I probably agree 99% of the time with Peter Galuszka of Bacon’s Rebellion, which is why I found his latest headline, A New, Improved Ken Cuccinelli?, so puzzling. At first I thought that Galuszka was going to write an Onion-style satire or just a “yeah right!” But no, this appears to be serious.
Is one-time conservative firebrand Ken Cuccinelli undergoing a makeover?…
…The hard line former Virginia attorney general who lost a bitter gubernatorial race to Terry McAuliffe in 2013 is now helping run an oyster farm and sounding warning alarms about a rising police state.
…Yet on March 31, Cuccinelli was the co-author with Claire Guthrie Gastanaga, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia of an opinion column in the Richmond Times Dispatch. Their piece pushes bipartisan bills passed by the General Assembly that would limit the use of drones and electronic devices to read and record car license plate numbers called license plate readers or LPRs.
A few thoughts on this. First, you might have noticed that I did NOT link to the aforementioned opinion column in this morning’s news clips. That was intentional, as Ken Cuccinelli is an extremist, bigot, and paranoid nutjob who doesn’t deserve one drop of ink (or pixels), except to mock him and to expose his extremism/bigotry. Why anyone would want to team up with or associate themselves in any way with this extremist is beyond me, but to each their own.
Second, to the question posed by Peter Galuszka, the short answer is “no, Cuccinelli is most certainly NOT ‘new and improved.'” A few examples of his recent ravings include: Mitch McConnell Surrenders on Amnesty (urges a shutdown of Homeland Security over immigration policy), House Abandons Pro-Life Bill (criticizes the GOP for not passing an unconstitutional 20-week abortion bill), 25 Republicans Oppose Boehner for Speaker (opposes John Boehner because he’s supposedly too liberal), hung out with Ted Cruz on St. Patrick’s day, continues to promote crazy climate science denial/conspiracy theories, has engaged in “creepy Hillary Clinton bashing”, posted this beyond-heinous cartoon on his Facebook page mocking climate science and showing Hillary Clinton about to be beheaded by an ISIS terrorist, started a “gun rights” firm, continues his rabid homophobia and gay bashing, etc, etc. In short, meet the new Crazy Cooch, same as the old Crazy Cooch.
Finally, with regard to Cuccinellii’s concerns for civil liberties, government surveillance, etc., that’s nothing new whatsoever. The problem is that, although this is a serious issue, Cuccinelli is coming at it at least in part from a deeply non-serious place. For instance, see Virginia AG Ken Cuccinelli Worried about the Government Tracking His Son – Told Crowd He Might Not Get Social Security # from March 2010. But even if you discount Cuccinelli’s paranoia/lunacy, obviously civil liberties and personal privacy issues are VERY serious ones, and for whatever reason(s), Cuccinelli has talked about them for a long time (e.g., see FreedomWorks Joins Rand Paul, Ken Cuccinelli in NSA Spying Class Action Lawsuit. So, yet again, this is nothing new or improved for Cuccinelli.
Bottom line: I’m not sure why Peter Galuszka, who I agree with 99% of the time, thinks that Ken Cuccinelli might be “undergoing a makeove,” but it’s simply not true. Unfortunately, he’s the same right-wing “firebrand” that he ever was…