If the polls are right, the GOP in VA is looking at a big night tonight.
Let’s assume this happens. Some are already sounding alarm bells about revenue issues that have been off by the Kaine admin…wonder how those never made the evening news?…and difficult choices ahead. Norm Leahy has even been moved to say “be careful what you wish for.”
I must disagree with Norm. what is needed is not an admonition but a question-“is the GOP ready to lead?”
Every political party wants to be in power, even in times that are not the best. Whether it is Milton’s “Better to rule in hell than serve in heaven” or Gandhi’s “all people prefer their own bad government to the good government of a foreign power”, it is a given of the human condition that we want to be in control of our own destiny. The GOP is getting what they wanted, and good for them!
The real consideration is are they ready to lead? Have they learned from the errors of the Warner/Kaine administration?
For eight years the Demcorats have not led…they have at best reacted. They never offered a vision of where they want to lead the state. They never said what was needed to make their vision a reality. Instead we had a bunch of sound bites about things folks might want but not a single solution offered. The Dems wanted power on the cheap, and waited for the GOP to self destruct. Even after taking the state senate two years ago the Va Dems were loathe to offer solutions or plans or ideas…just reacting.
There are tough decisions to be made, and I would rather have the guys who will raise taxes as a last resort making them than the folks who want to raise them every time a good gust of wind comes along. Nonetheless, the GOP must move quickly. They must move to put a cogent plan in place to show as a set of governance goals. A complete audit and analysis of state government must be done to see what if any savings can be found. Next comes a statement of what they think state government should be doing couples with the economy measures to allow the GOP to determine the best way to get the state from here to there in accordance with the plan.
Fiscal conservatism. Capable stewardship of our state resources. Stated goals. Offering a plan and sticking to it, and using as a guide to show the public where we are going and how we are going to get there. That’s what they need to do.
If they do that, they will address Norm’s admonition and my question at the same time.