Attorney General Cuccinelli’s decision to ban all payments to nonprofit organizations speaks volumes about the current state of the right wing in America. From the elder George Bush’s “Thousand Points of Light” campaign 20 years ago to promote charities as an alternative to excessive government, we have now come to the point where conservatives don’t even want to support a strong non-profit sector. No, they don’t want anything to protect the vulnerable from the gale force of the marketplace, which must operate unfettered, unopposed and unquestioned.
Cooch may well be right about the plain language of the Virginia Constitution not authorizing payments to NGOs. And if indeed this question was raised by a constituent who didn’t want his tax dollars going to a conservative blog, Tertium Quids, then I have to agree that state money should not support blogs — and as a front-pager at Blue Virginia, I would not support accepting any state funds whatsoever, as it would create the impression that we are simply government stooges.
But most NGOs that receive state money are truly charitable, for purposes such as family services, the Special Olympics, and helping children correct facial deformities (plus some tourist activities with economic development benefits). Now just think about what Cooch’s desire to cut off funding to these groups says about his priorities.
It is, in fact, consistent with his actions on other issues, which invariably favor the powerful over the powerless. He sues the Federal government to prevent it from expanding access to health care. He attacks the EPA and U-VA to call into question climate change research that could hurt the share prices of coal and oil companies. He tells universities that they can’t ban discrimination against gays.
In every case, his priority is to use government to protect the privileged — especially corporate America — from scrutiny and regulation. And if ordinary people have to suffer in the process, then oh well.
The great irony here is that Cooch’s agenda is the exact opposite of that laid out by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount. The poor, the meek, the merciful, it seems, are no longer blessed, nor are good works to help them of value. Rather our mission here, as revealed by Saint Cooch, is to clear out all this human debris that stands in the way of the wealthy and advantaged — those who, as Jesus put it, “store up for [them]selves treasures on earth”.
Too bad for those among us who need our help. They won’t get it in a world run by conservatives like Cooch.