The Party Of McDonnell

In Robert McDonnell in Virginia, you have a real snapshot of what "conservatism" now is. It's at heart a religious and regional movement, obsessed with ideology and marinated in fundamentalism. So we discover that a lesbian black judge was accused of sexual harassment and this was McDonnell's view before the hearing:

McDonnell indicated that Askew's sexual conduct was relevant, telling one newspaper that "certain homosexual conduct" could disqualify a person from being a judge because it violates the state's crimes against nature law.

That would mean that no homosexual could be a judge in Virginia, a position that much of the GOP base would embrace heartily. McDonnell voted against the judge's reappointment. But the intellectual background of McDonnell is just as important. The Christianist right has set up various institutions to train and indoctrinate future leaders. McDonnell got his masters thesis at Pat Robertson's Regent University. This was his thesis:

It gained attention in the campaign because it outlined a 15-point conservative Republican/Christian political agenda ... These positions "included ... opposition to abortion in cases of rape or incest ..., covenant marriage, school vouchers and tax policies to favor his view of the traditional family and public policy discrimination against those he labeled as "cohabitators, homosexuals or fornicators." In this master thesis he also declared his belief that working women harmed the family and described 1972's Griswold v. Connecticut as "illogical". At page 20 of the thesis, he wrote, "man’s basic nature is inclined towards evil, and when the exercise of liberty takes the shape of pornography, drug abuse, or homosexuality, the government must restrain, punish, and deter."

McDonnell wants to use the law and government to restrain, punish and deter gay people. And what's fascinating is that McDonnell still refuses to disown these policies and insists that we talk about what he wants to talk about.