by Paul Goldman
Not since Agnew and Nixon have Republicans been fighting among themselves to see who can resign first. It now appears the bombshell resignation story posted this past weekend on the conservative blog Bearing Drift – “What goes around comes around: Bob McDonnell to resign as part of plea agreement” – was right after all about there being a resignation deal involving the Governor. However, the controversial poster Willie “Tell Them Willie Boy is Here” Deutsch appears to have mixed up the elements to his story, creating an internet bombshell that has been dropped on his own conservative journalistic troops.
According to multiple sources, Bearing Drift editor-in-chief Shaun Kenney, in hopes of saving what is left of his reputation and that of his blog, is in the process of cutting a plea deal with McDonnell’s lawyers, along with the Governor’s appointee as Internet Censor in Chief, UVA Professor Larry Sabato (aka Cato The Elder). The provisions in the plea deal will apparently require Mr. Kenney to resign his position, return all the gifts given to him by those seeking to influence the positions taken by his blog, and a promise by the now defrocked high priest of iconoclastic conservatism to refrain from posting or in any way publishing future pieces on Virginia politics unless Sabato The Elder first determines such writings are free of any irresponsible rumor mongering.
As for Willie “Tell Them Willie Boy is Here” Deutsch, he remains defiant, accusing the blog of being the political equivalent of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid, not a steadfast defender of the conservative truth.
I admit: These stunning revelations, one on top of another, are food for thought, as is the “meatball” controversy between Governor McDonnell’s lawyer Tony Troy and His Excellency’s press guy Tucker Martin. Early yesterday, Mr. Troy said that the Governor’s kids had not wrongfully taken any food from the Mansion and his client didn’t need to reimburse any money. Mr. Troy compared the situation to when his mom gave him a cold meatball sandwich for the drive back to college.
Good mom, good story: but a little dated apparently since shortly thereafter. Mr. Martin later revealed that the Governor McDonnell sent a $2,400 check to the state to cover whatever food his kids might have wrongfully taken from the Mansion. Mr. Troy had said the kid’s expenses amounted to maybe 50 bucks, give or take, for each college return. The press guy said his boss was only making reimbursement to silence the liberals and other political enemies of the Governor determined to make a political meal out of this non-story.
Foodgate, Resignationgate, Giftgate, Rolexgate, Weddinggate, Shoppingspreegate, Starscientificstockgate, Chefgate, Bearingdriftgate. I ask you: What is a Virginian to believe or not believe about the Governor, bloggers, censors, you name it? No wonder people yearn for a simpler time, when you had the Soviet Union on one side, the US of A on the other, with 30,000 nuclear missiles pointed at each other and Dr. Strangelove plotting first-strike strategies. The world back then was protected by a workable MAD strategy, Mutually Assured Destruction.
But that was back then. So where are we right now?
Willie “Tell Them Willie Boy is Here” Deutsch may have just had his fifteen minutes of fame, as the adage goes. Mr. Shaun Kenney’s reputation is now directly tied to Willie Boy. They will be forever known as the Dumb and Dumber of political journalism unless the Governor suffers the fate claimed on Bearing Drift. The blog’s reputation is likewise directly tied to their fate.
As for the Governor, it is hard to believe he has screwed up to the point of having to resign: but it is becoming easy to believe that he screwed up to the point of being resigned to the fact his political career might be over, both in Virginia and nationally.
So in that sense, Governor McDonnell resigned several months ago. But people are only now beginning to notice.