Chris Graham: What’s good for the goose …

Republicans in the United State Senate have used arcane legislative rules to their advantage the past two years to fight from the minority anything substantive that Democrats want to do from coming to fruition.

Republicans in Virginia are now crying foul that their Democratic counterparts are riding an arcane rule related to the 20-20 split in the Virginia Senate to a position of power in state-budget negotiations.

“They now stand as obstructionists to our efforts to move forward with needed investments in economic development and job creation, public education and higher education, transportation, public safety, critical health care programs and more,” said Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, who famously proclaimed back in November after it became apparent that Republicans had gained the 20-20 split in the recent state elections that the GOP had a majority with his ability to break tie votes in favor of the Republican cause.

Ah, but that vote doesn’t extend to matters involving the state budget. The Bolling-GOP strategy was working fine when it came to taking control of Senate committees and votes on extremist social-issue legislation, but the heavyhanded approach seems to have raised the ire of Democrats, who, in fairness, aren’t exactly known for being good at fighting back.

They’re fighting back now, and Bolling is obviously clueless as to how to try to mend the fences necessary to get Democrats to want to work toward finalizing a budget for the 2012-2014 biennium.

“Because we have 20 Republican Senators and a Republican lieutenant governor, we have an effective Republican majority in the Senate. Democrats need to accept that fact and work with us to build a better Virginia. They were elected to help address the important issues facing Virginia, and it is time for them to do that,” Bolling said in a statement today.

You can’t get more tone-deaf than Bolling is on this. Earth to the LG: You don’t have them outnumbered 20-20. On budget isses, at the least, there is no “effective Republican majority in the Senate.”

If you want to get a budget passed, you’re going to need to, one, accept the fact that you’re going to need to compromise with Democrats to get a budget in place, two, remember that you, like they, were elected to address the important issues facing Virginia, and three, cut out the ridiculous big-boy posturing and get to work.


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