This post falls into the category of “we listen so you don’t have to.” In this case, it’s Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli on the alternate universe known as the Laura Ingraham Show.” Cooch was the guest at 10:30 am today on Ingraham’s show, where he was basically treated as a conquering, conservative hero (Ingraham called him a “rising star in the Republican Party” – god help us if that’s the case).
In her introduction to Cooch’s interview, Ingraham said that the legal opinion he issued the other day — “that Virginia law enforcement officers, including conservation officers may, like Arizona police officers, inquire into the immigration status of persons stopped or arrested” — is “just commonsense.” Actually, many of us to the left of Attila the Hun would argue that comprehensive immigration reform dealing with the root causes of this issue, making the border more secure, regularizing the flow of labor into our country, and providing a fair path to earned citizenship for law-abiding people living and working in America, is “just commonsense,” but that’s obviously not Ingraham’s – or Cooch’s – view.
Instead, Cooch’s view – good conservative that he is – seems to be almost completely focused on the law enforcement end of the equation. Thus, according to Cooch, it’s all about an “anti-ILLEGAL sentiment” – “and you bet I’m anti-ILLEGAL, I’m anti-illegal ANYTHING.” Cooch explained further that “we’re not a tribe or a clan in this country, we subscribe to a fundamental rule of law…It’s the one who are cheating and not playing by the rules…don’t respect the rule of law, we don’t want those people here.”
Well, uh, actually, I strongly doubt that anyone wants people who committed actual crimes – like the horrendous drunk driving case in Prince William county this past weekend, in which a nun was tragically killed and two other nuns seriously hurt – to be running around in this country. But is an “enforcement only” approach really more effective at addressing all the questions surrounding immigration into the United States than comprehensive reform? Cooch seems to think so, but many others – myself included – disagree.
Along those lines, on Laura Ingraham this morning, Cooch focused on a new program with ICE that will pick up “Tier 1, 2 and 3 offenders.” According to Cooch, we’re only at the beginning of this, one of only two states [along with Delaware] to run all arrestees through database to “flag illegals.” Cooch added that “we can only go far, ultimately the feds have got to come get them.”
Regarding his legal opinion issued the other day, Cooch explained that there’s really no news here, that law enforcement already can inquire about “other things” like immigration status. Now, in Virginia, Cooch is saying that law enforcement can inquire about immigration status “as long as there’s a legitimate stop,” that this falls short of the Arizona immigration bill, since that one “REQUIRES” law enforcement to inquire after immigration status while Virginia merely “AUTHORIZES” that.
On his health care lawsuit, Cooch said that “yesterday was a big ruling,” that the the federal government “made four different attacks on us to have the case dismissed [and] they failed on all four.” According to Cooch, “We were allowed to go forward, this is not a frivolous suit.” Cooch stated that what the health care law does is “clearly beyond the outer limits of anything the Supreme Court has allowed as constitutional in the past,” that we are “out in uncharted territories, the federal government has never exercised this kind of power.” It’s so bad, in Cooch’s view, that “if we lose this case, it is the end of federalism as we know it.” Fortunately, Cooch pointed out, “we passed on a bipartisan basis the Virginia Health Care Freedom Act.” (thanks a lot to the genius Democrats who went along with this – nice job!)
The bottom line, according to Cooch, is that the federal health care law “is unconstitutional as it was written and passed” and “ultimately, it will go to the Supreme Court.” Cooch concluded with a bit of over-the-top rhetoric, claiming that today we have a president and a Congress who are going “farther than King George and the Parliament of Great Britain who we rebelled against!” Hyperbole much?