Robert McDonnell (R-VA)-- Living Up To Buy Bull "School" Expectations
Pat & Bob- Master and Servant
We've all made mistakes when we were teenagers that we regret now. When I was in high school I won a scholarship from the UN by writing a paper favoring the death penalty without understanding the absolute inability of judges and juries to be able to guarantee the accuracy of their assessments of guilt. In theory I still favor the death penalty; in practice I oppose it and I'm embarrassed that I wrote that paper. I had just turned 16 at the time.
Today's Washington Post reports, at some length, on a Master's Thesis (here it is in all it's startlingly banal glory) by Robert McDonnell, The Republican Party's Vision For The Family: The Compelling Issue of The Decade. In it McDonnell described working woman and feminists as "detrimental" to the family and he advocated for a very totalitarian position-- beloved of both the Communist and Nazi regimes on the 1940s-- that government policy should favor married couples over "cohabitators, homosexuals or fornicators." He described as "illogical" a 1972 Supreme Court decision legalizing the use of contraception by unmarried couples.
He wasn't attending a real school at the time-- but a Buy Bull "college" run by Pat Robertson in Virginia Beach. One can't logically expect anything else from students of these institutions other than, at best, polished up propaganda, devoid of depth or any kind of critical thinking which is absolutely discouraged in these kinds of brainwashing centers. Today McDonnell, a vicious homophobe and far right extremist, is a candidate for governor of Virginia and he's whining that voters shouldn't judge him based on "a decades-old academic paper I wrote as a student." He wasn't 16 when he wrote it. Nor was he 26. He was 34, hardly a brash act by an intellectually unformed child. In fact, examining McDonnell's legislative record, it is clear that he has been attempting to implement the largely religionist ideas in his paper and force them on all Virginians. (The Buy Bull "college" where he went for his formal brainwashing, Regent, has as its motto: "Christian leadership to change the world.")
The 93-page document, which is publicly available at the Regent University library, culminates with a 15-point action plan that McDonnell said the Republican Party should follow to protect American families -- a vision that he started to put into action soon after he was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates.
During his 14 years in the General Assembly, McDonnell pursued at least 10 of the policy goals he laid out in that research paper, including abortion restrictions, covenant marriage, school vouchers and tax policies to favor his view of the traditional family. In 2001, he voted against a resolution in support of ending wage discrimination between men and women.
One of his thesis' points is the old right wing canard, pushed by Robertson and drummed into the heads of all Regent's students, that the Founding Fathers did not favor separation of Church and State. Another pushes a bizarre plan-- which he went on to push in the Virginia legislature-- to make it more difficult for couples to get divorced and he advocated for religionist indoctrination in public schools. And he make sit clear that he feels progressive taxation policy is "socialist" and should be abolished, something that would tend to wipe out the middle class and gradually bring back the kind of feudal society right-wing loons like McDonnell crave. He was successful in repealing Virginia's estate tax, one of the points he advocated in his paper.
During the campaign McDonnell has been frantic about covering up his extremism and posing as a moderate. Conservatives wink and nod and keep their collective fingers crossed that they can get a true believer into the governor's mansion.
Del. Robert G. Marshall (R-Prince William), who has shared most of McDonnell's conservative positions over the years, said there is no question that the candidate is playing down his conservatism today. Marshall said McDonnell risks alienating two groups of voters: moderates who might view him as hiding his true beliefs and conservatives who might think that he is no longer conservative enough.
"If you duck something, that tells your opponents that you think your position is a liability," said Marshall, who is backing McDonnell. "Why else wouldn't you acknowledge it? But I'll tell you, I've got precinct captains who are annoyed that he's not answering these questions. He doesn't have to bash people in the head with it. But he doesn't have to put it in the closet, either. There's a balance you can take."