Sunday, June 27, 2010

If you are a Republican, how do you know you are screwed?

Being a Republican must be very difficult. There are so many ethical rules involved in being a Republican, and you have to know when you can ignore them and when you can't--mostly Republicans ignore them.

But there is one surefire way that a Republican can know that they've really gone too far and they've done something that's really bad and they are screwed. The tell? It's when the Richmond Times Dispatch writes an editorial in their Sunday paper that describes something you've done with a really pejorative term; something like "malodorous" or "reeking" or "stench." "Stench" is particularly bad if it is capitalized, and if they stick the word "the" in front of the word "stench" and make it "The Stench," well then you are basically screwed.

Take Ken Cuccinelli for instance. Ken Cuccinelli is so clueless about the difference between right and wrong that the editorial staff of the Richmond Times Dispatch, one of the most conservative newspapers in the world--a newspaper that is so conservative that it took about four decades to get around to apologizing for its role in supporting "Massive Resistance"--wrote an editorial in their Sunday paper about Ken Cuccinelli and they called it "The Stench." If you are Ken Cuccinelli, that's bad. How bad? Let's have a look, shall we?
Of far greater concern: the activity of Ken Cuccinelli, who took $55,000 in campaign donations from Thompson while he was running for attorney general. Like Ticer, other Virginia politicians who took Thompson's money have said they would divest themselves of the funds. Cuccinelli, however, has merely segregated the money in a separate account until the various investigations are complete.

A spokesman for the attorney general told The Times-Dispatch that "If Mr. Thompson was convicted of wrongdoing relative to the misappropriation of funds, and contributions to our campaign came from money that was supposed to go to active-duty military or veterans, we would donate those contributions to military support organizations here in Virginia." Those three conditions set a high bar: Not only does Thompson have to be convicted, but he has to be convicted of a specific type of offense -- and his contributions must be found to have come from money that should have gone to servicemen -- before Cuccinelli will let go of the lucre.

In a recent commentary for The Virginian-Pilot, Cuccinelli's Democratic opponent for attorney general, Steve Shannon, alleges a troubling timeline: First, Virginia's Office of Consumer Affairs had notified Thompson's group that it no longer qualified for an exemption from state registration requirements. Next, Thompson made an unsolicited $5,000 donation to Cuccinelli's campaign. Four days later, Cuccinelli suggested moving the Office of Consumer Affairs from the Department of Agriculture to the attorney general's office. Cuccinelli later asked Thompson for more money. Thompson obliged with $50,000. Three weeks later Cuccinelli held a press conference to reiterate his suggestion about moving the Office of Consumer Affairs.

. . .

Cuccinelli's reply so far has consisted of a two-word riposte from his political director: "Sore loser." But calling Shannon names hardly qualifies as a sufficient, or even a serious, response. The attorney general owes Virginians a fuller explanation as to why he would want his name connected in any way with the stench emanating from the dubious group. For instance, suppose inquiries determine that U.S. Navy Veterans is a charity in name only, and the principal beneficiary turns out to be Thompson. That might not break any state laws. But it would reflect poorly on Cuccinelli to keep money that donors had intended help veterans rather than Thompson himself.
That last line is a killer, so let me just start a new paragraph, bold it, italicize it, and set it apart in a blockquote.
"[I]t would reflect poorly on Cuccinelli to keep money that donors had intended help veterans rather than Thompson himself."
Some context? That's the mother-effing Richmond Times Dispatch saying that about a Republican politician in a Sunday editorial entitled "The Stench."

Conclusion? Ken Cuccinelli is screwed.

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