It is one thing to be a purported principled ideologue, but quite another to be this callous and cruel when it comes to the health and welfare of the very citizens you are seeking to be entrusted to govern.
While on its most basic level, this assertion seems to me to say more about the intellectual depravity of Conservative thought in modern America, to the extent that it argues that President Barack Obama, a slightly left-of-center Democrat, is a raging Socialist who is too liberal for an American public that elected him President twice, while the antediluvian Mr. Cuccinelli, who once remarked that he would not get his newborn child a Social Security Number because it is used by the government to track you throughout your life, is somehow a mainstream politician.
The idea, of course, is absurd. Lowell nonetheless took the opportunity to provide us with twenty-five examples of Mr. Cuccinelli's extremism, , and even at that level apparently did not come close to exhausting all the available evidence.
Regardless, I suspect we'll hear plenty more of this nonsense as the summer wears on and the GOP attempts to recast Mr. Cuccinelli as an acceptable choice for a more moderate Virginia. Indeed, based on the poll released last night by the Washington Post, this effort will become more desperate as more people start paying closer attention to the race and Mr. Cuccinelli's record. According to the Post, Terry McAuliffe "does far better among those very closely tuned in than he does among those yet to pay much attention."
The GOP game plan won't break new ground. Unable to defend Mr. Cuccinelli's record substantively, they will blame the messenger. Look for them to argue that Mr. Cuccinelli's reputation as an extremist is simply the result of the typical liberal propaganda enabled by a liberal media.
So, I thought I might take a look at how other conservatives view Mr. Cuccinelli in terms of how extreme he is or, in their view, isn't.
A bona fide Conservative like, say, Jennifer Rubin, the Washington Post's "Right Turn" blogger.
Here, then, on the flip are the top ten Jennifer Rubin quotes about Ken Cucinelli's extremism:
I'm not sure there is much in there that any regular reader of this blog doesn't know already -- basically, NOVA is growing, the Richmond area is competitive, the urban areas are more Democratic, and the rural areas are solid red. Presidential elections are won and lost in NOVA, while depressed turnout in off years favors the GOP.
Still, the entire piece is worth a read.
I did think there were two interesting items, however.
First, according to the article Montgomery County in SW Virginia, where Virginia Tech is located, is something of a bellweather (are you listening, Kathy?
The entire interview was not particularly interesting. Todd is a generic television political analyst who tends to base his reporting on the conventional wisdom, occasionally channeling the analysis of the last political operative to plant an idea in his brain (lately, he seems to have developed a good source in the Romney camp, based on his reporting). Both of those skills were on display for the majority of his chat with Mudcat. Meh.
Mudcat did explain that he did not see the Commonwealth as a "purple" state, but rather still as a "red" state, based on the makeup of the General Assembly. At a local state level, he is without doubt correct (and it must look extremely red from his perch down there in Roanoke), but thanks to continuing demographic changes and a growing urban population, particularly in NOVA, the picture is not quite as clear on a statewide basis. It is now possible for Democrats to statewide elections without attracting significant numbers of "independents" to its side.
Indeed, at the very end of the interview, Todd asked about the whether Democrats could offset losing that "independent" vote in the Commonwealth (which Todd sited in the Southern D.C. suburbs, the Northern Neck, and the more rural areas of Hampton Roads), and Mudcat had an interesting response:
One piece of evidence is, as The New Republic's Jonathan Cohn has discussed, the fact that Romney has ramped up his level of lying (if such a thing is even possible) defending his position on the auto bailout, while at the same time leveling the utterly false charge that an Obama victory would result in Jeep jobs being sent to China, in a last-ditch effort to win Ohio.
Well, lying is par for the course when it comes to Romney, and at this point the public seems to have become numbed, by constant and repeated exposure, to Romney's capacity for dishonesty.
But sadly and tragically, a more disturbing sign of Romney's desperation was his dispatching his campaign's co-national chairman, John Sununu, this past week to level a pathetic, disgusting, shameful and blatantly racist attack on our President.
(more on the flip)
In any event, since Bruce was going to be here in Charlottesville for a concert Tuesday night at the JPJ (a concert that, unfortunately, I was unable to attend), there was hope we might see a similar rally here. Hey, the Boss was here, and we are a swing state, so...
And sure enough, the Obama campaign put out word this weekend that Bruce would do a free concert/get-out-the-vote rally at the Pavilion on the Downtown Mall.
