Jonathan Chait

McDonnell To Voters: Ha Ha!

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Last year, the Richmond Times-Dispatch endorsed Bob McDonnell for governor, citing his "moderate temperament." Now (via Greg Sargent) the newspaper is expressing alarm over McConnell's decision to reinstate Confederate History Month, and to completely ignore slavery in his proclamation, his latest embrace of hard-right social conservatism.

Of course this is an inherent problem with Virginia's cockamamie system that limits governors to one term. Not only do you lose the ability to retain a competent governor -- and Virginia has had two straight -- but you give every incentive for a candidate to feint to the center and then govern from the extreme once in office. Lots of people supported McDonnell because he insisted he was not a social issues warrior. Once he's in office, it's obvious that he lied, but the voters can't do anything about it.

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