The "Virginia Way"... sighhhhh

More news today on the VA House Clerk's staffers entering the Governor's offices without permission. Or maybe not news so much as mythology.

I'm relatively new to the state - we've lived here for about five years now - and as a newcomer from the north, I must admit there are two bits of Virginia discourse that I just can't stand.

One is Confederacy nostalgia. (More on that another time.)

The other is the "Virginia Way." This is a supposed tradition in Virginia of civilized (sometimes called <ugh> "gentlemanly") discourse and cooperation among politicians. So this week we have Senate Democrats complaining that Speaker Howell's budget "trespass" violates the Virginia Way (h/t to Blue Virginia), as well as the Richmond Times Dispatch editorial page noting that "Virginia long has considered itself an island of dignity, integrity and restraint."

Maybe it was that at one point. (Although I have a hunch there's some nice historical revisionism at work there.) But can we please, PLEASE retire the idea that Virginia politics is somehow special? I moved here from New Jersey, where there's a spot for listing your felony convictions on your campaign filing forms. And I have to see I don't see any big difference, and haven't since I landed here.

State-level politics throughout the country ranges from circus to cesspool. Virginia is no different. Let's drop the mythology, shall we?