By John Aloysius Farrell, Thomas Jefferson Street blog
Every time one of the two political parties appears to have learned its lesson, and actually seems to be working in the interest of our lives and liberties, rather than its aggrandizement, we seem doomed to disappointment.
The latest example comes from Virginia, the great state of Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, the Washingtons and Lees and other heroes, where a newly-elected Republican attorney general has decided that what the commonwealth really needs is a good dose of discrimination, harassment and hate crime.
When the Republicans in Virginia staged a comeback last fall, they did so by persuading independent voters that the GOP had given up its desire to police our bedrooms, and would focus instead on pragmatic solutions for serious issues, like the dearth of jobs, the cost of education and the surplus of traffic. Here was the model for a Republican resurgence in 2010, the wise guys in Washington said.
But the paint wasn't dry in the office of Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II before he jumped at the chance to indulge in gay-bashing. He dashed off a letter to the state's colleges and universities, telling them to rescind their policies that ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
The universities, recognizing that the college years are a rather crucial time in the development of young adults - gay or straight - had adopted these policies, at the campus level, without much fuss. Cuccinelli II insists that only the State has the authority to grant such boons.
"What he's saying is reprehensible," Vincent Callahan, a former Republican member of the House of Delegates, who serves on the board at George Mason University, told the Washington Post. "I don't know what he's doing, opening up this can of worms."
King Cuccinelli II knows what he is doing, of course. He's thrilling the bedroom cops of the Pat Robertson-Jerry Falwell wing of the Republican Party.