Today is not a happy day in Virginia. No matter which side of the aisle you claim, the conviction of Bob and Maureen McDonnell on corruption charges seems not to be a political story so much as it is a sad human tale of poor decisions, hubris and loneliness.
McDonnell — by most accounts thought of as a promising leader — now joins John Edwards in the gallery of shame; the first-ever governor of Virginia to be convicted of a crime. Maureen is faced with a long and terrifying fall from the top of society to the bottom rung of despair. Their children confront a stigma of greed and dysfunction, played out on a national stage.
All in, one has to wonder if there was ever a point when the McDonnells thought to stop the gravy train given by a dietary supplement company. More important is this: as we move on, will our elected leaders have enough starch in their shirts to just say no thanks? A legislature can pass 1,001 laws that regulate graft…but nary a one can stop the intent to take when there’s a willing giver of things. Sometimes the law has naught to do with politics, and all to do with personal conviction.