Michael Hamar

Bob "Dubya" McDonnell - Virginia's Future Governor?

Filed By Michael Hamar | August 26, 2009 12:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Politics, Politics

As an activist and political junkie, to date the race for Governor of Virginia is leaving me on the verge of being despondent. The reasons are many, but the principal ones are

  1. A lack luster Democrat candidate in the form of Creigh Deeds who seems to be doing NOTHING in terms of out reach to important non-rural segments of the Democrat Party,
  2. A totally dishonest campaign by Bob McDonnell that is going unchallenged by the Democrats and Deeds in particular,
  3. And a mainstream media that is refusing to point a spot light on Bob McDonnell's legislative record and his actions as Attorney General that demonstrate that he is no moderate and has economic policy akin to those of George W. Bush.

It is simply maddening.

Bush_Holding_bob.jpgOn this latter issue, The Virginia Democrat has a recent post that looks at the parallels between the Bush's 2000 campaign and what is happening in the current race for governor of Virginia. The piece correctly places some of the blame on the lazy MSM which is failing to look at the substance of McDonnell's past record and is instead focused on political maneuvering and running stories without substance - basically the same bullshit that helped get the Chimperator elected in 2000 and allowed the country to be sucked into the Iraq War.

Since the MSM is once again NOT doing its job, it is imperative that the Deeds team change the storyline to put the focus on the real Bob McDonnell - not the carefully packaged one show by his disingenuous campaign. I recommend Virginians read the full post. Here are some highlights:

Bob McDonnell's love of George W. Bush's economic policies is not the only thing Bob has in common with our 43rd president, perhaps the worst in our history. In fact, if Bob McDonnell is elected governor, odds are he will do for Virginia what Dubya did for the United States. So, I guess, if you liked George W. Bush, you will probably love Bob McDonnell. As for me and all other sentient Virginians, however, it scares the Bejesus out of us.


All of this was easily foreseen from Bush's record. And it is not as if this record was hidden; the mainstream media reported it all, even if they did not embrace it as a theme for their campaign coverage. The reason is that Bush ran a brilliant campaign in 2000 that showed an uncanny knack for manipulating media coverage to his benefit. Times were good. After eight years of good management under Bill Clinton, the country was doing well, and it was hard for people to envision how a President could screw it up so royally.


There were two reasons for this state of affairs. First, The Bush campaign did an excellent job of keeping the focus during the 2000 campaign on the political process rather than substance. Was Al Gore telling another white lie? Was he changing the color of his clothes? Are the Clintons against him? Was his kiss with Tipper at the convention in poor taste? And on and on. Second, for a variety of reasons the MSM far preferred writing stories about these process issues rather than do serious and more difficult reporting, reporting that admittedly may have been arguably less appealing to readers generally, but without question more useful to informing voters. (If you have time and want to take a fascinating look at the press's performance in this election, go check out the incomparable archives, circa 1999-2000, of legendary web site The Daily Howler.)


In 2009 in Virginia, Bob seems to have the very same problem that Dubya had in 2000, nationally. He has a record as a legislator - anti-choice, anti-public education, obstructing efforts to create jobs, anti-worker, anti-Southside, and gay - that were it fully understood and evaluate would be troubling to Virginia's growing purple population. That is why Bob is working very hard to obfuscate his record in this election. So far, so good -- for him, at least. The press has not shown an inclination to really probe into Bob's record and let voters know what that record may say about what kind of governor Bob McDonnell might make. And like George W. Bush, McDonnell has (so far) successfully sought to keep the campaign's focus firmly on process, not the issues. For example, when Creigh raised the issue of Bob's record on choice, the MSM covered is mainly as a process story, evaluating it as a campaign tactic, rather than getting to the substance of the charge that Bob's rhetoric was at odds with his record. The MSM didn't even flinch when Bob simply refused to discuss it, because as a matter of process, it was a brilliant strategy. And when McDonnell falsely charges that Creigh promised not to bring up social issues in the campaign, well, yee-ha, we got us another process story!


Faced with a record of hostility toward gay Virginians and a consistent record of supporting discrimination again gay people throughout society, Bob simply says, "I won't discriminate." Oh, all right then -- a good tactical move, even if it is totally inconsistent with his entire career. Creigh made a major speech this past week defining the differences between himself and Bob. The McDonnell campaign falsely alleged it was just another is a series of restarts, when everyone knew that the real campaign has not even begun yet - that will happen on Labor Day. And, of course, the MSM was only too willing to cover the speech as a process story, reporting on, but eschewing any serious discussion of the issues Creigh's speech raised. Rather, we got a process story about Creigh and NoVA, right out the McDonnell/Bush playbook. The story is the same on virtually every substantive area.


On transportation, Bob proposes a funding plan so absurd it is difficult to think someone as smart as him actually believes it. But, he sure expects us to buy into it. On education, Bob has been singularly uninterested in public education his entire public career, but somehow expects us to believe it will be a priority for him if elected governor. Anyone who has looked at Bob's record, however, knows this is just so much hooey. It goes on and on.


But here is the cold, hard truth. Records matter. More than the rhetoric candidates utter in the crucible of an election, records are much better indicators of what a politician may do once they get into office than anything else, particularly campaign rhetoric. Bob can try to run from his extreme Conservative record and from his clear focus on narrow, ideologically driven responses to critical issues in the Commonwealth. He may even succeed as a candidate. But the fact is that Bob's record is a much more accurate indicator of the kind of Governor he will be, and that is why it is important that he be forced to respond to questions raised on social issues; questions raised on his non-existent record on supporting public education; questions raised on his drill, baby, drill certitude on off-shore drilling even though the science is unclear; and questions raised by his clear ideologically-driven record on the economy,


One way or another, voters need to see and comprehend Bob's record, or we could be seeing the Third Bush Term in Virginia for the next four years.I can only quote, ironically enough, former President Bush's own words of warning: "Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, and, uh, we won't get fooled again."

Added to this state of affairs is an upcoming McDonnell spending burst ultimately funded by the Republican Governors Association. No doubt this will help McDonnell further disseminate his false message.

Here are highlights from the Washington Post:

We told you yesterday that a Republican PAC, Virginia Common Sense, was starting to air TV ads for Bob McDonnell this week. Now we know how it's paying for the ads: The Republican Governors Association has just reported giving $2.5-million to Virginia Common Sense, the RGA's political action committee, according to the Virginia Public Access Project, which tracks campaign money in the state.

My question remains: when will Creigh Deeds and the Democrats get off their butts and begin a serious campaign to stop McDonnell? I also fear that Deeds is pulling down the entire state wide Democrat ticket.

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Brandi Parker | August 28, 2009 9:40 AM

I see it as a sign ....it's an Omen ! It's time to get the hell out of Virginia while the getting is good.....I knew once Deeds was the Dem choice we we we're in deep dodo....... Now I'm leaving and letting the Bigots have Virginia. I'm sure Bob Will get along just fine with our bias legislators....and the gblt police will be on the prowl for those nasty lgbt people cleaning up the streets and making their lives very uncomfortable so they leave the state. Just like the recent Texas bar raid it's the sixties all over again.