political narcissism, is soon to captivate the headlines of every Virginia newspaper as Democrats and Progressives prepare to shutdown State government.
But it didn’t have to be this way.
As then candidate McAuliffe campaigned to capture the governorship of Virginia, he stated – in no uncertain terms and quite forthrightly – that the expansion of Medicaid facilitated by Obamacare would never be used as a weapon to strong-arm the budget process. During a gubernatorial debate, moderated by NBC’s Chuck Todd and televised live on C-Span, when asked by Todd if President Obama had shown the right leadership in his imposition of Obamacare upon the American people, McAuliffe promised,
No budget will be shut down in Virginia over the Medicaid expansion. I will work in a bi-partisan way to get it done. That is why over a dozen former Republican legislators have endorsed my candidacy, many of them who have never endorsed a Democrat before.
Mr. McAuliffe stated – point blank – that he would not engage in partisan skullduggery to affect the expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare at the expense of the Virginia State budget, yet that is exactly – exactly – what he is doing. Less than six months after taking office, Mr. McAuliffe is not only doing “a 180” on his campaign promise not to hold the budget hostage to his whim, but doing so at the expense of the State budget and the well-being of State government.
So what does it mean when we say Gov. McAuliffe and his Progressive and Democrat stooges will hold the budget hostage in an effort to coerce the minority party into ideological acquiescence? It means that the Democrats – the Democrats – will be insisting that State government be shut down until the fiscally responsible minority party caves-in to what can only be viewed as political extortion. It means that Virginians across the State will be immediately and directly affected:
- Public schools teachers and staff will be suffocated of pay
- Law enforcement officers, firefighters and EMS personnel will be deprived of funding for critical training that keeps them sharp in the face of the impossible, some being deprived of paychecks.
- Hospitals and free clinics will curtail services for lack of funds
- DMV services will be greatly diminished
- Veterans will be disenfranchised as benefits, including medical treatments are delayed and in some cases even cancelled
- Colleges and universities will see essential services reduced
- Road maintenance will be suspended
- New business licensing will be halted, thus affecting the creation of badly needed new jobs, especially in poverty-stricken areas
- Family support and community-based mental health care will be abridged
- Availability of public transportation will be reduced
- And even the ability to acquire marriage licenses will stunted
This is what Progressive partisanship looks like. This is what Democrat narcissism produces. This is what Gov. McAuliffe’s broken promises yield. As this issue moves forward in the media, please keep in mind – especially when you hear the sorry rhetoric of the Democrat and Progressive leadership in Richmond say that Republicans are causing a government shutdown – that the only reason this “crisis” has come to be is because Terry McAuliffe broke a pinnacle promise that delivered him to office as governor of Virginia.
McAuliffe himself is the primary and singular cause for you having to wait another 15 minutes for an ambulance as your loved one lies bleeding on the floor. McAuliffe will be the reason your already under-served children will be denied critical instruction time with their teachers.
Terry McAuliffe will be the reason you will have to battle your illness just a little longer until that neighborhood clinic opens again. Terry McAuliffe lied to the people of Virginia to attain power and now the people of Virginia are about to see just how much he really cares about the masses. As you are waiting for the police to show up when gunshots are ringing out in front of your house, ask yourself if Terry McAuliffe and State Democrat leadership really care about your safety, or if it is all about achieving an ideological agenda at the expense of your safety and the safety of your families.
When Virginia State government shuts down because Progressives and Democrats, led by Gov. McAuliffe, refuse to protect the rights of the minority, ask yourselves if electing people like this is really worth it.
This article was first published in the Virginia Free Citizen
Frank Salvato is the Executive Director for BasicsProject.org a grassroots, non-partisan, research and education initiative focusing on Constitutional Literacy, and internal and external threats facing Western Civilization. He is featured in Because Our Republic Is Worth It. Mr. Salvato sits on the board of directors for Founders Alliance USA, a solutions-oriented non-profit organization. He also serves as the managing editor for NewMediaJournal.us. Mr. Salvato has appeared on The O’Reilly Factor on FOX News Channel and is a regular guest on talk radio across the country. Mr. Salvato is available for public speaking engagements. He can be contacted at [email protected].