Delegate Mark Cole (R-Spotsylvania) did his best.

In committee this morning, House Republicans attempted to carve out a provision that would allow a religious exemption to any forced vaccination schematic proposed by Governor Ralph Northam.

The opposition was not based on a blanket opposition to vaccines, but rather a narrow and defined opposition to vaccines that use fetal stem cell tissue — also known as babies — to derive the vaccine.

Of course, House Democrats now found themselves in a pinch.

Everyone knows that killing babies in order to create vaccines is wrong.  Yet even if one cannot bring themselves to that conclusion, everyone understands that there are strongly held opinion on this matter that go well beyond the argumentative.

Yet by voting for conscience protections, the House Democrats sensed a trap.  If they admit that the conscience protections are valid, then they admit that the argument — that we don’t kill people to save people — might also be valid.

So they predictably voted against the measure.

The bill now moves to the full body of the House of Delegates for a vote during a session that has been roundly criticized by the press and by House Republicans as one of the strangest and ill-led sessions in memory.  Given the fact that special sessions are typically called with a bill or purpose in mind, Richmond’s “Long Parliament” continues to run its course downhill.