TRUE COLORS…. In Virginia, gay and lesbian state workers enjoyed protections against discrimination thanks to an order from former Gov. Tim Kaine (D). His successor, Gov. Bob McDonnell (R), quietly rescinded the order a couple of weeks ago, taking the protections away.

Tim Fernholz isn’t surprised, given that McDonnell attended radical TV preacher Pat Robertson’s college, where McDonnell wrote a thesis calling on government to “restrain, punish and deter” homosexuality.”

Of course, when the thesis — written in 1989 — became public, McDonnell argued that it wasn’t representative of his career in government and that his campaign was focused on jobs. However, he had spent his time as a state legislator supporting a zero-exceptions anti-choice policy and promoting covenant marriage, which makes divorces harder to obtain. The fact that he advocated those policies, which were featured in the thesis, and also said that sexual orientation “raised questions” about a judge’s qualifications, suggest that this document really is part of his blueprint for governing.

McDonnell is a far-right social conservative who ran a very good centrist campaign for governor, telling reporters and voters that his views had changed and that he did not support government discrimination. Some pundits even said that his thesis should be off-limits for discussion, despite the fact he wrote it as an adult. Now that he’s in office, his true colors are showing. Don’t be shocked — expect more to come.

Exactly. The funny thing about conservative Republicans who downplay their ideology to get elected? Who seem moderate to centrist voters? They invariably stop downplaying that ideology just as soon as they have official powers.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.