“I absolutely hate taxes,” says one Virginia Republican. “But I love Virginia more.” That’s a new GOP soundbite for hiking taxes by billions in my state–an effort that has produced an amusing and wholly deserved headline in today’s New York Times: “Virginia Political Shocker: Republicans for High Taxes.” (Can you imagine the howls if John Kerry said, “I absolutely hate taxes, but I love American more”?) The only thing now standing between Virginians an a higher sales tax, a higher income tax, etc., etc., is a group of brave Republicans in the House of Delegates who haven’t forgotten that the conservative party is the one that’s supposed to be against this stuff. Virginia is one of the states that has elections in odd-numbered years, which means nobody will face the voters this fall. But next year is a gubernatorial race–and Old Dominion Republicans may very well enter it as the party of bigger government, higher spending, and more taxes.