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Today in Moderate Republican Governance

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Virginia’s Patagonia-wearing moderate who is just concerned that the white kids might have to learn a little about racism, a position which seems to scare the majority of the white race, seems to have found a new frontier in bipartisan governance that will make the Beltway swoon:

Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) continued to stoke partisan rancor this week with a flurry of unusual vetoes and bill amendments that political opponents and analysts saw as punishing Democrats and agitating culture-war talking points.

Youngkin vetoed 25 bills that had bipartisan support in the General Assembly, throwing sharp elbows particularly at lawmakers who represent blue areas of Northern Virginia. For instance, he vetoed nine of the 10 bills sponsored by Sen. Adam P. Ebbin (D-Alexandria) while signing identical House bills in six of those cases.

Typically a governor signs both versions, allowing both sponsors bragging rights for getting a bill passed into law. Longtime state legislators said they could not think of a case in which a governor signed one bill and vetoed its companion. “This is my 19th year, and I’ve never seen it before,” said Del. Mark D. Sickles (D-Fairfax).

All of Youngkin’s vetoes targeted bills sponsored by Democrats, and four of them were against bills filed by Arlington Del. Patrick A. Hope (D), including one to lift tobacco use penalties on health insurance premiums that was widely supported in both chambers.

“Some of the vetoes involve very uncontroversial measures … which is not the norm,” said Stephen Farnsworth, a political scientist at the University of Mary Washington. “This is a further example of how partisan politics has become in Virginia.”

Youngkin also drew strong reactions for proposing an amendment to a routine school board bill so that Loudoun County would have to hold elections for its entire school board this fall, shortening some members’ terms. That move — which would have to be approved by the General Assembly — took aim at a county where conservative parental grievance against the school board provided enormous energy for Youngkin’s election last year.

Youngkin took office in January promising to be a unifying governor, working with a divided legislature where the House of Delegates is controlled by Republicans and the Senate by Democrats. But since then, as his national political profile has risen, Youngkin has repeatedly riled political divisions, such as seeking to eliminate language about “racial equity” from school programs.

I know I feel unified and that Youngkin is just the Republican daddy this liberal wants to see in 2024.

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