It is a fair question to ask, and frankly, one that needs to be discussed.
Over the last few days I have published several posts written by others expressing concern, disappointment and a lot of frustration at the behavior of Governor McDonnell, a man that these people worked so hard to put in office.
No one expected that we would agree on everything. Life is just not that simple.
But most were confident that they knew Bob McDonnell and what was in his heart, especially when it comes down to basic human values, the sanctity of life and his support of Christian values.
While we expected to have our differences on some issues, the sanctity of life was not one of those issues where we expected problems.
And yet, here we are, facing what can only be called a betrayal of trust and a crisis of faith in the man we thought we knew, Bob McDonnell.
The buzz has grown to an audible level as bewilderment turns to anger.
Redstate had a post on the issue this morning saying McDonnell has hung the Virginia GOP out to dry:
Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, a Romney supporter and leading contender for the VP spot on a Romney-headed ticket, demonstrated his complete philosophical alignment with Romney yesterday by flipflopping on a bill he has championed and in the process hanging VA GOP delegates out to dry.
For those who haven’t been paying attention, Virginia’s legislature has been going after the abortion industry root and branch. Last year they passed a law requiring aborttoirs to be regulated as if they did what they do: perform a surgical procedure which can be life threatening. This year a bill is being finalized that requires a woman seeking an abortion to see ultrasound pictures of the baby. Somehow this bill, which does not require any medical procedure the woman was not going to receive in the first place, has the pro-abortion lobby in a tizzy. Dahlia Lithwick at Slate has predictably styled this as rape.
Up until yesterday, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell had unconditionally supported the bill.
There is an update on the post now which reads “I’m informed by someone very much in touch with the Virginia political scene that the root of the problem is that Bob McDonnell’s staff are, at the best, pro-life squishes and they are presently negotiating with themselves over the best way of selling out.”
Which, if true, is even more disturbing than the Governor simply going back on his word. If it is his staff that are running things, then it makes a discussion that I had with a couple of Conservative friends yesterday even more on point.
It is no secret that Bob McDonnell has his eye on a Vice Presidential nod by the Virginia Republican Establishment’s Anointed Candidate Mitt Romney. And while most of the nation’s and Virginia’s Conservatives watch Romney languish in his attempts to convince an electorate that has been burned by the failed bids of Bob Dole and John McCain, also Republican Anointed Candidates, that a New England Republican is a Conservative, most Virginians are in the same boat.
Romney can’t break out of the 30% range for good reason. And that tells the tale that 70% prefer someone not named Romney.
But even as our Lt. Governor has taken the helm of Romney’s Virginia Campaign and our Governor has taken to the air to campaign for Mitt, the General Assembly is in a delicate time. Lt. Governor Bolling has been focused on the session at hand and has done an outstanding job breaking tie votes and fulfilling his campaign promises as well as his promises during the last election to push through the Conservative agenda. Kudos for his focus on the Virginia Senate.
One of my friends yesterday recalled the criticism that McDonnell leveled against Tim “The Absentee Governor” Kaine as he flew around the country campaigning for Obama and his ilk and wondered if the nickname “Absentee Governor” was not also appropriate for McDonnell.
At best, it is ill conceived to have our Governor give even the perception that he is focused on his political future and more interested in seeing Romney secure the Republican Nomination than the goings on in Richmond.
It seems that just when Conservatives have finally reached the top of the precipice and purged the obstructionist Democrat majority in the Virginia Senate that has log jammed the Conservative Legislation that has been thwarted for years, our Governor has gone squishy. Or just gone campaigning.
It is a crushing blow to have our star quarterback with his head in another game – and not the one we hired him to play.
Shortly after Bob McDonnell won the Governorship he held a conference call for his supporters. While the main purpose was to thank those of us who gave up sleep to make calls, walked miles and miles to knock on doors, provided accurate coverage to counter the media bias, the then Governor-elect asked us to do one thing for him. And that was to hold his feet to the fire should he appear to stray from his promises.
Well, Governor, most Virginians are not happy with your performance this session. There have been few reasons to level criticism – until now.
There are more important things going on right now in Virginia. Mitt Romney can wait. Most Virginians are not sold on him anyway and see him as an anchor to both your job performance now and your future career.
The Governor’s inattention just when we needed him most is a hard pill to swallow.
And to be honest, you can count me among those who are feeling betrayed. And this will not be an easy one to forget.