Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell: Romney's Anti-Santorum Hatchet Man [UPDATED]

Yet another thing Romney has in common with Obama: he knows that when you want to take down a Catholic, you scrape together 30 pieces of silver and go out and buy yourself another Catholic to do your dirty work for you. Another Catholic like ... say ... Virginia's Gov. Bob McDonnell who will only too willingly defame a fine man like Rick Santorum if it means a spot on a Romney ticket.

The Other McCain reports:
One of Rick Santorum’s campaign slogans is “The Courage to Fight,” and sometimes his supporters might wish the senator would consider that old saying about discretion sometimes being the better part of valor. Any heckler or liberal reporter (but I repeat myself) can throw Santorum the most loaded “gotcha” question and, rather than brushing it aside, Santorum refuses to back down from a fight.

So it was when the subject of women in combat came up last week — the Obama administration wishes to expand the employment of women in such positions — and please observe the
predictable response from Team Romney:
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell chided Rick Santorum on Monday for expressing concerns about women serving in military combat roles.

Santorum told CNN last week that having women on the front lines could lead to a “compromising situation where people naturally may do things that may not be in the interest of the mission because of other types of emotions that are involved.”

He later said he was referring to both male and female emotions.

Either way, the remark did not sit well with McDonnell, a leading Mitt Romney supporter whose oldest daughter Jeanine did a tour of duty in Iraq.

“I like Rick Santorum a lot, I just disagree with any inference he might have made that somehow women are incapable of serving in the front lines and serving in combat positions,” McDonnell said in an interview Monday with CNN’s Kyra Phillips.

“And I base that in part on my own daughter’s own experience as a platoon leader in Iraq with 25 men working with her,” he continued. “She did a great job, as in some very risky situations, and yet endured and led and I’m proud of her. So, I just wanted to make sure people didn’t think that women aren’t capable of doing the job. And I’ve got firsthand experience in saying that.”
Governor McDonnell, you’re arguing like a liberal: Taking the conservative argument about a policy and trying to portray it as being an attack upon people.


McDonnell’s argument is dishonest and, furthermore, why can’t Mitt Romney fight his own fights? Should Mitt Romney wish to pick an argument with Santorum over this issue, by all means let him do so, instead of hiding behind Bob McDonnell’s skirts. Does anyone think it enhances Romney’s reputation to deploy his proxies to make liberal arguments against a conservative rival in a notoriously liberal venue like CNN? Why are Republicans doing the liberals’ work for them?


Far be it from me, as a Maryland resident, to meddle in the internal affairs of the Old Dominion, but if I were a Santorum supporter in Virginia, I’d be outraged by McDonnell’s scurrilous and unseemly attacks on Senator Santorum’s good name. I might even be tempted to contact Governor McDonnell’s office at 804-786-2211, and tell the governor to cease his mendacious campaign of character assassination against Mitt Romney’s conservative rival. If that didn’t get results, I might go so far as to contact the Republican Party of Virginia at 804-780-0111 and ask them why they were supporting McDonnell, who has so obviously hired himself out as Romney’s hatchet man.

Well, as I say, this is the course of action that might seem incumbent upon me if I were a Virginian, concerned about the fair honor of that venerable commonwealth. Were it my privilege to call myself a Virginian, I think my cheeks would blush with shame at the very thought of the dishonorable conduct of Governor McDonnell, who has defamed a fine Christian man like Rick Santorum at the behest of Mitt Romney.
(emphasis in original)

This is how Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell went from being the man I most wanted to see elected to the White House some day to being a GOP establishment hack who I wouldn't vote to be dog catcher. McDonnell should be ashamed of his loathesome attack on Santorum. Now that I see his true colors, I consider McDonnell to be only slightly above the smarmy creep for whom he's shilling. When Romney does finally go down to an inglorious defeat (and he will, be it either in the primaries (hopefully, to Santorum) or in the general election), I hope like hell he takes people like Bob McDonnell down with him.

Please note Gov. McDonnell's phone number prominently listed and highlighted above in the quoted text. I hope you'll give his office a buzz and let them know what you think.

In the comments to his post, The Other McCain goes on to explain in more detail what is so scurrilous about McDonnell's attack on Santorum:
What McDonnell has done is to begin the argument by framing it falsely: If you are opposed to Obama’s policy of expanded roles for women in combat, you must have a prejudicial attitude toward women’s ability. Thus, instead of arguing about the policy, the argument is, “Santorum is a sexist who is prejudiced against women” — an accusation which, by the way, is utterly irrelevant to whether the policy is wise. (That is to say, a prejudiced sexist may be capable of articulating an entirely sound policy argument.) But the implicit accusation of prejudice is made for the political purpose of pre-emptively discrediting Santorum, which is why I say McDonnell argues like a liberal.

It's worse than that. McDonnell argues like a liberal and he SHOULD know better, having himself been on the receiving end of just such scurrilous attacks.

Flash back two-and-a-half years ago - just before the Virginia gubernatorial elections. If you recall, The Washington Post waged just such a scurrilous campaign of attacks against McDonnell and in favor of Creigh Deeds arguing that McDonnell was an out-of-touch culture warrior guilty of sexism because of a graduate dissertation McDonnell wrote regarding the negative effects of women working outside the home. The thrust of The Post's unfair attacks on McDonnell were laid out in a September 1, 2009 editorial entitled "Bob McDonnell, Culture Warrior":

ON MORE THAN one occasion, Robert F. McDonnell, the Republican candidate for governor in Virginia, has offered a soporific description of his graduate school dissertation as a "thesis on welfare policy." This is false.

In fact, Mr. McDonnell's study, written in 1989 at age 34 in support of his master's degree in public policy and degree in law, is a full-throated attack on liberals, modernity, the Great Society and inheritance taxes, among other supposed ills, which he linked to and blamed for homosexuality, declining morality and the degradation of the traditional family, along with the proliferation of pornography, out-of-wedlock sex, day care, birth control, pregnant teenagers, divorce, single mothers, working women and feminists.

The thesis is a wistful ode to a bygone 1950s America, when, Mr. McDonnell noted, 70 percent of American families were led by working fathers and homemaker mothers, and "every state in the union made sexual intercourse between unmarried persons a crime." Sounding at times like an Old Testament prophet, Mr. McDonnell wrote that government must discriminate in favor of married couples and against "cohabitators, homosexuals or fornicators," for "[t]he cost of sin should fall on the sinner not the taxpayer."


A deeply researched, passionately written manifesto, the thesis posits a detailed Republican strategy to roll back the evils that Mr. McDonnell saw as afflicting American society generally and the family in particular. On the eve of his political career, Mr. McDonnell was a committed and convinced culture warrior of the right.


... in his 14 years in the state's General Assembly, Mr. McDonnell did aggressively pursue a socially conservative agenda largely in line with his thesis. As governor he could do the same, although he would be constrained by a legislature at least partly controlled by Democrats. He could not ban abortion and contraception, but he could help restrict access. The Bob McDonnell who wrote that thesis would make a divisive, disruptive and partisan governor -- a sharp departure from the tradition of generally pragmatic executives who have helped make Virginia one of the better-managed states in the union. Virginians deserve specific answers about where the thinking of his early middle age has shifted, and where it remains consistent.
And The Post continued to hound McDonnell as an out-of-touch sexist right up until election day. For McDonnell to now "go there" with Santorum, adopting the assumptions, tactics, and rhetoric of the left, is just despicable and marks him in my book as a person with no honor. I'm absolutely disgusted.

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