State Senator Mark Obenshain (R-26th) is proud to be on board with his former seatmate, Ken Cuccinelli. Carrying on a tradition of pursuing a personal social agenda rather than the people’s business is his objective. Something old, something new, something borrowed could make Virginia’s next Attorney General blue.
Politicians take license with the truth. They all do. Generally they pick an audience that is receptive and unwitting. Take George Romney’s son and the 47% remark. So it really is as much a comment about Obenshain’s disregard for the truth as it is a revelation about whom he appeals that he warmed up Virginia Beach Republicans with an adaptation of story told years ago by Paul Trible about his 5 ½ year old daughter. Obenshain’s embellished version cast his own then 5 year old daughter, but moved the punch line venue to a children’s sermon at his church. Nothing like “crafting” a story to embed the common experience of religious affiliation with your audience. Let them assume whatever they will.
“You’re my friends. I share that embarrassing moment with you with the knowledge that you will keep that to yourselves and not share it any further.” – Mark Obenshain.
Obenshain effectively reads and connects with a receptive (nee gullible) crowd. He told this audience that he recognized some of them from his visits to the local Victory office. He knew, he said, that all of them did everything they possibly could to make sure they won that election back in the fall. But election day came and the morning after it felt like they’d gotten a kick in the gut. He rallied them by telling them that they’d all made a choice to get back in the saddle afterwards instead of packing it in. That, he claimed, was evidence they were ready to continue the fight across Virginia.
“I had to think about what I had been engaged in the past couple of years and the wisdom and the importance of it. And it did not take me long to figure out that running for Attorney General in Virginia is more important now than it ever has been.”
Referring to the newly minted book, Obenshain averred that the Attorneys General of America have become what Ken Cuccinelli terms “the last line of defense.” This was his launch pad for a campaign, not for Attorney General, but against an unrestrained implementation of a liberal agenda by President Obama. According to Obenshain, only the Attorneys General can do what Congress is powerless to do.
“I am proud of the fact that our Attorney General was the first Attorney General in America to stand up to file suit against health care.”
It is not enough to take on health care. There is a reactionary target rich environment out there. No diatribe against protecting the future would be complete without reference to the war on coal and the EPA using the Clean Water Act to regulate water as a pollutant. And as a proof source, he pointed to the “liberal Democrat controlled” Board of Supervisors in Fairfax County turning to our conservative Republican Attorney General for help. And there was more.
“Where I live we have Mennonite dairy farmers. These people do not vote, they do not drive cars, they do not have electricity in their homes, but they run a mean dairy farm. And we’ve got the Environmental Protection Agency sending them enforcement letters…and using words that only bureaucrats love. They are sending these Mennonite dairy farmers enforcement letters telling them that their dairy cows are point source discharge units for methane…that require permitting in order for them to continue to operate dairy farms.”
Obenshain believes the next fight will be over economic development and points to a threat to Virginia’s right to work laws. Apparently President Obama and Senator Kaine are singularly focused on and hostile toward Virginia’s labor laws.
“I’ve handled 250 to 300 constitutional cases during the course of my career. These are the great fights of our generation that are being fought right now by Attorneys General across America and I want in. That is why it did not take me long to determine that this course that I set myself upon to be the next Attorney General is more important now than it ever has been.”
No good appeal to unreason would be complete without mentioning voter fraud. He cited the recent Quinnipiac poll that found 95% of Republicans favored requiring a photo ID at the polls. Since 2005 he’s been championing voter ID legislation. This year’s miracle passing of the new law he championed was, he claims, attributable to a video featuring the son of “a certain liberal Democratic Congressman.”
“As important as Ken Cuccinelli and his role is as Attorney General, in being the last line of defense, I am not satisfied with that. I think that we have to be the front line in the effort to expand the realm of freedom here in the Commonwealth of Virginia.”
Well, he is right about one thing: the choice of the next Virginia Attorney General is more important than ever. There is no reason to think Obenshain isn’t sincere in his belief that he represents Virginia’s mainstream political thought. It will serve him well in his effort to team up with the presumptive Republican gubernatorial nominee at the convention. This may be a gift to all the Democratic nominees in the general election, moving the Republican ticket further away from mainstream political philosophy.