Well, you can add another name to the sad list of conservative politicians whose adherence to principle is as limp as linguine.
Bob McDonnell won the governorship of Virginia last November by campaigning as a social and cultural conservative, and pledging to uphold conservative social values. That pledge lasted about 54 days, shorter even than the shelf life of most of President Obama's empty promises.
Yesterday, McDonnell issued a directive for which he has no legal authority, enshrining special rights on the basis of non-normative sexual behavior at Virginia's college campuses.
In the process, he threw his conservative Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli, under the train and let him get cut in half. Cuccinelli just last week asked the state's public colleges and universities to remove references to sexual orientation from their campus nondiscrimination policies. His reasoning, which apparently has escaped the governor, is that only Virginia's General Assembly has the authority to extend legal protection to gays.
Well, McDonnell was not going to let a little thing like the law or the state constitution get in his way, and in a sudden moral and leadership collapse, ordered special rights on the basis of sexual preference. And not only did he illegally grant homosexuals, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered folk protections that only the state legislature can grant, he went out of his way to threaten anybody who would uphold state law on his watch.
With a glower, he said, "We will not tolerate discrimination based on sexual orientation...and if it is reported, then I will take action, from reprimand to termination, to make sure that does not occur."
He declared that his draconian order is a call for "civility and fair treatment," but did not explain how a state employee who gets fired for acting on his campaign promises and on the basis of state law will have received either.
We got same-sex marriage in Massachusetts in the same way, when then-Gov. Mitt Romney issued an executive order declaring same-sex marriage legal even though the legislature in the Bay State had made no changes in state law. Massachusetts state law still apparently reserves the designation "marriage" for the union of one man and one woman; it's just that nobody pays any attention to it.
So another self-proclaimed conservative suddenly and dramatically goes from supporting conservative values to launching a witch-hunt for any state worker who would dare to uphold them in the workplace, declaring that he will bring the full force of state power down on the head of any such unfortunate soul. All of this, you see, in order to punish state workers for sticking up for the very values that put him in the governor's seat.