With the guilty verdicts in the corruption trial of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, the GOP’s claim to be the party of “family values” — a political messaging tool that served it well in the 1980s and ’90s — may have finally met its end. McDonnell’s status as an icon of the theocratic virtue drove his ascendancy from the Virginia Legislature to the governor’s office and fueled speculation he might be picked as Mitt Romney’s running mate in 2012.
He earned the nickname “Gov. Ultrasound” after he signed a law that forced women seeking abortions to undergo involuntary transvaginal ultrasounds with probes that opponents dubbed “shaming wands”
In his first months as governor, he restored the state’s ability to fire gay employees while earning the nickname “Gov. Ultrasound” after he signed a law that forced women seeking abortions to undergo involuntary transvaginal ultrasounds with probes that opponents dubbed “shaming wands.”
During McDonnell’s campaign for governor, a thesis came to light that he’d written at Regent University, a theocratic institution operated by televangelist Pat Robertson. In the thesis, written when McDonnell was 35, he opined that civil law should not apply to families because families are “God-ordained governments” that started with Adam and Eve and therefore predating the existence of society. Relying on this biblical premise, McDonnell suggested civil government “must restrain, punish, and deter” homosexuality, pornography and drug abuse and restrict the rights of gays and unwed mothers. He also criticized working women and no-fault divorce.