Ken Cuccinelli’s book, “The Last Line of Defense,” is the presumptive Republican nominee’s opening salvo in his quest to become Governor of the Old Dominion. It is a strange politico manifesto for a campaign. Ken refrains from writing about topics near and dear to his heart such as trans-vaginal inspections and gay bashing, but neither does he address any of the Commonwealth’s problems such as road congestion, K-12 school performance and spending, competition between coal and the increase of shale derived natural gas, and how the state will be affected by the sure-to-come large defense cuts. Instead, Cuccinelli presents himself as a knight in defense of Virginia against its biggest threat, not international terrorism or cheap Chinese imports, but the government of the United States of America, especially the Affordable Health Care Act and the Environmental Protection Agency.
In tackling complex issues such as health care and the environment one would expect a tome full of scientific, economic, and political analysis appropriately footnoted and explained to support his arguments. Ken opines on all these issues without a footnote, end note or bibliography. The Cuccinelli Doctrine of research states, “If Ken says it, it must be true.”
The tone of the work is set literally within the first few pages. On the second page he states: “I call the biggest set of lawbreakers in America the Obama administration.” Attempts to criminalize the political opposition is a tactic often practiced by dictatorships of the Right or Left. As a self-proclaimed defender of the Constitution, Cuccincelli must know that the Constitution provides impeachment in the case of a President who breaks the law. If Ken is correct why haven’t the Republicans in the House of Representatives voted articles of impeachment against Obama. Wild and inflammatory accusations such as this often leads to unpleasant political outcomes.
Cuccinelli often refers to the Declaration of Independence as giving rights. As every high school student who has labored through a Government class knows, it does not. The Declaration is a statement of the Enlightenment idea of natural rights and then argues that, as George III has broken these rules, the colonists have a right to revolt. I am surprised that the top legal official of the state would make such an error.
Cuccinelli is obsessed with his critics and his vile condemnations go well beyond acceptable political discourse. He references an article written by Thomas Friedman of the New York Times as a glowing endorsement of one-party rule in Communist China. In a revival of the McCarthyism of the 1950′s. the Attorney General claims that Friedman praised Chinese Communism by writing:
“One party autocracy certainly has its drawbacks, but when it is led by a reasonably enlightened group as China is today, it can have great advantages.”
Thanks to the old teacher trick of Googling a suspicious passage, I was able to find the article that caught the General’s fancy. Needless to say, Cuccinelli did not quote the content accurately and simply lied about its intent.
The article to which the “Cooch”refers was published on September 9, 2009, in the New York Times. Far from being the “longing” for a Chinese Communist-style government as Ken states in his book , it is a plea for more participation by the opposition party in the debate on two important issues. Friedman states:
“One party democracy is worse. The fact is on both energy/climate and health care legislation only the Democrats are really playing. With few notable exceptions, the Republican Party is standing, with arms folded, saying “No.”
What’s the source for your defilement of Mr. Friedman’s character, Mr. Attorney General??
Cuccinelli, who writes that the only reason for a social safety net is to make citizens dependent on government, thus assuring the reelection of certain politicians. Continuing this line of logic, he states that several popular sections of the Affordable Health Care Act came into force simply to placate the electorate. Ken states that one of these was a provision preventing private insurers from discriminating against those with pre-existing conditions. He states that this is a good way to put private sector insurance companies out of business.
Ken has told another whopper. The Act provided for a Federal program for those with pre-existing conditions for those who had been without insurance for 6 months. The requirement that does away with discrimination against those with pre-existing conditions takes effect in January 2014 when the pool is expanded to include everyone. Companies will be able to discriminate on the basis of age.
Cuccinelli believes that the Health Act is a plan by the Administration to bankrupt private insurance companies so that the government can gain total control of 17% of the GDP. Apparently those closet-Communists on Wall Street fail to agree: stock markets are mechanisms to present-value future earnings. Wellpoint, the parent of Richmond-based Anthem, traded as high as $75 per share in 2008 and closed at $62.70 on Friday, February 15th while United Health which was in the mid-$30′s in 2008 ended that day at $57.32. I guess the Marxist-Leninist traders on the NYSE have another idea about Obama’s plans.
Cuccinelli’s battles with the EPA are a further demonstration over science and economics. He conveniently forgets to mention his suit against a climate-change scientist at UVA. In the Attorney General’s world, the right of free speech must yield to ideology. The Attorney General must have stopped at the Preamble because that is in the First Amendment.
Mr. Cuccinelli is worried about his reputation. He is offended that some in the press call him a proponent of nullification, but he is simply bubbly in his praise of Virginia’s Health Care Freedom Act. A quick glance at Bob Marshall’s website indicates that “no Law shall interfere with the right to purchase … or to decline to contract” for health care. So the Supreme Court says that the Affordable Care and the individual mandate are Constitutional but in Virginia the State Government legislates that it is legal to avoid the law and its penalties. Maybe in his next book Ken will give us a new definition of selective nullification.
Cuccinelli’s book confirms that he is unfit to serve in elected office. He is a practitioner of politics at its lowest level of integrity. His political ancestors include John C. Calhoun, Joseph McCarthy, and J. Lindsey Almond. Hopefully, the Republicans will have a second look and nominate a true Conservative grounded in ethics and in touch with reality.
– Les Schreiber