After taking a drubbing in last year's state elections, Virginia Republicans are debating whether their party has come to be defined by its extremists. But in a congressional district in Northern Virginia, one of the state's main instigators of culture warfare, state Sen. Richard H. "Dick" Black, is running in the Republican primary to replace longtime GOP moderate Rep. Frank Wolf, who is retiring. And he's guaranteed to ignite wedge-issue passion. Exhibit A: As a state legislator, Black opposed making spousal rape a crime, citing the impossibility of convicting a husband accused of raping his wife "when they're living together, sleeping in the same bed, she's in a nightie, and so forth."
Black has referred to emergency contraception, which does not cause abortions, as "baby pesticide." Black also fought to block a statue of Abraham Lincoln at a former Confederate site in Richmond. He wasn't sure, he explained at the time, that statues of Lincoln belonged in Virginia. He has argued that abortion is a worse evil than slavery. And once, to demonstrate why libraries should block pornography on their computers, Black invited a TV reporter to film him using a library terminal to watch violent rape porn.
It's all very retrograde. While points should be given for calling abortion a worse evil than slavery (and I always thought a quick definition of slavery was "forced labor"), obviously, it's the assumption that a wife can't be raped by her spouse that makes me especially concerned that his knuckles do not naturally escape carpet contact.
If wives are not able to say "no", I must perforce assume he puts out no especial effort to please his own spouse? Does he at least make it brief? Does he really think women are a kind of extremely portable furniture into which one puts penises and babies by some natural design?
Am I wrong to want to hear much more from this veritable font of regrettable thoughts? (Up to, but not including, an actually successful run at the office to which he aspires?)
This, GOP, is your problem.