Virginia gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell may be having his "macaca moment," said Tom Schaller in FiveThirtyEight. The Republican is "scrambling" to explain his 20-year-old master's thesis, in which he wrote that working women were "detrimental" to families, and that government should favor married people over "fornicators." McDonnell's thesis won't hurt him as much as former Sen. George Allen's racially tinged "macaca" comment, but it won't help.
If what McDonnell thought back when he was a student is such a big deal, said Cal Thomas in TownHall, why aren't reporters "similarly aggressive in rooting out Barack Obama's records from Occidental College, Columbia University, and Harvard?" The truth is that McDonnell's views—although they remain conservative—have changed in the two decades since he wrote the thesis.
"Stuff you do when you’re 34 can’t just be written off as youthful indiscretion," said Matthew Yglesias in Think Progress. McDonnell wrote this "outrageously right-wing master's thesis" just two years before he was first elected to office. As The Washington Post noted, in a decade as a state legislator McDonnell pursued many of the goals outlined in his thesis, including abortion restriction, covenant marriage, and school vouchers. If he's had a change of heart, he should at least tell voters "what he 'really' thinks."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Syrian women know how to defeat ISIS
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- The U.S. Marines are developing laser weapons. Here's why.
- The one thing the New Atheists get right about religion
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- How to make corn dogs
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- 5 baffling foreign-language versions of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song
- Will Kobani be ISIS's Waterloo?
Subscribe to the Week