Chris Cillizza of The Washington Post notes that the decision by a federal judge in Virginia that a provision of President Obama’s health care law is unconstitutional “thrusts state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli into the national spotlight” because he was vindicated by the ruling.
But the Post has done its best in a series of editorials to insist that Republican Cuccinelli has been way off base in his actions as Virginia Attorney General, including in the health care matter.
On October 30, 2009, before he was elected, the Post ran an editorial, “Mr. Cuccinelli’s bigotry,” predicting that “As attorney general, he would be an embarrassment to Virginia.” It took offense at his comments critical of homosexuality. The Post declared, “If he is elected attorney general, Mr. Cuccinelli would drive away qualified lawyers from an office that functions as the state government’s law firm, and, given his bizarre ideas, he would very likely become an embarrassment for the commonwealth.”
In the November 2009 general election, Cuccinelli obtained 58 percent of the vote to Democrat Steve Shannon’s 42 percent.
Now, one of his “bizarre ideas”—opposing the health care law on constitutional grounds—has been upheld by a federal judge.
Endorsing Shannon, a Post editorial called Cuccinelli “a provocative hard-liner” and the author of “far-fetched initiatives.”
No wonder the Post is losing subscribers and depending more and more on its controversial subsidiary, Kaplan, to keep it financially afloat.
One constant theme in the paper has been that Cuccinelli is too conservative. Post reporter Anita Kumar, in a September 21, 2010, story, declared that Cuccinelli “has issued several controversial legal opinions in the past few months, concluding, for instance, that police could check the immigration status of those stopped by law-enforcement officers, that the state could impose stricter oversight of clinics that perform abortions and that local governments could allow religious holiday displays on public property.”
She said he was “far-right” because of his “controversial” positions in favor of enforcement of immigration laws, more oversight of abortion mills, and freedom of religious expression.
In a March 24, 2010, story on his challenge of ObamaCare, Post reporter Rosalind S. Helderman declared that “legal experts” had “expressed skepticism” about the “likelihood of success.” These experts were not named.
Perhaps one of them was Post columnist E.J. Dionne, Jr., who said, “Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli seems determined to use an attack on health-care reform to bring us back to the 1830s.”
He explained, “The Republican attorney general’s move reveals how far into the past America’s New Nullifiers want to push the nation. They don’t just want to abandon a seven-plus-decade understanding of the Constitution’s interstate commerce clause that has allowed the federal government to regulate a modern, national economy. They also want to resurrect states’ rights doctrines discredited by President Andrew Jackson during the Nullification Crisis of the 1830s and buried by the Civil War.”
Dionne, Jr. said Cuccinelli’s objections to ObamaCare were “reckless.”
Predictably, a subsequent Post editorial finds that the ruling in favor of Cuccinelli is “flawed.”
But health care isn’t the only problem for the Post. “Ken Cuccinelli seems determined to embarrass Virginia” was the headline over a Post editorial finding fault with the Attorney General over his investigations of whether former University of Virginia researcher Michael E. Mann committed fraud in the ClimateGate scandal.
Since the paper buys into the global warming hysteria, it wants the scandal to go away.
Perhaps the Post’s coverage of the Virginia Attorney General is not only flawed but embarrassing, biased, and shallow.
Rather than Cuccinelli getting some new lawyers, perhaps the Post could use some conservative editorial writers and reporters with an understanding of the Constitution and some familiarity with conservative principles.