Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Brief Thank-You to the Governor

It is simple, direct, clear--and late: "I hereby direct that the hiring, promotion, compensation, treatment, discipline, and termination of state employees shall be based on an individual's job qualifications, merit and performance." Reminds me of this one: "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex."

The latter is the exhausted, lamented Equal Rights Amendment, left to die on the vine by our increasingly irrelevant and clueless Congress. The former is Virginia Gov. Jim McDonnell's (right) statement, essentially countermanding Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's knuckleheaded, knuckle-dragging pronouncement that it's OK for the state to discriminate against people whose sexual orientation some of its elected officials don't like.

Regardless of what we think of McDonnell's politics--and for me, it's not much--he has to be given a pat on the back (if not a standing ovation) for this decision, which almost certainly goes against his natural inclination. The reason he's changed this particular stripe in his political camouflage can be beaten about all day, but he did it and it means gay people don't have to wring their hands quite as much today as they did yesterday.

Now, if he'd simply say, "I think everybody should have the same rights as Americans," I'd leap to my feet and give him a standing ovation. I wouldn't vote for him, but we're talking baby steps here.

Anyhow, thank you Gov. McDonnell. The statement was worthy of the office.


  1. Dan, you're a man of generous spirit.

    It's a simple, clear statement. But it seems to contradict not only Cuccinelli's letter (which, I understand, is a restatement of McDonnell's position when he was AG) but also contradicts McDonnell's first executive order. So, was McDonnell against it before he was for it? Or, since the executive order has force of law and this letter doesn't, is this just whitewashing (rainbow washing?) in the wake of the guv, the AG, and the commonwealth being pilloried by so many and humiliated by Jon Stewart?,0,6717332.story

  2. I also express my thanks to Gov. McDonnell. I commend him. Cuccinelli's cynical power play backfired. There is no turning back the tide on equal rights.

  3. I'm with you - credit must be given when it's due but I still wouldn't have a beer with the guy, much less give him my vote...