In a wish come true, Delegate Jeff Frederick has been elected RPV Chairman, replacing Lt. Gov. John Hager after less than a year on the job. The 32-year-old Frederick is considerably to the right of Hager — your stereotypical angry Republican — and he’s all but promised to accelerate his party’s plunge off the cliff.
Given Frederick’s pledge to surrender his HoD seat if he won, Democrats can safely notch this up as yet another special election won, making it easier still to secure the majority come the November 2009 elections. Frederick’s last serious challenge came from Democrat Hilda Barg in 2005, and he squeaked out a victory with just 51% of the vote. The 52nd district is deep in Democrats’ territory in Northern Virginia. It’s quite possible that the RPV won’t put any resources towards retaining Frederick’s seat.
It seems that nobody leaves the RPV chairmanship — they’re all thrown overboard. Hager was elected a little over ten months ago, replacing Kate Obenshain Griffin, who was forced out in November 2006 in the face of a divorce and Sen. George Allen’s embarrassing loss to Jim Webb. And she replaced Gary Thompson in 2003, after Thompson joined the enormous roster of RPV leadership caught up in their jailarious wiretapping scandal.
The pattern is rather like a guy who tells his new girlfriend that all of the women that he’s dated turned out to be tramps. A smart woman knows that she’ll be one of the “tramps” before long. Frederick may hold on longer than Hager (assuming that the base doesn’t want to switch horsemen in the middle of the apocalypse), avoiding getting tossed out until Republicans entirely lose control of the General Assembly come November. Then the incredible shrinking party can select somebody still farther to the right, and continue to wonder why they’re losing. Repeat as necessary.