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By RICHARD AMRHINE
Certainly the downturn in the economy has played a role in the state's financial woes, but you don't find other states reeling like Virginia, because their chief executives weren't too stupid to understand and react to what surely was coming. They didn't pursue tax cuts of historic proportions when revenue projections had clearly reversed course.
Are you wondering why I choose to hammer away at such an easy target,
why I don't just let the poor man be?
Because I don't think he should get away with it. His negligence in high political office is going to reverberate in Virginia for years to come. From Virginia's homeless, aged and infirm, to its state employees and college students, to its businessmen who depend on state contracts for their livelihood, all will realize the fruits of Gilmore's demagoguery.
Anyone who uses Virginia's roads or parks or visits its tourist attractions will discover the damage one misguided administration can do.
Let's point out that Gilmore is only the Jim Jones here. He offered up the poison potion, but he forced no one to drink it. I think Virginians should recognize how penny-wise and pound-foolish so many of them were to leap aboard Gilmore's car-tax-cut bandwagon, and how quickly they saw it transform into Gilmore's fiscal-suicide express.
But in the end, history will reflect how Gilmore, single-handedly, gave new meaning to bad judgment and bad leadership.
He deceived the electorate, plain and
simple, and that's politics in its lowest form.
I keep searching for something positive, and it may be part of Gilmore's legacy that he has brought bipartisanship to a new level: Republicans and Democrats alike can despise Jim Gilmore.
RICHARD AMRHINE is a writer and editor with The Free Lance-Star.