Today’s Washington Post endorsement of Democrat R. Creigh Deeds in the Virginia gubernatorial race is no surprise, given the Post’s determined and months-long effort to “macaca” Deeds’ opponent, Republican Bob McDonnell. But the editorial endorsement is a self-parody of liberal hyperbole and inconsistency.
The Post again raises the strawman of McDonnell’s 1989 graduate dissertation, apparently cribbing from Ted Kennedy’s infamous denunciation of Robert Bork’s nomination to the Supreme Court.
On July 1, 1987, within an hour of Bork’s nomination, Kennedy delivered a fiery speech saying, “Robert Bork’s America is a land in which women would be forced into back alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters … and the doors of the federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens for whom the judiciary is – and is often the only – protector of the individual rights that are the heart of our democracy.”
Today’s Post says of McDonnell, “The clamor surrounding his graduate dissertation from 1989, in which he disparaged working women, homosexuals, "fornicators" and others of whom he disapproved, has tended to obscure rather than illuminate fair questions about the sort of governor he would make. Based on his 14-year record as a lawmaker — a record dominated by his focus on incendiary wedge issues — we worry that Mr. McDonnell’s Virginia would be one where abortion rights would be curtailed; where homosexuals would be treated as second-class citizens; where information about birth control would be hidden; and where the line between church and state could get awfully porous. That is a prescription for yesterday’s Virginia, not tomorrow’s.”
Did the macaca stick again? Has the Post succeeded in doing to Bob McDonnell what it did to George Allen? No.
The reason behind the Post‘s tactic — and why it fails — is very simple. McDonnell has run a very effective campaign tying Creigh Deeds to Barack Obama, whose spending spree hyperliberal politics has alienated many Virginia voters. It’s fair: Obama didn’t run against John McCain, he ran against George W. Bush. And Deeds hasn’t done anything to convince anyone that he isn’t an Obama Democrat.
Defending Deeds, the Post says in the same editorial that, “Mr. McDonnell has sought to corner Mr. Deeds by focusing on debates in Washington over energy policy, labor union membership and other contentious federal issues. But a governor of Virginia can do little to influence the ideologically charged debates raging on Capitol Hill.”
Ok, Posties: you can’t have it both ways. Either you want your readers to believe that national abortion policy and homosexual "rights" laws are controlled from Richmond, or you don’t. Either you want them to believe no Democrat should be held accountable for supporting President Obama’s policies, or you believe — as you said you did all through the 2008 presidential campaign — that the members and supporters of a national leader should be held accountable for everything he and his party does and says.
You can’t have it both ways. Not this time.