Read the Bills Act Coalition

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Conservative Richmond Times Dispatch credits Bob McDonnell with Leadership

Posted by MAXIMUS

Published: March 13, 2009
The Right Thing

Jeff Frederick seems eminently qualified to serve as chairman of the Republican Club at Sean Hannity Middle School. The delegate from Prince William serves as chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia instead. There's the rub.

The state's Republicans have endured a rocky road. Although not all of their ailments can be attributed to the content and style of Frederick's leadership, the party's internal chaos complicates, and perhaps compromises, its recovery. The quality of his tenure was captured best when Frederick linked Barack Obama and Osama bin Laden in a statement he subsequently claimed was a quip. His comments drew a swift rebuke from John McCain. While individuals with tempered politics occasionally throw verbal bombs, rhetorical extremism often reflects extremism of the ideological kind.

Republicans in positions of responsibility early recognized the damage being done. Dissension has been in the air for many months. In recent weeks Republicans from across the spectrum openly have called for Frederick's dismissal. Bob McDonnell -- former attorney general and presumptive GOP gubernatorial nominee -- has lent his name to the effort.

According to a headline in yesterday's Washington Post Fairfax section, "Fight Over GOP Chairman Could Bruise McDonnell." The story explained that by immersing himself in an internecine feud, McDonnell risks alienating elements of the party's base. We gladly differ. As they do in every campaign, Democrats will label the GOP ticket the most conservative ever, and out of Virginia's mainstream. The GOP has a tarnished brand, too, and Democrats will attach to McDonnell every irresponsible statement made by every irresponsible Republican. (Both parties play guilt by association, by the way.)

In seeking to install an adult as chairman of the RPV, McDonnell is displaying not only spine but his appealing temperament. He repudiates the excesses attributed to factionalists. If the central committee ousts Frederick, as it should, then McDonnell will have polished his image. If the committee fails to do its duty, then McDonnell still will have displayed his reasonable persona to the general public.

It is possible that the controversy will lead ideological adolescents to take their Nerf balls and go home, but McDonnell's stand helps him with the voters who decide Virginia elections. Political considerations are not the real reason McDonnell earns admiration, however. He earns it because he is doing the right thing.

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