Home 2019 Elections Flashback: Mark Obenshain Muses on “Nullification,” “Forceful Measures” Against Federal Government

Flashback: Mark Obenshain Muses on “Nullification,” “Forceful Measures” Against Federal Government


Democratic Attorney General nominee Mark Herring and others have been pointing out for months that Virginia GOP Attorney General nominee Mark “Criminalize Miscarriages” Obenshain is just as extreme as Ken Cuccinelli and EW Jackson, but that he hides it better than they do (hence, the line, “Mark Obenshain votes like Ken Cuccinelli and EW Jackson talk”). And that’s exactly what this slippery, professional, life-long (he brags on his website that he “has been politically active practically his entire life”) politician has been doing – trying hard to “Etch-a-Sketch” his record, make people think that he’s not the right-wing extremist that he is.

For instance, just this morning in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Obenshain was quoted as claiming – laughably, for anyone who knows ANYTHING about this guy’s record! – that “the principles and policy positions that I have laid out in the course of my campaign are mainstream Virginia principles and values”. Well, sorry, but that’s just not true. As Larry Sabato puts it in that same article, what Obenshain’s been doing has been “breathtaking, if you look at Obenshain’s voting record…His rhetoric has become kinder and gentler, but his Senate floor and committee votes have been very conservative, pretty close to Cuccinelli’s stands, in fact.” (note: in the same RTD interview, Obenshain tries to distance himself from Cuccinelli, who he has previously called a model he’d follow in the AG’s office). Sabato’s being diplomatic, because he doesn’t want to use the word “liar.” But we will. Mark Obenshain is an outright liar (aka, “Etch-a-Sketching” like Romney). And it’s time to start systematically calling out on it.

So today, we kick off a series of posts on Mark Obenshain, one that likely will involve a post every day on this chameleon, to show how he’s no different, really, than EW Jackson and Ken Cuccinelli, either in terms of his positions on the issues or even in terms of his rhetoric. He just hides it a bit better, but it’s all there, if you know where to look. Fortunately, we do. 🙂

To kick off our series, let’s focus on Mark Obenshain’s musings on the idea of violently overthrowing the federal government. What? Seriously? I must be kidding, right? Well, no…sadly I’m not. Check this out, from January 2013.

In the Q & A session nullification was brought up. It is still an option [Mark Obenshain] said but “Am I ready to declare the republic dead – absolutely not.” However, he was not ready to let the federal government roll over the states either. “There has to be a middle ground.” He stands with Cuccinelli in finding ways to challenge in court the constitutionality of illegal acts. The next option is to “throw the bums out.” However, he concluded that it is possible that sometime far into the future if something didn’t change more forceful measures might be an option. “Am I going to set up barriers on interstates 66 and 95 – no I’m not there yet,” said Obenshain. “I think a Governor Cuccinelli and an Attorney General Obenshain can make some mischief and get some great things done … one of the problems we have is top down leadership.”

So, let’s get this straight. According to Mark Obenshain, who wants to be Virginia’s chief lawyer, there’s a ladder of measures he’d advocate to fight the federal government, up to and apparently including “nullification” and/or “more forceful measures.” Does this type of rhetoric sound familiar coming from extreme right-wing Republicans? It might not, because very few Republicans would say such a thing out loud, even if they think it. One who did say so was the “ballot box”/”bullet box” candidate, Catherine Crabill, who was lambasted around the country for her treasonous lunacy. Another was this Republican Congressional candidate in Texas, who “stunned his party…saying he would not rule out violent overthrow of the government if elections did not produce a change in leadership.” And then of course there’s crazy Michele Bachmann, who “compared Washington, D.C. to ‘enemy lines’ and urged her supporters to become ‘armed and dangerous’ and fight a ‘revolution’ against cap and trade legislation.” That’s about as extreme as you can get in this country, yet that’s exactly what Mark Obenshain was happily musing about in Roanoke back in January. No wonder he’s trying hard to make his past statements – and actions, as we’ll detail in future posts – disappear from the view of voters (aka, to mislead/fool them). After all – to paraphrase Willard “Mitt” Romney, another pathologically lying “Etch a Sketch” Republican – he’s got an election to try and win, for Pete’s sake!

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