Monday, June 25, 2012

Republicans Want To Own The Sullivan Ouster

The McDonnell forces, not content with a furious effort to control the upcoming board vote on Tuesday, to maintain the ouster of Sullivan, have now enticed the Wall Street Journal into one of the most astounding editorials in the paper's history.  This editorial is so full of factual inaccuracies and outright distortions as to make you wonder about the facts cited in other editorials that the Journal runs.  Read it in today's WSJ.

The conservative right is apparently vying to support Governor McDonnell's effort to claim credit for Sullivan's ouster.  They are turning this into a right versus left controversy, even though the entire episode seemed to have been originally engineered by the left.  But, maybe not.  It is becoming increasingly clear that Governor McDonnell was in on this from the very beginning as the now-famous Darden email stated.

The McDonnell forces are pulling out all of the stops to control the vote to oust Sullivan and to keep the University in a state of turmoil for years to come.  This will be the principal legacy of the McDonnell governorship.  Far from his stated policy of "neutrality," the Governor and his team are doing everything in their power to remove Sullivan with finality.  Such action will never, ever have the stamp of legitimacy.

As Gilmore did in years past, McDonnell is on a path to alienate his Republican base.  Having worn out his welcome with Republicans, Gilmore found his political future in Virginia destroyed.  His crushing defeat by Mark Warner was accomplished by a substantial number of Republicans voting for Democrat Warner.  McDonnell is headed for the same future.  He is systematically fighting the very people that elected him and he will find out, as Gilmore did, that his Republican base in Virginia is withering away.

It is not only the Board of Visitors that displays a remarkable lack of transparency.  The Governor of Virginia should be honest and admit his role in the sacking of Sullivan.  His team is fighting furiously, as I write this, to maintain her ouster.  Why not be open about it instead of more hypocrisy?