The following videos (here and on the "flip") are from last night's NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia forum in Alexandria. The following videos are of NARAL Executive Director Tarina Keene and Virginia's next Attorney General, State Senator Mark Herring, blasting GOP Attorney General nominee Mark Obenshain's 2009 proposed legislation to essentially criminalize miscarriages (forcing women to report them within 24 hours, have police come out to the woman's home, take a report, and investigate the "evidence").
As Keene put it, Obenshain's bill would have made "every woman of reproductive age as a suspect." Keene also reminds everyone that Obenshain's "ridiculous" legislation was first introduced back in 2005 by Del. Cosgrove, who withdrew the bill after a tremendous backlash (including by fellow Virginia progressive blogger Maura Keaney). Apparently, Mark Obenshain never learns.
Sen. Herring added that what Obenshain (who "has a long record of anti-choice legislation") did with the miscarriage bill was "fundamentally wrong," and that "with him as Attorney General, you could expect a lot more of that and we can't let that happen." So true.
P.S. It was also good seeing Senator Adam Ebbin and former Senator Mary Margaret Whipple there last night.
P.S. I was just watching coverage of the horrible tragedy in Oklahoma, and it just makes me despise EW Jackson with a burning passion to hear him spew this crap. The bottom line is that we are ONE nation, indivisible, and as Bruce Springsteen says, "we take care of our own, wherever this flag's flown!" What about that don't extremists like EW Jackson (and his equally rabid supporters in the right-wingnutosphere) understand?
P.P.S. I'm trying to think of one country in the world where the national government leaves it to the town, city, state, province, whatever, to deal with a natural disaster. I can't think of a single one. I also can't think of one national Republican who believes the federal government shouldn't help localities in the event of a natural disaster. Heck, even the most loony-tunes far-right-wing Republicans only go so far as to demand that disaster expenditures be "offset." Yet again, that just shows you how extreme EW Jackson is.
The following quote by former Rep. Tom Davis, in the National Journal, epitomizes everything I despise about the media, how crazy the Republican Party has gotten these days, and how pathetic Tom Davis has become. Check this out.
"Before everybody pronounces the death knell of the Republican ticket in 2013, they should remember that national dynamics and Obama's approval numbers will have as much to do with this race as anything else," said former Rep. Tom Davis, whose wife, Jeannemarie, ran unsuccessfully against Jackson.
Davis, a moderate, said he would back Jackson despite his antigay views. "How can I support someone who supports 'Obamacare?' " he asked, referring to the Democratic ticket. "That's the choice. Control of the state Senate is at stake."
OK, this is FUBAR on basically every level. First off, we have the straw man of "everybody" (who?) supposedly "pronounc[ing] the death knell of the Republican ticket in 2013." I mean, other than conservative radio host John Fredericks, who's done that? Personally, I continue to believe this will be a close race for governor and Attorney General, although certainly LG isn't looking good for the Republicans this year. As for the longer term, Republicans are in danger of killing themselves off if they keep lurching to the right, but they haven't quite done so yet, still controlling the Governorship, LG, AG, House of Delegates, and 8 of 11 House of Representatives' seats as they do. In short, we've got a long way to go to turn Virginia "blue." Despite Tom Davis' straw men.
American Bridge has released it newest video, showing voters just how extreme the Republican ticket is.
"Cuccinelli and Jackson would represent a drastic break from Virginia's long tradition of electing reasonable an pragmatic leaders. At a time when Virginians need elected officials to work across the aisle to solve problems, Republicans have nominated the most extreme and divisive ticket in memory." -- Chris Harris, American Bridge communications director
Here at 200-Proof Politics, we like the tough jobs. And there is no tougher trick than to do what Houdini couldn't do, escape from a checkmate position. Anyone with some skill can hang upside down from a wire in Times Square, wrapped in a straitjacket, and get out if you know the trick. Houdini discovered the straight jacket while on a trip to Canada, immediately sensing the value for his illusion business. He was a smart Jewish kid who lived in the upper Midwest but longed for the bright lights of the big cities back East. Houdini was a master Con Man, who understood illusion as a political statement.
The problem with the new GOP con man, E.W. Jackson, is simple: he ISN'T AN ILLUSION, but rather a flesh and blood con man. This is why the Virginia GOP is going to need more than Houdini to get out of the straight jacket posed by their having to awaken every morning to the realization that 'WE NOMINATED WHO?!!!!!" as their candidate for Lt. Governor.
"Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" is the theme song of the day for the Virginia GOP, as in the Grand Over Party. Just wait until they discover the real E.W. Jackson, Sr. You think they are getting freaked out now? Here at 200-Proof Politics, we accept any mental challenge. So this morning, we accept this challenge - whether, legally speaking, the GOP is stuck with Mr. Jackson as the party's LG candidate.
Our analysis starts this way. Bishop E.W. Jackson Sr. is a con man. And the worst kind of con man, because he has been using the trappings of the African-American church to spread his vile hatred about good, decent, God-Fearing, African-American church leaders, African-American civil rights leaders, indeed African-Americans in general. As the truth emerges about the true Mr. Jackson, the GOP is going to desperately want to review its options.
Can the governing body of the GOP - the party's central committee - legally strip him of the party's LG nomination? No. That horse has left the barn. HOWEVER: The clever lawyers at 200 Proof have a few legal options never tried before in Virginia. But legal.
Corey Stewart's latest failed attempt to seek higher office has certainly been interesting to watch for Prince William County political observers. Corey began the campaign fresh off a strong showing in 2011 and told reporters after his announcement that the nomination would be locked up quickly. That unraveled as Scott Lingamfelter, from Corey Stewart's back yard, jumped in the race and looked like he could shake up the PWC base. Corey's downward spiral in the LG race has been well documented, but the real question is, what effect this will have on his campaign in PWC in 2015 and beyond.
It is clear there is a strong division in PWC Republican circles. Former Stewart allies, such as conservative bloggers Jim Riley and Greg Letiecq are now on the outs with the Stewart machine. Since 2006 Riley and Letiecq have done the dirty work for Stewart's campaigns, leading the crusade on immigration and pushing attacks on opponents. While they come out of this race a bit damaged after predicting an earlier exit for Stewart, the alliance is clearly fragile and Stewart may not get their same support in the future. Corey's continued relationship with Donna Widawski, an immigration activist and Republican campaign attack-dog from Gainesville, is also turning off some Republican activists who view her as too extreme.
The Republican activists look ready to split IF a candidate would jump in and primary Stewart in 2015. At the end of Stewart's current term, he will have become the longest serving Chair in PWC history, with no Chair ever being elected to a third full term.
What you've just seen...is the complete and unadulterated of the most extreme elements of the Tea Party, storming this convention and attempting to basically take over the Republican Party of Virginia at the expense of the Republicans' opportunity to win elections...EW Jackson represents rhetorically the most far-right-wing, extreme elements of the Tea Party you can possibly imagine...
Now, he ran for U.S. Senate in 2012, he made the same exact speech...he got 4% of the vote in the Republican primary. This is not an electable candidate statewide. If EW Jackson gets on this ticket, in Northern Virginia he's going to get 25% on a good day. This ticket will get annihilated...based on his personality..how strident he is, do you think that the Cuccinelli for Governor campaign is going to be able to have a team meeting with this guy, and tell him what their story for the week is...or how they want to position themselves on a particular issue. He'll laugh at them...
[EW Jackson's rhetoric] might be exciting for the far-right extreme elements of the GOP, they'll go out of this convention and toast each other and have a beer, then they'll go in the polls and get obliterated...This guy is not electable...He doesn't even know what the job [of Lt. Governor] is and he doesn't care.
And that's a conservative Republican speaking, not the Democrats...
I'm still seeing a lot of ambivalence among progressives over Terry McAuliffe's candidacy for governor, in comments on blogs, newspaper articles and elsewhere. As too frequently happens, the Republicans have united their (lunatic) base, while ours continues to hem and haw.
So is Terry the perfect candidate? No, but Jesus decided not to run this year. Gandhi, King, Lincoln and FDR similarly declined. So I guess we better focus on the candidate we've got rather than the ones we don't.
Rather than just dismissing the guy outright, or saying you'll "hold your nose" and vote for him, it's important to understand the reasons why folks on the left should be actively and enthusiastically supporting Terry's candidacy without delay.
The first reason is obvious to all Virginia-watchers: We are up against the most dangerous Republican in America right now, Ken Cuccinelli, who takes pride in taking the most extreme stands in his party and pushing them like a vicious bully. Where others simply mouth the words to the slogans of climate change denial, Cuccinelli spent two years in a legal assault against climate scientist Michael Mann, costing the University of Virginia hundreds of thousands in legal bills. He coerced the state health board into regulating abortion clinics as hospitals, which could drive all the clinics out of the state. He sued the Obama administration the moment the Affordable Health Care Act was signed, and has sued EPA multiple times for daring to regulate fossil fuels. He still thinks sodomy laws are a good idea, and went to court to prove it.
