Wilder: I'd have finished health care by now
Former Virginia governor L. Douglas Wilder lamented President Barack Obama's methodical approach to enacting a national health care package, extolled the virtues of his threatened one-handgun-a-month law, and defended his recent call for the president to fire Tim Kaine as chair of the Democratic National Committee. The always-outspoken Wilder made his remarks Wednesday afternoon, March 3, in the political science classroom of UVA professor Larry Sabato.
"Virginia used to be known as the gun capital of the world," said Wilder, pointing to the 1993 handgun law, which reduced the appearance of Virginia-bought weapons involved in Northeast crime by 66 to 71 percent, as –- along with the fiscal conservatism that earned Virginia "best managed state" honors–- as a key achievement.
"One handgun a month," exclaimed Wilder, who notes that he owns a handgun. "Isn't that 12 a year? And if you're married isn't that 24 a year? How many do you need, for God's sake?"
Much to Wilder's relief, the repeal bill, HB49, which was proposed by Republican Delegate Scott Lingamfelter, was officially killed on Monday, March 8, when it was left in a Democrat-controlled General Assembly subcommittee.
Wilder defended his criticism of Kaine in the wake of key election losses in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and in their home state of Virginia.
"We haven't been beaten like that as Democrats in 50 years," said Wilder of Republican Bob McDonnell's lopsided victory in the recent gubernatorial election.
As for health care, the former Virginia governor (whose 1989 election as an African-American blazed a path much like the one blazed by the current president nearly a decade later) suggested that Obama has taken too tentative an approach.
"If I had 60 votes and if were the president of the United States and I have a year to go, you'd have health care today."
Quicktime audio of the whole talk is archived here at readthehook.com.
–expanded at 12:41pm Tuesday, March 9