First, I need to say that I have little sympathy for the former Governor or his wife. Their behavior while in the Governor’s mansion may not have been illegal but it certainly was unethical. McDonnell knew better. Many of us had such great hopes for Bob McDonnell as Governor. He let us down, particularly with the massive transportation tax increase and his personal, unethical, behavior in the Governor’s mansion.
His trial has bothered me to the point that I don’t want to hear about it. There are several reasons for my aversion. The former Governor’s defense centers around making his wife look bad, very, very, bad. Over the last few days former First Lady Maureen McDonnell has been called sneaky, a nutbag, and a spendthrift. She has been accused of running up credit card debts and having a relationship with one of their benefactors, Jonnie Williams. She took gifts from Williams, including designer clothes and the Governor’s Rolex watch. Some of her designer clothes and handbags can be seen here. The First Lady was terrible to her staff, intolerable, often screaming at them. She accused the Governor’s mansion’s chef of attempting to poison her with spoiled food to ruin her Christmas, or so claimed a defense witness. In the first nine days of the trial, Mrs. McDonnell has been described as a self centered, raving maniac, who screams at everyone, family and staff.
The worst part of this trial? The McDonnell’s children have been dragged into court and forced to testify against their mother. Twice daughter Cailin McDonnell has cried on the witness stand. She cried when she was shown pictures of her wedding. Memories of her wedding are tainted because Jonnie Williams, the main witness against the Governor, paid for her wedding, something she deeply regrets. It’s terrible that she has no fond memories of her wedding, in fact memories of her wedding make her cry. She and her brothers are forced to hear about their parent’s terrible marriage and her mother’s ‘crush’ on Jonnie Williams. No child, at any age, wants to hear their parents have a bad marriage and their mother has a crush on another man. One of the McDonnell’s sons has also testified in the trial. The McDonnell children should not be involved. No child, even an adult child, should have to testify in their parent’s trial.
So whose fault is it that the McDonnell children are involved in the trial and Maureen McDonnell is being blamed for everything bad that has ever happened in the McDonnell marriage and in the Governor’s mansion? Easy answer, the man of the house, Bob McDonnell. He is letting his wife take the blame to save his own neck. He is allowing his children to be dragged through this muck and mire for the same reason. It’s disgusting. Men used to take responsibility for their family. They defended their wife and children above all else. Real men would take a bullet before they would let this happen to their wife and children. Democrat Senator Chap Petersen explained this well on his blog:
Long before there were vitamin supplements or Rolex watches, there was a quaint concept called “chivalry.” It meant that a man had a duty to protect those around him. This was the very concept of manhood itself.
This duty reached its apogee when a man had a family. As the head of the family, the “father” (we shall call him that) had an economic obligation in supporting his wife and children. He had a similar role in physically protecting the family. Finally, he was tasked with protecting his family’s honor.
The concept of “honor” meant many things. Among other things, it meant that when something bad happened to the family, the father held himself accountable. He solely took the blame. He shielded others in the family from physical pain or embarrassment.
He would allow himself to be punished (or even go to jail) before seeing another family member — male or female – hurt in any way. Especially his wife.
So much for the old days.
Today’s father is much more calculating than Paleolithic Man. Today’s father lets his children receive “gifts” in order to save him from paying for their wedding. Today’s father uses his wife as a legal mine-detector, denying any knowledge when she receives illegal gifts or carries out illegal promises. Today’s father even alludes to his wife’s interest in another man, if that will help prove his own “innocence.”
It’s all so tawdry. The former Governor has sat in the courtroom, day after day, watching his wife and children be destroyed by his defense. He’s allowing his lawyers to drag his family through the mud so that he might save himself. What husband and father allows that to happen? One without morals, principals or honor, one who accepts a Rolex Watch and then blames his wife for it. Who can respect a man who allows this to happen to his family? It’s disgusting and I can’t bear to watch this happen to a family I once admired so very much.