With regard to Ken Cuccinelli’s “opinion” on regulating abortion clinics in Virginia, one of the smartest things I’ve seen written so far is by Paige Winfield Cunningham.
Sometimes politics is like a Rube Goldberg machine. Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli usually sets Virginia’s ball in motion, triggering a predictable chain of events.
The sequence goes like this:
1. Cuccinelli issues an opinion or files a lawsuit.
2. Right away, Del. Bob Marshall strongly and publicly supports it.
3. Democrats such as Sen. Creigh Deeds and Del. David Englin spread their frustration all over Twitter.
4. Sometime later, Gov. Bob McDonnell issues a cautious and qualified statement that sounds as moderate as possible while still supporting the AG.
Yes, that about sums it up. In other words, Cooch may be crazy, but he’s also extreme…extremely clever. Same thing with his far-right-wing allies — particularly, Del. “Sideshow Bob” Marshall, who prompted Cooch’s opinion on abortion clinics and now, getting the response he wanted, is pushing Governor McDonnell to crack down (although Marshall phrases it in Orwellian language — “do everything possible to ensure that every woman’s life and health and their future pregnancies are protected by the Commonwealth of Virginia”). Not surprisingly, it looks like McDonnell, schooled as he is by Pat Robertson (and holding the same medieval worldview), is strongly inclined in Cooch’s and “Sideshow Bob”‘s direction on this one. According to McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin, “The governor is a long-standing supporter of ensuring that abortion clinics, and their medical personnel, are treated equally with other outpatient surgical hospitals by the commonwealth to ensure services are provided in a safe manner.”
The end result of all this “end run around the General Assembly,” as Del. David Englin (D-Alexandria) predictably (albeit accurately) calls it? According to abortion-rights advocates, “the regulations could prompt the shutdown of 17 of the state’s 21 clinics performing abortions.” In other words, back to the “back alley” for poor women in Virginia, and one step closer to Cooch’s and “Sideshow Bob’s” Christian-version-of-Wahhabi-Islam Virginia.