The 95 (Page) Thesis

September 21st, 2009

Here’s a follow-up to my 9/04/09 limerick on VA gubernatorial candidate McDonnell. According to the 9/20/09 Washington Post article “Deeds Shows Big Gains in VA Poll,” the share of women who think McDonnell is “too conservative” has jumped 10 percentage points since August, when his 1989 thesis was re-discovered. McDonnell continues to be dogged by his thesis paper. He dismisses those questions and refers to the paper as “decades old,” making it sound as if it was written 60-70 years ago. In reality, he submitted his thesis in May 1989, so it barely squeaks by to earn the plural “s” in decades. NB: The infamous thesis is 95 pages long, including McDonnell’s two page Acknowledgement to his parents, local Republicans, his thesis committee, and Ronald Reagan.


That pesky thesis won’t go away.

People keep bringing it up, day after day.

You tell them to drop it,

But they just won’t stop it.


It’s unfortunate how some things you say or do

Just seem to stick with you.

And how terribly heart-breaking

To be hoisted on a petard of one’s own making.


You said your thesis is “decades old.”

I must admit, that’s pretty bold.

You make it sound like ancient history

Its origins shrouded in unknown mystery.


If measuring in decades is what you profess,

You barely made it to get that “s”.

You submitted your paper in May ‘89.

Just 4 months over the decade line.

So if truth be told,

It barely made two decades old.


You wrote it when you were 34

Not a child anymore.

Usually by then one’s views are developed,

Not in the uncertainty of youth enveloped.


But I don’t think you’re “too conservative”

(That means keep things the way we now live).

No, I’d say you’re reactionary,

Of which we should be very wary.


You say your views have “moderated,”

Which I guess means you’ve given up getting the ‘50s reinstated.

To return Virginia to

The 1980s will do.

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3 Responses to “The 95 (Page) Thesis”

  1. Newsericks » Blog Archive » Mirror, Mirror (or, Republican Parallel Universe State of the Union for the “Real America”) Says:

    […] As pointed out by Stephen Colbert (watch the video below), the GOP plan to simultaneously accomplish all these goals is all of 9 pages of actual content, including pictures and wide margins. To save you the trouble of wading through those 9 pages and McDonnell’s speech (unless you’re so inclined), I’ve abstracted and elucidated the basic principles below, plus some additional references to McDonnell’s past writings. […]

  2. Newsericks » Blog Archive » A Big Man Says:

    […] Conservatives want to take us back then, […]

  3. Newsericks » Blog Archive » Gotcha Politics (or, Advise and Misrepresent) Says:

    […] a school paper Kagan […]

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