Virginia's Republican gubernatorial hopeful, Ken Cuccinelli, has a new book out, and no one seems happier about that than Democrats.
Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II's new book hit stores Tuesday with the public readings and promotion you'd expect to accompany a missive from a big-name political author.
The surprise was that the dramatic readings and calls to buy the book came from Democrats, who hope the Republican's book will help sink his gubernatorial campaign.
This week, in a Capitol Square office building in Virginia, some Democratic legislators went ahead and literally did a public reading of Cuccinelli's book, "The Last Line of Defense: The New Fight for American Liberty."
I'm not a publicist or an expert in p.r. but I think it's probably a bad sign when your rivals think it's hilarious to read your book out loud in public.
And in this case, who can blame them? As we learned last month when the Cuccinelli text leaked, the right-wing state Attorney General endorses the "47 percent" thesis, and condemns social insurance programs like Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid, food stamps, and subsidized housing.
But that's not at all it says.
Dave Weigel, who argues that Cuccinelli is underrated as a candidate, reports on what else he learned from the Republican's book.
In his telling, Cuccinelli only loses in courts -- federal court, the court of public opinion -- if no one pays attention to the Constitution. Why would they pay attention? They're lulled into obedience. They don't understand that "every single thing government does to increase its own power increases the size of its slice of the liberty pie," and "since there are only two slices, every time the government's slice of liberty pie grows, the citizens' slice is reduced."
The people responsible are either liars or dupes. In shorter chapters about his quest to get -- then, one assumes, debunk -- climate change data, Cuccinelli suggests that "climate researchers may have given up the purity of science to forward a global warming agenda ... simply for the research money." After all, "when researchers in the field of climatology predicted a global warming doomsday, governments were willing to shovel lots of money in their direction to try to find ways to stop it." They fudge data; they fail to understand that CO2 is "the gas we all exhale from our bodies every second of every day."
Looking ahead, keep in mind that Cuccinelli isn't the least bit embarrassed by any of this. On the contrary, he put all of this in written form precisely because he's a true believer -- why hide a right-wing ideology when it should be shouted from rooftops?
The Republican state A.G. doesn't think a book-long diatribe against public institutions and science will undermine his ambitions; he's no doubt convinced it will help him acquire more power. Indeed, Cuccinelli apparently believes he will have a mandate to turn back the clock in Virginia precisely because he told everyone what an extremist he is many months before the election.
So, Democrats will keep reading "The Last Line of Defense" -- sometimes, out loud to voters who'll listen -- and the Republican will keep smiling, confident that most of Virginia will see the world his way.