Sunday, October 23, 2011

#256: Bob Marshall

Bob Marshall is a Republican member of the Virginia House of Delegates representing the 13th District, currently serving his 7th term. He is most famous for his vocal opposition to all forms of abortion and birth control that take effect after conception. (“We're against the IUD and pills, too. They don't prevent ovulation and conception, they prevent implantation, which is abortion.”). He also voiced his opposition to Norplant, a contraceptive (not-yet-marketed at the time) that is implanted under the skin and works for up to five years (“It's a real tribute to women's intelligence. They feel so irresponsible they can't do something once a day?” – you get the feeling that its being offensive to women’s intelligence wasn’t the real reason for Marshall’s opposition).

But fair enough. Marshall’s break with sanity is also demonstrably displayed in his response to questions about abortion in the case of incest; Marshall’s response was simply that sometimes incest is voluntary. He is also opposed to abortion in the case of rape: “The woman becomes a sin-bearer of the crime, because the right of a child predominates over the embarrassment of the woman.”

His main claim to fame, however, is his statement regarding disabled children: “The number of children who are born subsequent to a first abortion with handicaps has increased dramatically. Why? Because when you abort the first born of any, nature takes its vengeance on the subsequent children ... In the Old Testament, the first born of every being, animal and man, was dedicated to the Lord. There's a special punishment Christians would suggest.” That one raises some questions over and above Marshall’s seemingly complete lack of concern for facts; as Steve Singiser pointed out: “Perhaps Bob Marshall would like to explain what "vengeance" is being sought upon those loving parents of their one and only exceptional child.” Marshall made some unsuccessful attempts at backpedalling.

Following the repeal of DADT, he proposed a bill to “ban gays from openly serving in the Virginia National Guard” [allegedly] because he is worried about service members catching sexually transmitted diseases from gay troops. Also: “It's a distraction when I'm on the battlefield and have to concentrate on the enemy 600 yards away and I'm worried about this guy whose got eyes on me.” More on Marshall’s view of gays here.

He has furthermore jumped on Ken Cuccinelli’s bandwagon of trying to harass climate scientists into silence for uncovering facts he doesn’t like.

Diagnosis: Bigoted wingnut, Taliban fundamentalist and general loon who is – predictably – pathologically unable to recognize facts that don’t line up with his ideology.


  1. And if you want to defend yourself from accusations of being crazy and paranoid, I don't think this is the way to do it.

  2. Marshall is gearing up for the 2014 election, and in that context it has been time to revive some of his old positions. Here is a list of his five craziest moments, as judged by Rightwingwatch, and here is another relatively updated profile (with a part 2 here after Marshall repeated his claim that disabled children represent God's vengeance for abortion). Here he compares himself and other anti-gay activists to Judge Dred Scott.

  3. And his 20 years younger (half?) sister happens to be actress Paula Marshall who is his political opposite in just about every way.