Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell has signaled his intention to sign a bill that would declare that life begins at the moment of fertilization, thereby guaranteeing a number of rights to the unborn, including the right to life. The intention of the bill is to directly challenge the legality of abortion and embryonic stem cell research, and proponents hope the bill will begin the legal process towards overturning the controversial Roe v. Wade decision of 1973 that legalized abortion in the United States. Many McDonnell supporters have warned, however, that by signing this bill, the Governor may be killing his unborn national hopes.
“Bob McDonnell’s opportunity to be a Vice Presidential candidate deserves an opportunity to live, and this controversial political decision will abort that chance for him,” claimed an unnamed Romney supporter. “The last thing we need is a guy on the ticket that distracts from Mitt’s job creator message. I can see the Obama SuperPAC ads now – ‘one supports corporate personhood, the other supports personhood amendments. The only thing they won’t support are We the People.’ Those ads will sink us.”
McDonnell was clear in his conviction. “It’s my body of work, and I am in control. This decision is my choice, and it is a choice I do not take lightly. I have consulted with a panel of experts who provided confidential counseling, and I have decided to end my national hopes should the bill reach my desk, with this pen.”
Personhood Amendments similar to the proposed Virginia law have been rejected in Colorado and most recently, in the conservative bastion of Mississippi. Mississippi voters rejected the proposed law by a stunning 16% (58% v. 42%) in a November statewide election. While the Personhood Amendment has a devoted following among extreme factions within the Republican base, it has not demonstrated any large scale support in any polling or any jurisdictions in which it has appeared on the ballot. Even Republicans have been skeptical of the amendment and some within the GOP have vowed to soften its language before a vote, a move that some on the Right have called legislative “selective genetic engineering”.
A second Romney support who was too embarrassed to be identified said, “If signed, we’ve got to snuff out this law as quickly as possible. Once the legislation is in force for 20 weeks, the equation will change. McDonnell’s opening to be on the ticket with Romney will then be full viable, and it will be more difficult for the governor to change his mind and abort his plans.”
“If we had a law in the Commonwealth that forced the Governor to look at a digital representation of his national future before signing this bill, perhaps it would change his mind. It would force him to realize that those ambitions would lead to a real, breathing entity that deserves a chance.” He added, “I just can’t handle another 4 years under Communist rule. I just can’t.”
Conservative voters across the Commonwealth gathered in candlelight vigils and organized rosary recitations to pray that Governor McDonnell changes his mind. One protester who described herself as a “Hold Your Nose for Romney” voter, put it this way:
“Why couldn’t he just focus on the economy, government spending, and entitlements? If he stayed away from these culture wars, he might have a chance to really make something of his political life. Please give your national political hopes the same opportunity you had as a young politician. Don’t destroy them before they have even had a chance to live!”
“We like the amendment, but we’d like to get back into the White House even more.”
Others in the GOP were more circumspect. “I don’t care what he does. I’ve seen some tests on his national viability, and frankly, I am not sure they would have survived outside the protective bubble of Red State Virginia. It is probably best that his ambitions be eliminated now, before more resources are devoted to it. You know, national ambitions can be expensive, especially in the early years. I’m not even convinced they would have lived anyway.”
Conservative voters hope McDonnell’s decision to terminate his national ambitions by siding with the extreme culture warriors won’t come back to haunt him later in life.
“If the governor had only used the protection of a singular focus on the state budget and transportation issues, we wouldn’t be in this situation. Those issues are where the rubber meets the road, so to speak.”