During the 2009 Virginia gubernatorial election, the Washington Post waged a relentless campaign to defeat Republican Bob McDonnell. Starting on Wednesday, after the GOP nominee received almost 59 percent of the vote, the newspaper began dispensing advice: Raise taxes.
On Wednesday, a Post editorial assessed the "lessons" of the election and whined, "We remain skeptical of the flimsy filigree he passed off as a transportation plan, which rejects any fresh taxes to pay for new roads. But by dint of his victory he has earned the right to show it will work." [Emphasis added.]
Even though voters overwhelmingly opposed the higher taxes candidate, Democrat Creigh Deeds, the editorial continued: "Yet it remains true that the two of the most successful, best-respected and most popular of Virginia's governors in the past quarter century...raised taxes to put the state's finances on a surer footing and invest in the long-term health of its roads, bridges, school and public safety."
On Thursday, columnist Robert McCartney offered more helpful advice for McDonnell:
I have a suggestion for McDonnell on how to square this circle. He should break one campaign promise and accept modest tax increases as part of a bipartisan plan to fund roads without penalizing education. He can call them "revenue enhancements" and justify them on the grounds that Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) left the budget in much worse shape than expected.
In addition to offering "suggestions," the column was titled "What the governor-elect owes Northern Virginia." It’s odd that McCartney would expect McDonnell to take advice from him. The Post writer was one of many at the paper continously slamming the Republican for a 20-year-old thesis about marriage and the family.
On September 3, McCartney called McDonnell’s responses to the thesis "misleading." He harangued, "The subject wasn't a high school term paper written by a teenager the week before prom."
Critiquing conservatism in general, McCartney escalated his attacks on the future governor:
Unhappily for McDonnell, except for a hard-core minority, voters have made clear in recent elections that they don't want the kind of intolerant policies that he espoused then. They believe that women, including mothers, are welcome in the workplace. They believe that government should let people decide for themselves whether to use contraception.
In his November 5 column, McCartney closed the piece by claiming, "...There's an enormous opportunity for McDonnell to restore the GOP's standing in Northern Virginia. The region is open to backing either party, as long as its needs are served."
The region may be open to backing Republicans, but the Washington Post, which endorsed Democrats in 22 out of 26 Virginia races, clearly is not.