Virginia should be reeling

From The Washington Post:

At age 34, two years before his first election and two decades before he would run for governor of Virginia, Robert F. McDonnell submitted a master’s thesis to the evangelical school he was attending in Virginia Beach in which he described working women and feminists as “detrimental” to the family. He said 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.

Original DVD cover

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.

In his run for governor, McDonnell, 55, makes little mention of his conservative beliefs and has said throughout his campaign that he should be judged by what he has done in office, including efforts to lower taxes, stiffen criminal penalties and reform mental health laws.


He said that his views on family policy were best represented by his 1995 welfare reform legislation and that he “worked to include child day care in the bill so women would have greater freedom to work.” What he wrote in the thesis on women in the workplace, he said, “was simply an academic exercise and clearly does not reflect my views.”

McDonnell also said that government should not discriminate based on sexual orientation or ban contraceptives and that “I am not advocating vouchers as there are legal questions regarding their constitutionality in Virginia.”


McDonnell brought up the paper [in an interview with The Washington Post] in reference to a pair of Republican congressmen whom he interviewed as part of his research. McDonnell then offered: “I wrote my thesis on welfare policy.”

So the past is handy as long as you can rewrite it but not when someone else points out the facts?

McDonnell’s opponent, state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds (Bath), and other Democrats have sought to highlight McDonnell’s conservative record, saying he is obscuring a large part of his background to get elected. Deeds recently spoke to women’s groups about McDonnell’s record on abortion, saying that voters needed to know about his stances.


When asked about Regent, McDonnell generally responds that it is one of many schools he has attended.


After four years in the Army and the start of a management career with a Fortune 500 health supply company, McDonnell moved with his wife, Maureen, and two young daughters from a suburb of Kansas City, Mo., to Virginia Beach, where he enrolled in a public policy master’s program at what was then called CBN University. The school was founded by Pat Robertson and named for his Christian Broadcasting Network.

McDonnell said that he was seeking a faith-based institution that explored the Christian origins of Western law and that he and his wife wanted to return to Virginia, where they grew up. The school expected students to take their faith seriously; they were admitted only after signing a statement affirming that Jesus Christ was their savior. The school also produced a number of politically active conservatives. Its Web site used to say that 150 of its graduates worked in President George W. Bush’s administration. Regent’s motto: Christian leadership to change the world.


[McDonnell’s] 1989 thesis — “The Republican Party’s Vision for the Family: The Compelling Issue of The Decade” — was on the subject he wanted to explore at Regent: the link between Christianity and U.S. law.


The thesis wasn’t so much a case against government as a blueprint to change what he saw as a liberal model into one that actively promoted conservative, faith-based principles through tax policy, the public schools, welfare reform and other avenues.

“Leaders must correct the conventional folklore about the separation of church and state,” he wrote. “Historically, the religious liberty guarantees of the First Amendment were intended to prevent government encroachment upon the free church, not eliminate the impact of religion on society.”

He argued for covenant marriage, a legally distinct type of marriage intended to make it more difficult to obtain a divorce. He advocated character education programs in public schools to teach “traditional Judeo-Christian values” and other principles that he thought many youths were not learning in their homes. He called for less government encroachment on parental authority, for example, redefining child abuse to “exclude parental spanking.” He lamented the “purging of religious influence” from public schools. And he criticized federal tax credits for child care expenditures because they encouraged women to enter the workforce.


He went on to say feminism is among the “real enemies of the traditional family.”


McDonnell’s thesis also spends a good deal of time on the importance of tax policy to the health of families. He called for the repeal of the estate tax and for the adoption of a modified flat tax to replace the graduated income tax. Awarding deductions and distributions based on need “is socialist,” McDonnell wrote.

His advocacy of abortion restrictions is well known; he sponsored or co-sponsored numerous pieces of legislation on the topic, including a ban on late-term abortions, a requirement that minors receive parental consent before having an abortion and a mandated 24-hour waiting period for women seeking an abortion. He and like-minded colleagues succeeded in repealing Virginia’s estate tax and reforming welfare law, as well as restricting access to abortion.

He also sponsored bills on four occasions to establish covenant marriage in Virginia. All four were unsuccessful.