Getting tickets on Sunday was easy enough, and on Tuesday, a beautiful Central Virginia autumn afternoon, me, Mrs. aznew, and Jonah, the most junior aznew (he's 12) headed down to the Mall. Sure, we had to pull him out of school early to get there in time, but we have our priorities straight.
I didn't have a great vantage point to judge crowd size, but based on other gatherings I've seen at the Pavilion, it looked like at least 3,000 to 4,000. The crowd was enthusiastic, but not necessarily political. Many people were clearly there just to see Springsteen, which of course was the idea behind the rally, namely, to deliver the "get out and vote" message to people who otherwise would not attend a political event.
Virginia doesn't offer early voting in the same way as Ohio - here in the Commonwealth, you need to have a reason for needing to vote early, you can't just do it as a matter of right - but volunteers were on hand to help people vote early if they needed to once the rally was over.
But, in truth, just planting the idea in people's minds will get some of them out to the polls on Election Day who otherwise might not go.
Much more on the flip, including video of the Boss
Needless to say, that brought out an immediate and full-frontal assault on the media from the typical corners of the Wingnut movement, primarily based on the now debunked and shopworn charges of liberal media bias. Heck, this time even Faux News called out Ryan on the speech.
But Ryan and his Wingnut defenders also argued (sometimes with merit, sometimes without, in my view) that everything in Ryan's speech was technically true. They cited Ryan's story about the closing of the Janesville GM plant as an example. Ryan never actually asserted, they point out, that the plant closed while Obama was president (which is true). Rather, they say, Ryan recited a set of technically accurate, albeit incomplete facts, to advance their argument that Obama's presidency is one of unfulfilled promises, and, well, if they created the false impression that the plant closed under Obama, that was incidental and unintentional.
That's right. Ryan's defense is I may deceive you, but I don't lie!
Okay, that's pathetic.
But then there is this, even more pathetic news that emerged yesterday.
(more on the flip)
It will be interesting to see how the Romney-Ryan campaign responds. So far, they seem nonplussed.
As widely reported, Romney pollster Neil Newhouse, when asked about the near-unanimous fact-check condemnation of the campaign's false charge regarding Welfare work waivers, said earlier this week, "We're not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers."
In other words, we don't care about the truth.
Chuck Todd, meanwhile, is reporting this evening that the Romney campaign is generally unconcerned about today's uproar over the dishonesty of Ryan's speech. According to Todd, as the Romney campaign sees it, media criticism doesn't matter because the media's credibility is extremely low, and the public perceives the media as partisan and biased in any event.
Todd is also saying, however, that the campaign is pushing back a bit on the Janesville plant lie. Apparently, that particular lie, blaming Obama for something that occurred before he took office, might be a bit much, even for Mitt Romney.
But that pushback consists of their arguing that the Janesville lie is true, not stepping back from their assertions.
(more on the flip)
According to local weekly The Hook, the line to get into today's rally was longer than the Downtown Mall itself, which runs for 10-12 city blocks.
I'm not here to write a news story for Blue Virginia covering the rally. There will be plenty of newspaper articles that will do that. But I did want to present a few highlights and takeaways of the rally for me, and, of course, provide some pictures.
Main Takeaway: "It all depends on you"
These days, it is easy to become discouraged with politics. Mitt Romney is running the most despicable, racist, dishonest campaign in modern American history. It is a campaign fueled by hatred and fear. It is the kind of campaign I would expect from a fringe candidate, not from the nominee of a major political party.
Even worse, it is a campaign that is secure in the knowledge that the national political press in this country will, with a few lonely exceptions here and there, likely prove either incapable of or unwilling to challenge its lies and the immoral underpinnings implicit in its strategy.
In the face of this, it is easy to become cynical and lose hope.
Today, President Obama reminded me that this is what Mitt Romney is counting on. That is his strategy. If he cannot win your vote, he wants to make you fed up with the entire system so that you don't vote at all.
For America to be the country we want it to be, a country of true freedom, a country where people are free to control their own health care decisions, where people are free to choose whom they will love, where people know that when they hit hard times their fellow citizens will look out for them - if we want THAT country, we're going to have to fight for it.
(more on the flip)
We [the U.S. and England] are part of an Anglo-Saxon heritage, and [Romney] feels that the special relationship is special. The White House didn't fully appreciate the shared history we have.
In classic understatement, the reporter on the story idly observes the comment "may prompt accusations of racial insensitivity."
(more on the flip)