Abortions for some, miniature American flags for others
Bob McDonnell announced his transportation plan 20 days ago. In those 20 days, Creigh Deeds has refused to issue his own plan, refused to commit to a funding source (while all but explicitly saying he supports a tax increase), and still doesn’t have a transportation issues page on his website. Alright, maybe there’s more important issues to discuss: the economy, growing unemploymnent, a $1.5 billion budget shortfall, education, or even energy and protecting our natural resources. So after a listless two months since winning the primary, which of those crucial issues does Creigh Deeds plan to spend his campaign talking about?
We’ve seen this before, in the socially-liberal DC suburbs when Gerry Connolly refused to take a position on anything (a smart move, given his status now as the most partisan Virginian Congressman), while the DCCC pounded Keith Fimian daily for having the audacity to be Catholic and pro-life. But statewide Virginia is not the 11th district, and this isn’t a federal office where you at least have an outside chance of significantly affecting the issue.
Of course, pro-choice zealots like Lowell and Ben love this move—not because they think this is a winning issue, but because they love having this debate and this discussion. It remains to be seen how the 20% of unemployed in Martinsville will react to a campaign focused on social issues.
The rub here is that abortion is a divisive issue, which staunch advocates on both sides. But while Deeds can certainly play up a contrast with McDonnell on this issue—something he hasn’t been able to do on more substantive issues by saying “me too!”—that doesn’t mean people will care about it when voting for Governor. It’s like Jerry Kilgore and the death penalty all over again.
And a quick note to Del. Bob Marshall and those who want McDonnell to get in the middle of an abortion fight: Grow up, would you please? Anybody who seriously questions Bob McDonnell’s pro-life credentials because he’s talking about creating jobs in the middle of a recession should sit in a corner until November 4th. McDonnell would do himself well to avoid this desperate wedge issue and keep leading on jobs and the economy, on transportation, on energy, on quality of life issues, and on the issues that matter to and affect everyone. That’s what Virginians, pro-life and pro-choice, are looking for from our next Governor, and there’s only one serious choice in this election.