One controversy that drew wide attention was an effort in the General Assembly in 2003 to end the judicial career of Verbena M. Askew, a Circuit Court judge from Newport News who had been accused of sexual harassment by a woman who worked for her. As chairman of the Courts of Justice Committee, McDonnell led the effort in the House.


McDonnell was widely quoted at the time as saying that homosexual activity raised questions about a person’s qualifications to be a judge.


Askew, who was not reappointed, denied any wrongdoing and was never found by a court to have harassed the employee.

Republican friends who support McDonnell’s campaign for governor acknowledge parting ways with some of his more conservative views. Former governor and U.S. senator George [Macaca] Allen said he doesn’t share McDonnell’s opposition to abortion in cases of rape or incest. […] And state Sen. Kenneth W. Stolle (Virginia Beach), a close friend first elected to the legislature the same year as McDonnell, described covenant marriage as “the state overstepping its bounds.”


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.


Filed under abortion, Chimpy, Christianity, Democrats, Evangelicals, George W. Bush, Homophobia, Homosexuality, Pat Robertson, Supreme Court

33 responses to “Virginia should be reeling

  1. jeb

    We’ve seen this movie before. Back in 1988 when Pat Robertson decided to run for the Rethug Nomination. He really tried his hardest to pretend he wasn’t actually a nut-case foaming-at-the-mouth neanderthal and sometime he almost appeared to be something approaching a human being. He couldn’t sustain it though.

    • i think old pat is certifiable. he’s got a few screws loose. in fact, i don’t think he has any tightened ones.

    • Kevin McCarthy

      Hey, at least we have access to his thesis. . .how about Obama. . .let’s see his college papers. . .oh, I forgot. . .sealed under lock and key. . .

      • obama won. get over it, asshole.

        • KarenZipdrive

          These fucking Republicans and their sense of entitlement make me sick.
          They show up where they’re not wanted and waste bytes spewing their stupid, paranoid theories even though they know they’re opening themselves to criticism. They’ll do anything for attention, even negative attention.
          Look, angry white guy, your time is up.
          Deal with it…elsewhere.

  2. This guy would have women wearing aprons & popping out babies, while the husband ruled the roost.
    Anyone who studied under Pat Robertson is either brain washed, brain dead or both.

  3. Uh-oh…I am a fornicator. Thank Buddha I don’t live in Virginia.

  4. jeb

    OK, don’t know how to embed videos on this site but I always loved Al Franken’s impersonation of Pat Robertson on SNL when he was running for President. Perhaps Bob McDonnell can get some tips watching this.

  5. feminism is among the β€œreal enemies of the traditional family.”

    Interesting, but what exactly is “traditional family”? Does he mean like the Stepford Wives kind of family?

    • the fundies are stuck in 1960’s tv. they think leave it to beaver was a documentary, and families really were like that.

    • I suspect the kind of “traditional family” they really want is the kind they have in Saudi Arabia… You know 5 wives and 10 concubines.

      • hello mykelb,
        welcome to the raisin! πŸ˜€

        i think you’re correct about what kind of traditional families people like bobby mcd want. by the waym i can think of no better punishment for him than 5 mothers-in-law. πŸ˜‰

  6. regent university
    that says it all

  7. Well, since I live in VA I have to say that it really wouldn’t surprise me if these people here vote this dickhole into office. Of course, I’m not voting for him, but then I’m not a native Virginian, so we’ll just have to see what happens…

  8. Jon

    Why cant Republicans just keep their mouths shut for 5 minutes. As soon as Obama won, their propaganda machine started working overtime. Obama won, you lost, now please go away for another 8 yeas.

    Rabble rabble.

    • hello jon,
      welcome to the raisin! πŸ˜€

      they can’t accept the fact that they lost, and instead of being the responsible opposition party, they just bitch and moan and waste time.

  9. Joanaroo

    150 alumni of CBN University in Dubya’s administration. Well, that sure explains things. And as for birth control for unmarried couples, good thing! That way with the conservatives screwing each others wives and husbands hopefully that kept the chance of a new generation of these idiots being born!

    • the conservatives want a theocracy, not a democracy. i guess they figure people will be easier to control if they’re blinded by and with religion.