Over at Think ProgressJosh Israel - former president of the Virginia Partisans Gay & Lesbian Democratic Club - has a must-read piece entitled, "Virginia Republicans Nominate Rabidly Anti-LGBT Ticket." Here are a few "highlights."
Over his seven-and-a-half years as a state senator and his four year as attorney general, Cuccinelli earned a reputation as Virginia’s Todd Akin. He opposes even the most basic legal protections for LGBT people because he believes same-sex relationships are immoral — previously explaining, "My view is that homosexual acts, not homosexuality, but homosexual acts are wrong. They're intrinsically wrong. And I think in a natural law based country it's appropriate to have policies that reflect that." Even after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in its 2003 Lawrence v. Texas case that such bans were unconstitutional, he helped defeat an effort to repeal the state law making consensual sodomy a felony. This maneuver came back to haunt him earlier this year, when prosecutors tried to make use of the law to prosecute a statutory rape case and courts rejected the case on constitutional grounds.
Here at 200-Proof Politics, we ask the tough strategy questions without passion or prejudice. For some reason, Chris LaCivita, the Cuccinelli strategy guy, decided not to block Jackson's nomination. Having been in that position, I can tell you this: Jackson could have been stopped. The votes were there on the floor of the Convention to do it. There would have been a price to pay for doing so: LaCivita would have paid a price, Cuccinelli a price, the same for Obenshain and others necessarily part of the coup against Jackson. Still, it could have been done, but it wasn't done.
SO: Assuming the Cuccinelli camp figures they are stuck with Jackson, the only 200-proof option is to help him become a credible PERSON. Notice I didn't say candidate. That is not possible right now. But it is also not job #1. Jackson's real challenge: Become a credible person for the GOP to have on their ticket in 2013. His chances of wining depend a lot on the top of the ticket no matter what. He doesn't control how that comes down.
Accordingly, based on my experience in 1985 - it may no longer be relevant but assuming it is - there are five things that the Jackson campaign has to do. All an LG candidate can do during the summer is position himself or herself to be able to win if the gubernatorial candidate doesn't screw it all up for you.
The #1 thing EW Jackson has to do the next 100 days: SELL HIMSELF AS A CREDIBLE PERSON TO BE RUNNING FOR HIGH STATEWIDE OFFICE. The 200-proof strategy goes like this.
Here are a few Virginia (and national) news headlines, political and otherwise, for Monday, May 20. Also, rest in peace to Rich Savage, a Virginia Democrat who ran for Lt. Governor in 2009 and who sadly committed suicide this past weekend.
In Virginia Beach today, Ken Cuccinelli praised EW Jackson as a "powerful fighter" committed to "first principles." In other words, Cuccinelli is admitting that bigotry (anti-LGBT, anti-Muslim, etc.), intolerance, and tinfoil-hate conspiracy theories are "first principles" worth fighting for in the Virginia Republican Party. Got it.
Cuccinelli-Jackson-Obenshain Will Take VA Backward
Yesterday Virginia Tea Party Republicans made history when they nominated the most extreme statewide ticket this Commonwealth has ever seen. From banning birth control and forcing women to report miscarriages to police, to comparing Planned Parenthood to the KKK, there is no arguing that Ken Cuccinelli, E.W. Jackson and Mark Obenshain are further outside the Virginia mainstream than any slate of candidates either party has ever nominated.
The Democratic Party of Virginia and concerned Virginians from all political points of view spent the last week informing voters about Ken Cuccinelli's dangerous and extreme "personhood" agenda to ban birth control and roll back women's rights. As the memo below demonstrates, E.W. Jackson and Mark Obenshain are the two most perfect candidates Tea Party Republicans could have nominated to walk in lockstep with Cuccinelli's dangerous crusades.
E.W. Jackson: "Planned Parenthood Has Been Far More Lethal To Black Lives Than The KKK Ever Was." In September 2012, E.W. Jackson posted a video in which he called on the black community to end their "slavish devotion" to the Democratic Party. In the video, he said: "The Democrat Party has created an unholy alliance between certain so-called civil rights leaders and Planned Parenthood, which has killed unborn black babies by the tens of millions. Planned Parenthood has been far more lethal to black lives than the KKK ever was." [Bishop E.W. Jackson Message to Black Christians, 9/8/12]
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