The moment to impeach a public official is when they begin to represent a tangible threat to the very democracy they have been elected to serve. This moment has come for Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.
There are a number of potential grounds upon which to make the case against Cuccinelli, who has spent his first year in office pursuing partisan goose chases rather than performing his job as the chief legal officer for ALL Virginians. But I will focus on just one issue, the one that, I believe, is so utterly offensive to the American democratic tradition that it demands an equally aggressive rebuke.
And that is his relentless pursuit of Professor Michael Mann and the University of Virginia, in a poisonously misguided effort to turn the threat some vested interests feel at the concept of climate change into an official state criminal investigation of a scientist for his research. Cooch's decision to appeal to the Virginia Supreme Court the rightful ruling of Judge Paul Peatross, who threw out Cooch's baseless case against Mann, shows that a state official who will not listen to reason needs to be challenged himself.
We are not talking here about politicians having policy differences and hashing them out fairly and squarely in the public arena. Cuccinelli's witch hunt against Mann escalates our political wars to the unheard-of level of actually criminalizing scientific research that threatens one's donors. Let's be blunt here: we are talking here about an unprecedented act in American history.