Confederate cavalryman Nathan Bedford Forrest was once asked how for his advice on how to be successful in combat. His immortal reply? “Get there Fustest with the Mostest”.
Our governor is trying to show he can govern from the opposite end of the spectrum, by getting there fustest with the leastest…
These days the Gov is racing around the commonwealth, trying to prove his relevance by seeking input as to how to address the General Assembly Transportation bill. As I drove into work in the gloaming light of a NOVA morning, I almost felt sorry for him.
The Gov gambled the GOP majority General Assembly would again train wreck on transportation, and create an issue for the fall. Swing and miss, strike one.
The Gov, certain his gamble would pay off, did not have a plan of his own to offer as a counter balance. Swing and miss, strike two.
Now, he has to cobble together some type of coherent response, and will face future sessions of the legislature without the team of Chichester and Potts running intereference for him. Ooooooooooooh…fastball on the corner, Strike Three with the bat on his shoulder.
How did it come to this? How is it he is so tone deaf to politics?
I suggest it is because he likely came to the office with as little public exposure and strength as is possible.
Think about it. His claim to fame in getting the democratic nomination for Lt. Governor in 2001 was being Mayor of Richmond. However, that position was elected from and by the membership of the city counsel and not from the entire city. Nice title, but not as impressive upon closer inspection.
His election as Lt. governor was similarly less than resounding. He won the primary with a plurality, and then clung to Mark Warner coattails and barely got by a weak GOP statewide candidate.
He was elected governor less on his own credentials than on Mark Warner’s reputation and the ineptitude of the Jerry Kilgore campaign. He campaigned for office by being against new taxes, and since being elected has decided there are few new taxes he will not entertain…unless they are proposed by the GOP majority House of Delegates.
So you have a man who has been elected consistently by seeking a slightly darker shade of grey, and eschews the challenge of bright, bold colors. It is little wonder he cannot get a lot of folks to follow him.
Now, all the above I drafted a couple of days ago and tucked away for future consideration…then I get to see that somehow Jeff “Good Copy” Schapiro seized similar language in today’s RTD.
Tim Kaine is always searching for new shades of gray. This gets him in trouble with a General Assembly for which issues are largely black or white. His handling of transportation is the most recent example of a Kaine-sian trait that worked for him as a lawyer but works against him as governor….
He once favored plowing in to transportation $500 million that otherwise would go to schools, police and human services. This would have been a general-fund grab he now opposes as a threat to — you guessed it schools, police and human services.
And what of Kaine’s campaign promise to resist higher taxes until transportation funds were constitutionally designated only for asphalt? The tax pledge and lock box have been paved over by layers of thick, gooey rhetoric.
So clearly I am not alone in this line of thought…although I shudder at the company I am apprently keeping. Then Schapiro steps in it…he claims:
Further, Kaine is a victim of his predecessor’s success. Were it not for a GOP rebellion in the House in 2004, fellow Democrat Mark Warner would have been denied the $1.4 billion tax increase for education, law enforcement and social services that transformed him into presidential prospect.
In reality, he is the both the victim of his predecessor’s duplicity. Warner went to the GOP, said the state would run a deficit and threaten the AAA bond rating without a tax increase. Many good republicans took Warner at his word and voted for the increase. Imagine their surprise when it turned out the state would have had a surplus even without the tax increase. However, since GOP folks voted for the tax increase-no matter how well intentioned-the democrats now had cover on the issue of raising taxes.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. In the wake of this, is it realistic for anyone to think the GOP in the house will take Kaine’s word? He did not offer a plan, he has not offered any compelling factual or data based argument to validate his desire for higher taxes…yes, a desire for higher taxes from the man who campaigned as saying he would not raise taxes.
He has gotten elected to office by low margins pulled in by friendly coattails or inept opponents. He did this by seeking shades of gray, a trait noticed even by the noticeably anti-GOP columnist Jeff “Good Copy” Schapiro, instead of bold colors and creative new initiatives that would allow him to try to do what he wants.
Of course, that would require him to lead, not to simply react. That would mean trying to get there “fustest with the mostest”. That would mean actually standing up and stating what he believes…and I don’t think we are going to see that in the near future.
Given his allegiance to shades of gray, I don’t think this should surprise anyone.