By Paul Goldman
Editor's note: Paul Goldman is a guest columnist for DecisionVirginia.com. The views expressed below are his own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of NBC12.
I have always thought Jesus gave all of us good advice: “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her” he said in John 8:7.
As we start Day 9 of the trial, it is increasingly clear Maureen McDonnell has no defenders in the courtroom including her own lawyer. Things are so bad for Mrs. McDonnell that her husband, when no one was looking, snuck out of the courtroom yesterday to hug a prosecution witness. Bob McDonnell embraced the former chief of staff to the first lady, who spent the afternoon trashing her former boss as unfit, unstable and unbearable.
Yesterday wasn’t a criminal trial but rather another day in an increasingly nasty divorce proceeding. If yesterday proved anything, it proved the following: there is a reason Mrs. McDonnell felt lonely and abandoned in her role as First Lady.
And the reason? Because the men in her life did throw her into the shark tank with one of the premier sharks in America and left her to Jonnie Williams’ devices. Governor McDonnell had an obligation to protect his wife from Williams. He didn’t for his own reasons.
There is a great song, Life in the Fast Lane, by The Eagles, which explains the situation.
The bottom line truth about the trial taking place at the Courtroom in Richmond: The only real person in the room is Maureen McDonnell. Everyone else is there playing a role. That’s right: with all due respect, the judge, jury, prosecution, and defense are playing the roles assigned them. Who are they really behind the courtroom masks? We don’t know.
The biggest role player is of course former governor McDonnell. He surely doesn’t believe the “crazy wife defense” his lawyers have convinced him to mount.
As history will record, I wrote the first widely read piece saying it would not be justice to allow Williams to receive a get out of jail free card while sending the McDonnell’s to prison for any of those corruption charges.
My opinion hasn’t changed, but I write today about something different, something more personal: I feel for Mrs. McDonnell because I know what she is going through, although from experience in the court of public opinion, not a criminal trial.
Bottom line: former governor McDonnell knows the “crazy wife defense” is hogwash. “The crazy wife defense” insults my intelligence, but since I believe the McDonnells shouldn’t go to jail, I am forced to hope it will prove a brilliant strategy by the defense.
Mrs. McDonnell isn’t a criminal, she’s simply a mother, a wife, who wasn’t ready to be Virginia’s First Lady. But when helping her became too much trouble, the men in her life left her to Jonnie Williams.
What the heck did they think was going to happen?