Virginia House Republicans have admitted that their arguments against releasing video of the chambers’ proceedings are total bullshit. How else to interpret their new video blog? The party has consistently argued that broadcasting House sessions would lead to grandstanding, video being taken out of context, and “a culture of viciousness that…infecting these halls,” in the words of now-retired Del. Vince Callahan (R-Fairfax). And so they’ve shut down every effort made over the years to allow Virginians see what they’re up to.
Rather than allow all video to be provided to the public, they’re simply excerpting the bits that present Republicans in the best light and Democrats in the worst light. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with a political party opposing another political party. That’s their job. No, it’s the rank hypocrisy displayed here that makes this notable.
The House Republicans’ blog is far more strident than the House Democrats’ blog. While the Democrats simply provide a few words of context and let the video speak for itself, nearly every blog entry on the the Republicans’ site levels a personal attack at a specific legislator, with accusations made in all caps with double exclamation points, the unnamed blog author describing his own claimed outrage in the first person.
Not only have House Republicans done precisely the thing that they’ve repeatedly voted against doing, but they’ve done so in a way that worsens the very thing they claimed to fear. Here’s hoping that a political reporter will look for an explanation from Del. Morgan Griffith (R-Salem). I’ll be fascinated to see how he justifies this.