It seems there is a shake up among Virginia Democrats coming soon as political infighting has led some within the party to break away from the rank and file siding with the leadership and backing a challenger to party leader David Toscano (D-Charlottesville). Progressive lawmakers instigating the coup are reportedly supporting two-term Delegate Jennifer Boysko (D-Fairfax) after freshman Democrats have become frustrated with Minority Leader Toscano.
The progressive wave that limited the Republican stakehold in the legislature to just a one-member majority campaigned across the state on an animus against anything centrist, corporate, and customarily conventional for the Commonwealth. Hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars of tax increases, attempts to establish sanctuary cities, and screaming and shouting directed towards Republicans is apparently not enough to keep the “Freaky 15” freshman Democrats happy as they are now attacking their own leader.
Toscano started to face this during the 2017 election as he was criticized by primary challenger Ross Mittiga for his corporate-backed campaign donations. As well, some on the far left have affronted his progressive record as being as rigid as a week-old salad. Of course, this goes without mentioning that, according to the new Virginia Progressive Legislative Alert Network (VAPLAN) scorecard, Toscano scored an outrageously progressive 86, with challenger Boysko scoring just a pale blue 53, in comparison.
Some Democrats have argued that certain campaigns have not been prioritized by the leadership in the past. As reported by the Richmond Times-Dispatch, some of the frustrations with the Democratic leadership were expressed during a June meeting with House Democrats at the Omni Homestead Resort in Hot Springs. A group of lawmakers said the leadership has never addressed previous concerns about how the party chooses which campaigns to prioritize.
For example, in 2017, freshman Delegate Lee Carter (D-Prince William) was elected without any party support. This was probably because even Virginia Democrats thought the Marxist candidate – who ran with the Democratic Socialist Party – was too far left.
Regardless of the fact that the Democratic coup makes absolutely no sense, it is unclear if Boysko has enough support to overcome Toscano’s reign – being that at least 25 votes are needed for a leadership vote to be called. Of course, if the attempt to overthrow Toscano is in any way like Boysko’s performance in the House in relation to her record on proper procedure, it will likely end before it even begins.
It is quite possible that the radical left of Virginia’s legislative left doesn’t realize that Toscano was integral in leading the caucus to gain 15 seats in the House of Delegates, most of whom are the exceedingly progressive lawmakers now attempting to oust the seven-year party leader.
Maybe they still don’t realize that knowledge of legislative procedure and politics is necessary for getting bills on the floor for a vote.
Maybe they don’t understand that fundraising is a part of politics – something progressives obviously hate as it looks like “the man” is deciding the fate of proletariat.
And, of course, they definitely don’t understand that the party must engage with Republicans, not simply hurdling rotten vegetables at them in disgust.
The resistance sentiment that has plagued Virginia’s legislature was once thought to be only fighting against the majority-holding GOP. However, it seems that resistance means resistance against the powers that be in any situation – even if that means biting the hand that feeds them.