The latest call for a Republican governor to reject Obamacare’s Medicaid funds has me feeling profoundly sad. And that’s because the agitator is none other than Bill Bolling, Virginia’s lieutenant governor and the state chair of Mitt Romney’s Virginia campaign. As I wrote back in April, the parallels between Bolling and Romney are almost poetic. Thanks to the ascendance of the far-right in Virginia, the moderate Bolling has found himself utterly in thrall to feverish conservatives.
One day in mid-February, Virginia General Assembly Delegate Robert Marshall was at the Richmond offices of the Family Foundation—a conservative Virginia organization—when he happened to spot a fellow GOP politician in the hallway. It was Bill Bolling, Virginia’s lieutenant governor and president of the state Senate. At the time, Marshall was pushing a controversial “personhood” amendment, which would have given legal rights to a fetus starting at conception. Eager to secure Bolling’s support, Marshall and his wife hurried after him. But Bolling seemed bent on beating a hasty retreat.