Home Virginia Politics Conservative Free-Lance Star: Cooch Setting Dangerous Precedent

Conservative Free-Lance Star: Cooch Setting Dangerous Precedent


Great editorial on Ken Cuccinelli, “campus cop” this morning in the conservative Free-Lance Star.  Here’s the conclusion, but definitely read the entire editorial, as it absolutely demolishes Cooch’s cuckoo reasoning on his witch hunt against free scientific inquiry.

…even if Mr. Cuccinelli thinks that academic scientists are “all in it together,” it is wrong-headed and dangerous for him to go slashing through the ivy. The total-war mentality of modern American politics abhors the existence of neutrals. In today’s vicious ideological battles there are few honest brokers and little affection for independent thinking. Yet the college campus must be a citadel of unmolested thought, a sanctuary from what George Orwell called the “smelly little orthodoxies” of politicians left and right. Because if it is not, its many imperfections will not yield what justifies them all–a drop, now and then, of unadulterated, liberating truth. Conservatives once knew that. True conservatives still do.

Mr. Cuccinelli, at least, is a lawyer, so he must appreciate the power of precedent. If he continues his charge into academe, it will not be without result. The result, however, probably won’t be what’s he seeking. It will be a trodden path for future A.G.s and others in authority to harass scholars whose research annoys them.

At the same University of Virginia whose records Mr. Cuccinelli is tossing are professors who are famously skeptical of global warming (Pat Michaels); others who hold that the decline of marriage is destroying U.S. society (Bradford Wilcox); still others who resist the entire liberal agenda (Gerard Alexander). They now have targets on their backs, too. And the whole academic enterprise, under direct political fire, may cower in its bunker, taking no chances-and shining no light.

Mr. Cuccinelli may be spoiling for a fight. But he should withdraw from this one, lest all Virginians rue the day he picked it.

How about “all Virginians rue the day they elected Ken Kookinelli as Attorney General?”

  • Elaine in Roanoke

    My favorite quote from the editorial – the first page was all I could make available – was, “At least the first Captain Ahab had actually seen Moby Dick.”

    A ship captain driven by obsessive hatred grounded only in his own delusions puts his ship’s crew in grave danger.

    It looks like we will soon discover what happens when an attorney general driven by obsessive hatred grounded only in his own delusions takes an entire “ship of state” into dangerous waters.

  • I’m glad someone is bringing up the implications of precedent here.  We’re used to both sides yelling about activist judges, but this takes activism in the judiciary to an all (and to my mind, very damaging) level.  And I would say the same if the political parties of the people involved were reversed.

  • KathyinBlacksburg

    one aspect of the article.  It claims that conservative researchers, with whom Cooch might have more in common from a political perspective, have targets on their backs too.  The point the paper was trying to make was, “don’t generalize.”  I agree with that.  But I do disagree that conservatives will be similarly targeted or lumped in together by Cooch.  This is a purely ideological witch hunt.  There is not a chance he will go after those with whom he agrees.  And everyone knows it.