Sigh. I had thought my beloved home state was leaving behind its idiotic reactionary, whistlin’-Dixie past and becoming a blue-ish Mid-Atlantic state, but in recent months we’ve managed to put several crypto-psychopaths into key positions in state government, including the governor’s mansion. This last figure would be Bob McDonnell, a graduate of Jerry Falwell’s Liberty “University” who successfully fooled enough voters into thinking he was a moderate instead of a greedy, dogmatic bigot. As George Packer observes in a recent blog post,
Virginia, not traditionally an incubator of extremism, has become one of the loudest sources of opposition and nullification on the right. Its new attorney general, Kenneth Cuccinelli, has made a national name in his efforts to end Virginia’s ban on discrimination against homosexuals at state universities and his crusade to sue the federal government over health-care reform. The state legislature recently passed a bill declaring that Virginia will not be subject to any new federal health-care reform law. Verga calls health-care reform an unconstitutional government takeover. The rhetoric keeps getting more hyperbolic, the opposition more intransigent, and the ideological tests more rigid. In a political atmosphere as overheated this, the line between ideas and action is always in danger of melting away.