McDonnell’s Not-so-Secret Affair with Virginia’s Taxpayer Dollars

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    Michigan welcomed Gov. McDonnell at the Kent County Lincoln Day Dinner in Grand Rapids to stump for “Michigan’s favorite son,” Mitt Romney. Apart from the question of who is paying for this trip (oh, that’s right, it appears that Virginia’s taxpayers are footing nearly half of Gov. McDonnell’s joyous getaways. Tough sell for a “fiscal conservative,” right? Maybe not), it seems clear that our dear governor has grand political visions for himself. Who could blame McDonnell? He’s intelligent, charming, politically connected and adept, and a sweetheart for a wide spectrum of the Republican Party’s base of supporters (Disclaimer: I don’t really believe most of what I just said).

    The word is out that McDonnell would love to hitch a ride on Mitt Romney’s wings to the Oval Office as Vice President of the U.S. The obvious problem here is that McDonnell still has an executive branch to run in Virginia at a time when the crazies in the General Assembly have been let out of their cages to pass all kinds of sh*%. Clearly, the VA GOP needs its top dog to quell the growing tide of archaic legislative policy that has somehow made its way out of both chambers of the legislature.  

    Unfortunately, not only is McDonnell traveling on the Virginia taxpayer’s dime, his geographical distance from Virginia and concentration on other things non-Virginia related have left the door open for “transvaginal” ultrasounds and definitions of personhood as starting at conception. This isn’t to say that McDonnell’s Herculean presence would have been enough to stem this legislative blitzkrieg by ideologues on the right, but it’s possible.

    Of course, I’m assuming that McDonnell has been relatively “out of the loop” from a fairly early stage in this year’s session of the General Assembly. But if McDonnell knew about the possibility of success for these controversial bills in the legislature, why didn’t he act sooner to blunt them, what would McDonnell have to gain by letting such controversial legislation pass into law? Does McDonnell really believe in the appropriateness of these bills? If not, was McDonnell’s inaction merely a huge political mistake?

    Whatever the answers, the rights of women have come under immense attack once again. We seem to continuously repeat the mistakes of history. In so doing, we do not reinforce the tenets of our society, tenets such as liberty and equality, through constant reaffirmation. We leave scars behind for future generations that, if they remember, taint the exceptionalism and optimism that has defined the U.S. from its beginnings as a country.