This column by ACRU Policy Board Member J. Christian Adams was published on October 18, 2013 on the PJ Media website.
Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell is doing all he can to make sure Virginia Republicans lose statewide election next month. If it’s not free Rolexes, free rounds of golf or having the taxpayers pay for dry cleaning for his adult children, it’s making sure felons get to vote.
The mess surrounding McDonnell is dragging down the Republican ticket where Democrat nominee Terry McAuliffe now leads Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli in most polls. The sleaze in Richmond must run awfully deep for someone like McAuliffe to be leading.
This week, Bob McDonnell followed through in making sure that thousands of felons are automatically allowed to vote in November’s election. I covered McDonnell’s folly in the Washington Times, Virginia Democrats Get New Demographic: the Felon Vote:
“Prohibiting felons from voting is also a moral imperative. Those who have shown contempt for criminal laws should have no voice in the process of writing them. Giving felons a say in the legislative process means laws will naturally skew more toward the criminal, to the detriment of the law-abiding citizen.”
McDonnell defied the will of the Virginia House, and by executive policy, implemented a policy in 2013 that legislature specifically rejected.
Sounds like Barack Obama.
Under McDonnell’s decree, some felons have their voting rights automatically restored instead of having to undergo an individualized examination of their remorse and their conscience.
Every social science study ever produced shows that felons vote for Democrats at a rate of around 9:1. McDonnell has reinstated nearly 7,000.
Had felons been permitted to vote in every state, Republicans would have lost 3 Presidential elections they won, and control of the Senate would not have been in GOP hands for many years. That’s why Democrats are so interested in the issue.
So why would McDonnell do this?
There are a couple of reasons. First, according to many people close to McDonnell, he is obsessed with being liked, even more than being right.
But the second, and biggest, reason is that McDonnell fully misunderstands the radical racialist left. Like Republicans from decades ago, he thinks he can buy peace through concessions. He almost vetoed the Virginia voter ID law in 2012. It took a heavy lobbying effort, including from other GOP Governors, to talk McDonnell down off the ledge from a voter ID veto. He feared what the NAACP might do to him. But, as I wrote at the Times:
“The NAACP and ACLU have lost the moral high ground they had a half-century ago. These “civil rights” groups have become mere cogs in the partisan electoral machine of the organized left. They support felon voting because it helps elect Democrats, not for any other reason.
These groups also have a tendency to cast aside any short-term Republican allies they can trick. Friendship, praise and higher office cannot be gained by capitulation to their agenda. Hopefully, Virginia Republicans will realize there is only peril in supporting the cause of criminals and the Democratic Party.”
The Governor’s office issued a press release this week trumpeting McDonnell’s efforts to open up voting for felons. The release actually gives space for quotes from the radical Soros-funded Advancement Project. Priorities, I suppose. Yet praise elsewhere among the left for McDonnell is almost non-existent, with some saying he has not gone far enough. It’s that old familiar one-way ratchet, always seeking more from Republicans quick to cave.
According to the press release, McDonnell has even added staff to speed up the process of getting felons processed, just in time for November’s election. Again, priorities. The press release actually crows about this:
“The restoration of rights division now employs six staffers, four of whom were just hired in July to implement the new system. The Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office has worked diligently with the Clerks of Court, the Supreme Court, the State Police, the State Board of Elections, the Department of Corrections and many other stakeholder groups to streamline and automate the system.”
Under the old system, each felon had to make an individualized application to show they were worthy of reinstatement. Automatic redemption has no place, either in any theology, or as government policy. An individualized examination of conscience was the Commonwealth’s policy for almost a century.
If the GOP experiences a wipeout in November, especially a close one, they might thank Governor Bob McDonnell. Too many Rolexes, catered weddings, golf clubs – and ultimately – felons at the polls, may bring bad news for the Virginia GOP.