Virginia used to be better than this.
Watching the seamy details unfold in the corruption trial of former Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, one can’t help but think that politics in Virginia was somehow above this petty, unscrupulous behavior.
This isn’t Illinois, which had its former governor apparently selling a seat in the U.S. Senate to the highest bidder. Or New Jersey, whose current governor is still embroiled in a scandal where he stands accused of orchestrating traffic jams as possible political payback. Or the cities of Providence, R.I., and Washington, D.C., whose voters reelected mayors even after they had been convicted of crimes while in office.
After all, Virginia is the cradle of American democracy, home to eight U.S. presidents. When Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson were your first two governors, you tend to set the bar pretty high.
Thing is, we are better than this. And it took a political leader’s death to remind us of this.
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