In my post about Bob McDonnell’s 20 year-old extremist graduate school thesis, I noted that there is “more where that came from” with respect to the social conservativsm of Virginia’s Republican gubernatorial candidate. Today, the “more” I had in mind landed on the front page of the Washington Post. As I read the story, I realized that if it’s more, it ain’t much more.
The latest attempt to scare or distract Virginia voters at least has the merit of recency. In 2003, as a Virginia state delegate, McDonnell helped lead the charge against the reappointment of a judge named Verbena Askew.
But recency is the story’s only merit. Leading the charge against Askew was (dare I say it?) “God’s work.” First, Askew appears to have been a bad judge. About half of the local lawyers polled in a survey considered her unsatisfactory (the Post omits this data). Second, Askew had been accused of sexually harassing a female subordinate and had been found by a state hearing officer to have retaliated against her for making these accusations. The case had resulted in a $64,000 settlement.
So why the fuss? Because a Virginia newspaper quoted McDonnell as stating that, while he would not consider a judge disqualified for being gay, there is “certain homosexual conduct” that would raise “some questions about the qualifications to serve as a judge.” McDonnell now denies the accuracy of the quotation; at the time he apparently called it “inartful.”
McDonnell was also asked by a reporter whether he had ever violated the “crimes against nature” act, which prohibits oral and anal sexual contact. McDonnell reportedly answered, “not that I can recall.”
So, again, why the fuss? Because McDonnell, who unlike the judge had not been accused of sexually-related misconduct, may not have fully disclosed his sexual practices to a reporter? I give him points for that.
Or because McDonnell seems to believe that some forms of criminal homosexual conduct might raise questions about a judge’s fitness for office. Depending on what McDonnell had in mind, I might give him points for that too. As an issue that might influence my vote, however, it seems neither here nor there, and I suspect that’s how most voters, and nearly all voters who might be partial to McDonnell, will view it.
As with McDonnell’s thesis, the real question is, why is the story running now. Is it because something more substantial is being held in reserve for October, or because McDonnell is still far enough ahead in the polls that the Dems and their friends in the MSM felt they couldn’t wait any longer?
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“Arise and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.” Winston Churchill