The Virginia Roanoke Times published a scathing editorial today clowning would-be gubernatorial nominee Ken Cuccinelli and what it means for the state’s politics going forward.
The victim of the latest GOP absurdity is Lt.Gov.Bill Bolling. He seemed to embrace the part of the Republican straight man when he exhorted his party to adopt more mainstream views after President Barack Obama and Democratic Senate candidate Tim Kaine carried the once-red commonwealth this month. Bolling even went so far as to tell a gathering of Republican women in Charlottesville that the party should treat pro-choice members with respect and put a greater emphasis on reducing teen pregnancy rather than punitive ultrasound mandates.
The punch line was obvious to everyone but the lieutenant governor. Until this week when, badabing badaboom, he dropped out of the gubernatorial race.
Bolling was a longtime leader and spokesman for the party’s right wing. But Republican activists now favor Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s flashy Fox News brand of politician over those who have toiled for years to build the party. GOP leaders reversed their decision to choose their gubernatorial nominee in a primary, opting for a closed convention that effectively closed Bolling out of the process, not to mention the people of Virginia.
The Roanoke Times describes Cuccinelli as a man who “abused his office to wage personal crusades against a scientist who studies climate change, environmental regulations and Obama’s health care reforms.”
What the Times does not mention is that Cuccinelli is also a rabid conspiracy theorist who, as recently as this week, implied that President Obama won reelection because of voter fraud.
In a state where Republicans have been given more cause for concern than in others because of its steady drift leftward, a breathtakingly-short bout of soul-searching clearly did not turn up a soul. Because Cuccinneli is a radical’s radical, and he represents some of the worst ideas the Tea Party has offered over the past several years.
On the national stage Republicans may continue to speak of moderation, but an observation of their nominees over next two years will probably tell a very different story.