In Progressive Voice last week, Delegate Alfonso Lopez expressed the opinion that redistricting reform is the only way Democrats can push their agenda through the Virginia General Assembly. Redistricting reform, he argues, would result in Medicaid expansion, a minimum wage increase and more education funding.
Surely Delegate Lopez knows Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump in a majority of the House of Delegates districts in November of 2016. Despite the existence of a majority of Clinton districts, Republicans currently hold a 66-34 majority in the House. And, I have noted before, Virginia Senate Democrats drew their own district lines in an attempt to maintain a majority, but voters gave Republicans the majority instead.
In other words, the notion that the placement of the district lines is why Democrats cannot win races across Virginia seems misleading at best.
Lopez bemoans the fact that policies supported by Democrats in Arlington are not embraced by other parts of Virginia. He goes on to claim that more competitive districts would cause Republicans to work with Democrats on the Democrat agenda, like raising taxes to pay for more programs.
As with most liberals, the Lopez definition of bi-partisanship is when Republicans work with Democrats to expand government. Rarely is it the other way around.
Lopez also suggests that voters in rural districts vote against their own self-interest when they elect Republicans now. This is another typical liberal argument that people would be better off if they voted for the government to expand, particularly when it means giving them more of someone else’s money.
What Lopez does not seem to contemplate is that voters have looked at the this Democratic agenda and have rejected it. Or at the very least, maybe Virginia Democrats have done a bad job of explaining their agenda to the voters.
You do have to hand it to Delegate Lopez. He wrote an entire opinion piece on redistricting reform in order to make a gubernatorial endorsement at the end.
Of course Lopez wrote the piece before Ralph Northam released an ad saying he was willing to work with President Trump. This is quite a reversal for Northam who had resorted to calling the president names in his primary ads in order to win over the base in his party. Maybe Northam finally realized that running a campaign aimed at running up the score with the liberal base in Northern Virginia was not a winning strategy in 2017?