It has become so common that it doesn’t seem worth mentioning anymore how repugnant many Republican Party members of the Virginia House of Delegate are. In this latest act of “How Ridiculous Are We?,” Republicans in the House defeated a bill that was championed by Virginia’s own Republican governor that would automatically restore the civic rights of nonviolent felons after they completed their sentences.
The bill was actually defeated in a subcommittee of the House even after both Bob McDonnell and Republican all-star Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli testified in support of the bill. McDonnell commented, “I believe strongly, as a matter of conscience, in protecting the constitutional rights of our citizens.” If this is true, what does it say about those subcommittee members who voted against the bill, do they not care about the constitutional rights of Virginia citizens?
Cuccinelli also threw a jab in, claiming that he would “continue to keep up the fight on this important issue.”
This issue is important, and it’s important because people do make mistakes, believe it or not. But one wrong decision shouldn’t strip the individual of their constitutional rights for the rest of their lives if the ‘offense’ is nonviolent.
One fact alone is telling: Kentucky and Virginia are the only states in the country that permanently take away the civic rights of felons. Not to pick on Kentucky but it’s usually never a good thing when similarities are drawn before one state and Kentucky.
I don’t know what pre-historic cave many of these Republican lawmakers in the House walked out of, but it’s time to accept that some of Virginia’s old habits just don’t stand up to reason and therefore need to be changed. If we do so, Virginia won’t turn into a cesspool of crime, immorality, disaffection, etc. Virginia will still be an enjoyable place to live; in fact it will be a more enjoyable place to live with justice shining down more firmly on its citizens.
Moreover, the idea of individual responsibility won’t erode if individuals are given A SECOND CHANCE. Not many people will say, oh well, I do get a second chance, let me go ahead sell this or that drug to this or that person, or whatever the case may be. No, individual responsibility will still remain a strong virtue in Virginia, but alongside this virtue will also be a greater deal of justice. Isn’t that a goal worth striving for?
As usual, the House GOP has become the party of “No,” even if most Virginians are saying “Yes.”