Bob McDonnell has consistently demonstrated that he is all show and no go. Always at the ready to take credit for anything that plays well with his constituency, he chides responsibility when a misstep challenges the façade of success. This time, though, the Texas two-step isn't serving him well. He has drawn unwanted attention.
Take his running job creation and trade mission storylines. Neither of these campaigns was designed to lift the Virginia economy. Both were empty vessels floated to buoy his resume. If perchance employment grew and/or foreign investment occurred, he could always claim credit via post hoc ergo proctor hoc attribution. Hey, don't let credit go wasted. Democrats in Virginia aren't having any of it.
But in the cases like his failed attempt to privatize the Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) stores, his big lies about righting the Virginia Retirement System while robbing the trust to "balance the budget," and handouts to indigents like Dan Snyder and Donald Trump, all things he can't deny he owns, he's left a trail of deceptions whose accumulation along with his well-documented reactionary pronouncements on social issues, have derailed his ambitions. He may end up the lamest of lame ducks.
That Governor, who, as will be addressed separately, is susceptible the same kind of illusions as our own Bob McDonnell, was unwilling to distance himself from any association with Sandusky or Penn State even when any competent prosecutor would have had been well beyond alarm. When Corbett became AG, the allegations had been percolating for a good while. So the failure to pursue an investigation does not fall squarely on him alone. But...Corbett was in office for six years while Sandusky's abuse continued.
Penn State is a behemoth institution with the kind of influence that reaches into every corner of the state and beyond. Political success in Pennsylvania includes being on board with that reality. It is easier to bask in the halo's glow than to chance a shadow on your own ambitions. It's a common human weakness; authority allows it to blossom and in this case Corbett and Sandusky and Penn State were all seduced by it. That partially explains why our own Governor has moon-walked away from the crisis at UVA. McDonnell thinks he has fashioned a position where he can claim decisive action and stay on the good side of everyone including disgraced political allies like now former Vice-Rector Mark Kington.
Without gifts from the Governor or a phone call while he was in town, they're still here. McDonnell's European itinerary ignored business partners. Apparently his concept of trade is soybeans, timber, and wine in exchange for German autos. Potentially a long-term barter arrangement is in the cards; never industrial expansion.
Bent on turning Virginia into an agrarian backwater where oversimplified mantras can survive in the protective bubble of isolation, Governor McDonnell continues to push products for which there is plenty of demand and very little justification or opportunity for increased production. And even if the demand justifies expansion, the number of middle class jobs that could be created remains at the margin. Raw materials rather than manufactured goods seem to be the order of the day...skipping the entrepreneur and any hope of value added. See McAuliffe's efforts to turn raw timber into finished, high demand wood pellets.
Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli thinks tax cuts will hurt the economy. "It puts a few dollars in people's pockets and everybody would appreciate more money in their pockets, but it also increases the deficit in a way that doesn't stimulate the economy."
Um...run that one by me again? Aren't Republicans always in favor of tax cuts? Don't they repeat like every day that they are the best thing for whatever ails the economy?
Well, apparently not, when a tax cut proposal comes from a demonized Democratic president. And for those who thought that Cuccinelli was ideologically consistent, the evidence keeps coming in that it's partisanship, and the quest for power, that drives his decision-making -- not principle.
You can point to his decision to excuse fellow Republican Governor McDonnell from prosecution for violating the open meetings law. Hey, what's a little law-breaking among fellow party members?
And you can point to his continued harassment of climate scientist -- and Koch target -- Professor Michael Mann and his former employer, UVA. For all that he and his Tealiban acolytes talk about "liberty" and claim to revere the Constitution, this case proves that the Bill of Rights is the first thing to go out the window when they gain power and have an enemy -- or prized scapegoat -- in their sights.
Even after UVA agreed to disgorge thousands of documents to a conservative group that filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the same info, the Ayatollah General continues his mad pursuit like Captain Ahab chasing the white whale.
Just the other day, Cuccy had his deputy in court continuing to pursue the case, even claiming "We don't care if global warming (theory) is right or wrong. It's whether the data was intentionally or knowingly manipulated." This despite the fact that Cuccinelli's filings on the case read like a breathless conspiracy theory diary posted on a climate denialist blog.
Yes, it's all in a day's work for Cuccinelli. It's just not honest work.