Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Is the Virginia GOP Facing a Blow Out Defeat in November?

The last post looked at the Virginia GOP's spittle flecked and in my view insane Lt. Governor nominee, "Bishop" E. W. Jackson.  But Jackson isn't the Virginia GOP's only problem.  Their gubernatorial candidate Ken "Kookinelli" Cuccinelli is down in the polls and continues to be dogged by his own "Gift Gate" scandal due to his receipt of gifts from Jonnie R. Williams and Star Scientific.  Adding to Kookinelli is a possible "Gas Royalties Gate" arising from his office's improper assistance to gay company litigants trying to screw Southwest Virginia landowners out of gas royalties.  To date, Cuccinelli's explanations simply don't wash - especially give the $140,000 he received from the parent corporation of one of the gas companies - and Southwest Virginia voters seem to be rejected Kookinelli's bullshit excuses.  A column in the conservative Richmond Times Dispatch looks at the hopes of the Virginia GOP that the equally extreme Mark Obenshain will somehow save them from an across the board defeat.  Sadly, the column fails to mention that Obenshain has supported "personhood" legislation for fertilized embryos.  Here are column excerpts:

Republicans want to believe Mark Obenshain is their firewall. The GOP nominee for attorney general, Obenshain isn’t burdened by controversy on the groaning scale that afflicts the party’s candidates for governor and lieutenant governor, Ken Cuccinelli and E.W. Jackson. If they flame out, perhaps Obenshain survives, supplying Republicans a statewide voice and a gubernatorial nominee for 2017.

Not that the lugubrious Obenshain isn’t facing discomfiting questions.  

Among the questions: Obenshain’s election-year legislation — now law — making it harder for Virginians to vote and easier to keep secret that they carry a concealed gun. Obenshain also is harangued for a 2009 measure — later withdrawn — that would have required women report miscarriages to authorities within 24 hours.

Republicans tell themselves there are many reasons to view Obenshain as viable when their other nominees seem less so.

Because Obenshain, from the vote-poor Valley, and Herring, from vote-rich NoVa, are both late baby boomers, barely known outside their parties and have similarly subdued personalities, sharp distinctions in their records may be difficult for voters to comprehend.

Cuccinelli’s continuing ethics problems — and those that have Gov. Bob McDonnell in the crosshairs of federal prosecutors — force Obenshain to distance himself from his running mate. Further, they compel Obenshain to continue spelling out how he, as the state’s chief legal officer, would have prevented Cuccinelli and McDonnell from behaving badly in the first place.

The headwinds buffeting Cuccinelli and headaches caused by Jackson’s smash-mouth rhetoric leave Obenshain no option but to go it alone.

Obenshain could confront a force that not even a flood of advertising can deflect: momentum.  If voters, weary of the scandal that has trivialized Republicans, find themselves two-thirds of the way down the ballot — having already flipped the switch for McAuliffe and Ralph Northam for lieutenant governor — what’s to stop them from making it a trifecta for Democrats?

That the Virginia GOP finds itself in this sad state is due to two factions which need to be held accountable if the GOP suffers a total blow out defeat: The Family Foundation and the Tea Party.   The Virginia GOP sold its soul to these ugly extremists and it may be about to receive what it deserves for doing so.

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