March Madness Angers VirginiansMar 21, 2012
Today’s news out of Richmond finds that, according to one poll anyway, Virginians are not very happy with the way the Governor and General Assembly are doing their jobs. Headlines like, “Approval ratings drop” and “Approval ratings slip” have replaced, “Why won’t Senate Democrats pass a budget?” Oh wait, there haven’t been headlines like that about Senate Democrats, but I digress.
The news stories today go on to repeat the media-driven narrative that Virginians are upset about the recently passed ultrasound law and other so-called “social issues.” An interesting conclusion considering that the pollster failed to ask Virginians why they seem less pleased with their elected officials today than they did just a few weeks ago. Of course, the media all too happily assume it must be social issues because, after all, that’s the narrative they’ve been selling for the past month.
But let’s think outside the echo chamber for a moment.
Couldn't Virginians be more upset at the fact that Senate Democrats have blocked passing a state budget, putting teachers, firefighters, police, small children and pets everywhere at serious risk? I mean, if the budget is all that really matters, then it seems reasonable to conclude that the failure of the ruling class in Richmond to do the most important thing would lead to decreasing approval ratings.
Or we could, of course, accept the narrative, and conclude that Virginians are not too happy with ultrasound, etc. But this flies in the face of the other media narrative – that social issues don’t matter.
In recent days, we’ve seen news indicating that Virginia’s economy seems to be doing ok (if you haven’t seen it in the news, check the blogs, they seem to have stumbled across it). February’s revenue numbers were up significantly, unemployment in the Commonwealth is down, and we were just named the “Best State to Make a Living.” So it seems that Virginians should be ecstatic about their leaders. After all, if it’s all about the economy, who cares if we pass an ultrasound bill? That’s social legislation inconsequential to the “man or woman on the street.”
Or do social issues actually matter a whole lot more to people than the economy? Now that would put a whole spin on things, would it not?
But again, Virginians weren’t actually asked why they are so down on our leaders, so it’s really all just speculation.
So, maybe they are all just mad that no Virginia teams made the Sweet 16 and are simply lashing out. It’s no less credible than any other wild media speculation.