Feminists, Working Women, Homosexuals, Oh My!
What were you doing in 1989?
I was wearing floral dresses against my will that my mom picked out for me and rocking some serious bangs. I did look super cute though, and if I ever run for governor I won’t have to hold an emergency press conference to explain how my views have change since that magical year.
Yesterday, Virginia Gubernatorial Candidate Bob McDonnell did just that.
On Sunday news broke in the Washington Post of a thesis McDonnell wrote in 1989 when he was working for his master’s in public policy and his J.D. at Regent University (an evangelical university founded by Pat Robertson). He wrote the 93 page paperat the age of 34 and described working women and feminists as “detrimental” to the family, said government policy should favor married couples over “cohabitators, homosexuals or fornicators” and argued that the use of contraception by unmarried couples was “illogical.” He also mentions that it is the responsibility of Republicans to “correct the conventional folklore about the separation of church and state.”
News of McDonnell’s thesis entitled, “The Republican Party’s Vision for the Family: The Compelling Issue of the Decade” made news in the Richmond Times Dispatch yesterday, and amidst blogs and newspapers picking up the story all over the state, McDonnell called a phone conference with the press. The RTD wrote another article today with some of McDonnell’s comments and retractions from the phone call. McDonnell stressed that his views have changed since he wrote that paper.
Claiming his views at the time had been shaped by his Catholic faith, Army service and Reagan-era Republicanism, McDonnell nonetheless said his perspective has changed on such issues as women in the workplace, homosexuality and divorce — all of which he depicted in his thesis as threats.
But there are some inconsistencies between McDonnell’s speaking that his views have changed and his record which demonstrates that they truly have not. The Times notes,
As for gays, McDonnell said that in hiring decisions as attorney general, he was interested only in candidates’ qualifications and not their sexual orientation. McDonnell, however, made no mention of an opinion he wrote early in his term in which he said Gov. Timothy M. Kaine acted illegally in vowing to protect gay state employees from discrimination in the workplace.
And in the conclusion of the thesis, McDonnell spells out a 15 point plan for Republicans to follow in the protection of the traditional family, 10 of which he has pursued through legislation during his time in office.
This has the potential to be a real turning point in this race. Creigh Deeds, McDonnell’s democratic opponent, trails in the polls by anywhere from 7 to 15 points.
The Washington Post has endorsed Deeds and there is no question their discovery and release of the thesis will help their candidate in the last 4 weeks before the election. What is more surprising is how hard the Richmond Times Dispatch has come down on McDonnell for his ’89 thesis. Where they have had the opportunity to argue that the past is the past and he should not be judged by his old ideas, they have done the opposite, explaining how those hateful ideas are still evident in his more recent legislating. When the RTD is coming after you for being too conservative, you might have a problem…
Mayme Donohue is a Richmond native and Master’s Candidate in Political Management at George Washington University. She’s a rockstar and you can catch more of her thoughts and musings on gay politics and lesbian gossip at Maymes.
The RTD published an OpEd about the firing of gay man from a Catholic-run care facility and left out some important facts
If you fire someone for being in a 30 year relationship in a nation where 50% of marriages end in divorce than your a bigot.October 22, 2015
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