...there’s more to this than simply bad policy and bad law. There’s bad politics here as well. As I have already noted here and on other blogs, this issue seems to have appeared out of nowhere. We do not know who requested this letter, and the Attorney General’s office has not, to my knowledge, released that information. ...This letter flies in the face of the Governor’s own statements that he will brook no discrimination in state agencies on any grounds, and it complicates our legislative efforts at the end of the current General Assembly session. Considering that we do not yet have a budget, it seems to me to be counterproductive to start creating divisive social issues out of thin air – especially when those issues can be used by the Democrats in the Senate to gain concessions in the budget process. The Attorney General’s opinion, further, doesn’t have the force of law, so I cannot find an upside to sending this letter right now. If there is one, I would be welcome to hearing it.Other than the fact that Republicans haven't really advocated for Americans "to be free from discrimination" since the early 1960s, and that they have firmly opposed granting GLBT Americans the same rights as all other Americans, I strongly concur with the overarching sentiment of this blog post. The bottom line is that the country is moving in a diametrically opposite direction from "Ayatollah" Ken Cuccinelli. Here in Virginia, Bob McDonnell was elected specifically to focus on the economy, not to start a culture war and drive business away from our state.
Discrimination is wrong. Period. The Republican party has a long history of supporting the rights of all Americans to be free from discrimination. Abraham Lincoln and the Republican Party freed the slaves. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed with overwhelming Republican support – support that, had it not existed, would have made final passage of the act impossible. Our party has long been a party that has advocated for employment systems based on merit, not on race or gender. We should continue that tradition by demonstrating that we support the dream every American has of finding an honest day’s work. Working is not a right, but a workplace free from discrimination should be the right of every American. We sully our traditions and our history when we let petty prejudices get in the way of doing what is right. This letter is bad policy, it is bad politics and it is bad law, and I strongly urge its repudiation.
So why is McDonnell so quiet about Ken Cuccinelli's crusade against gay people? Perhaps because, as Jeff Schapiro and Jim Nolan suggest, McDonnell and Cuccinelli are working closely together on this issue? Perhaps because they're simpatico in terms of being Pat Robertson-style culture warriors? Perhaps because it's in Republicans' DNA to overreach, to pander to their far-right-wing "base," and not to focus on the issue they were elected to address? Just remember that when you go vote this coming November, and most definitely remember it when you go vote next November, when every seat in Virginia's General Assembly will be up for grabs.