Cuccinelli Wrong Again, This Time on Iran; Top Comments on His FB Page Unsurprisingly Appalling

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    Seriously, is Ken Cuccinelli ever right about anything? Apparently not. Even worse are the ugliness he attracts, and brings out, to his extremist demagoguery. For instance, the top comments on Cooch’s Facebook page to this post are as follows.

    *23 likes: “Why would a deal like this include money being given to Iran? Logically, a deal should say that they will not do so and so, period. Money being given to foreign nations, borrowed from China, is the true death of our nation.”

    *14 likes: “KILL THE DEAL AND THEN KILL IRAN,,, BOMB THE HELL OUT OF THEM…”

    *13 likes: “Some well placed nukes will make for a short war. Sounds harsh but I would rather that than waste our men in the sand over there fighting these lunatics.”

    Just another day on Ken Cuccinelli’s Facebook page, basically. Recall that a few weeks ago, we wrote about the top comment on his post on immigration stating, “illegal immigrant families deserve a ride to the border and if they come back they deserve a bullet.” Again,why is it that Cooch attracts despicable people like this? And why is it that Cooch isn’t atypical of many Republicans these days, from Mike Huckabee to Ted Cruz to E.W. Jackson to…we could go on all day? As Andy Schmookler writes in his new book, the “political right – and its political arm, the Republican Party – has become an extraordinarly destructive force in the American body politics,” one that’s “more consistently destructive and dishonest than anything seen before at center state of American politics (except perhaps for the decade leading up to the Civil War.” No argument here; the question is what’s the rest of America doing to stop this lunacy?

    • Andy Schmookler

      This piece on Cuccinelli and those he’s attracting to his FB page, and my piece on Donald Trump holding a mirror to today’s Republican Party, both expose the darkness lurking among the minions of the right.

      The question arises: to what extent are the Republicans attracting the people inflamed with a dark spirit of this sort. And to what extent has the darkness of spirit, over the years, been cultivated by the Republicans?

      Any student of American history knows that there have always been pockets of this kind of viciousness in our politics, and that they have generally gravitated to the right. I think of groups that were labeled “radical right” in the 50s and 60s. And there were the followers of Father Coughlin in the 1930s.

      So some of this has been there all along. It was generally kept on the fringe (e.g. the very conservative William F. Buckley, founding the National Review, would have no truck with the John Birch Society in his conservative movement.

      So at least one change is that what used to be excluded is now a major driver in one of our major parties.

      But I think the Republican Party is more deeply culpable than that. They have spent the past quarter of a century fostering fear and hatred and an incapacity for rational thought in millions of people.

      My bet is that if one could go back in time and interview the parents and grandparents of most of those now telling pollsters that Trump is their man, few of them would have attitudes like those of their inflamed descendants of today.

      Twenty-some years of propaganda from Limbaugh and Gingrich and Rove and their ilk have transformed the consciousness of a large chunk of America.

      And one need not contrast the attitudes of today’s Trump supporters with those of their parents and grandparents. I’ve heard people tell stories of how their own relatives are politically transformed from what they were before. One woman told me about how her mother became more paranoid and angry simply from the effects of watching Fox news, when that became available to her.

      So cultivation and attraction seem both to be factors. What the proportions are of the two, I don’t know. But if I had to guess, I’d venture that the cultivation process has quadrupled the amount of this ugliness of spirit and consciousness that now inhabits the American body politic.