by Chris Bodenner

Michelle Cottle sounds off on the mini-scandal in the Virginia governor's race:

Outlining beliefs [in his senior thesis] that would have made Regent founder Pat Robertson swoon with ecstasy, [Robert] McDonnell makes clear his disgust with (among many, many other things) gays, working women, and "fornicators." (McDonnell disapproved of the Supreme Court's 1972 decision legalizing birth control for unmarried couples.) Democrats are, predictably, rushing to hang this bit of Neanderthalism around McDonnell's neck as he tries to woo moderates and female voters. [...]

I find myself torn in this fight. In general, I find the obsession with politicians' student writings excessive. Most of these papers spring from theĀ  brains of people in their early- to mid-20s who have spent the past several years in the self-indulgent cocoon of academia. [...] Many even (gasp!) change their views as they trudge through the big, wide, complicated world.

I had those same sympathies when I first glanced at the story's headline. Then, I learned: a) the thesis was written in 1989, and b) McDonnell was 34. If he had been a 22-year-old, sheltered undergrad in 1969, I might still have those sympathies.