We all know that Ken Cuccinelli is sinking faster than the Lusitania, which lasted a whole 18 minutes after being torpedoed by a German U-boat in 1915. The difference between the two is that nobody torpedoed Ken Cuccinelli, or rather, he torpedoed himself. The deadly weapon is the Republican’s own extremism.
The tea party response, of course, is to ignore polls that say only 5 percent of Virginia’s think Cuccinelli is too liberal and insist that he is not extreme enough. It is as though they think being more of what makes him unpopular will somehow make him more popular. It’s a strange way of thinking but not much about tea party extremism makes sense to the un-diseased human brain.
Bad enough the Family Research Council thought sending Rick Santorum to lead a special “strikeforce” to “save” Cuccinelli was a great idea. That alone is more than enough to doom the man given what Virginians already think about him.
But the Richmond Tea Party’s executive director Larry Nordvig told Breitbart last month that Cuccinelli isn’t conservative enough because he hadn’t taken a sufficient stand against “Obamacare, immigration, and moral decline.”
Never mind that as Right Wing Watch reports, “Cuccinelli was the first state attorney general to file a lawsuit challenging Obamacare — even winning a case on the district court level against the individual mandate before the Supreme Court ultimately upheld the mandate as constitutional — and has called for civil disobedience against the law.”
And apparently, criminalizing oral sex between married couples isn’t a strong enough stance against moral decline.
Nordvig says Cuccinelli needs to “fight for their deepest-held beliefs.” Kissing up to the tea party to assuage their fragile egos, Nordvig said, also wouldn’t hurt.
As John Farmer wrote a few days ago at New Jersey Online, “odds are he [Cuccinelli] wishes now he’d never heard of them.”
I think we all feel his pain.
Look, here are the facts on the ground. Right Wing Watch lists a few of Cuccinelli’s extremist stances:
- Opposition to Obamacare;
- Support for Arizona’s SB 1070;
- Opposition to abortion. Cuccinelli has said God will punish America for legalizing abortion;
- Wants to criminalize some forms of birth control; and,
- Opposition to job protections for LGBT employees.
It’s difficult to see how Cuccinelli could get more extreme without instituting “a sort of Spanish Inquisition.” That might be effective because, as we all know, nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition. But seriously, what more does the man have to do to prove his hater bona fides? The tea party does, on some level, realize we have a Constitution, do they not? They do realize that in a civil society there are limits to the expression of their hate?
It is also interesting that Republicans always think in terms of “re-engaging” their base as though it takes no more than their base to win elections. Evidence to the contrary from past elections is ignored; they don’t seem to understand that expanding their base just might be a better idea.
But rather than appeal to a wider cross-section of voters, rather than trying to engage moderates and independents, they attack the problem by attacking voting rights.
In a sense tea partiers have no choice. Think about the facts even if they won’t: The tea party is inherently, as we have argued before – like the Nazi Party – a völkisch – that is, ethnic nationalist – organization. It is at its heart a modern pro-confederacy movement supported by “almost half of white Southerners (47.1%).”
The League of the South agrees, reports Warren Throckmorton, saying ethnic nationalism is better than democratic process. And if, as the League of the South also insists, the South is an “Anglo-Celtic” homeland, just who, other than angry, white, Evangelical, and probably wistful Midwesterners, can the tea party reach out to outside of an angry, old, white Evangelical Southerners?
Even if racism is not the driving force behind the tea party movement, there are enough other unsavory ingredients that have dictated their tent be very small. All they have is each other: angry white Christians lashing out at everyone around them. Apartheid is such a hard sell to everyone else, after all, and there are a lot of someone else’s in America these days.
As Tom Davis, former Republican congressman for Virginia, put it, “We have nominated a ticket that Virginians don’t want to buy.” Virginians, and increasingly, Americans.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.