Any review of the career of Ken Cuccinelli tends to affirm UVA politics expert Larry Sabato’s comment in 2010, “You can only conclude that he enjoys being the center of pointless controversy.” Cooch was born in New Jersey but has been a Commonwealth character for most of his career. He is the gift that keeps on giving, especially to appreciating American values as he sees them and is compelled to share them.
During his tenure as Virginia attorney general, the Cooch advised Virginia’s public institutions of higher education that the terms “sexual orientation” or “gender identity” could or should not be included in discrimination policies. That opinion was overturned by the governor. Cooch has also been a proponent of “self-sufficiency” as a core tenet of the American dream, an ideal he shares with the President. In pursuit of that ideal, Cooch once proposed that “your poor, your tired, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” of Emma Lazarus’s poem (the New Colossus) on the Statue of Liberty be altered to read
Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge.
The change only requires that Cooch be in charge of determining who is “tired,” “poor,” and able to “stand on their own two feet,” and in the magic crystal ball solely owned by Cuccinelli, “who will not become a public charge.” The entire nation turns its lonely eyes to the Cooch to enforce his vision. Another of his unique views was a legislative proposal to make speaking any language other than English in the workplace a cause for termination.
Just when you thought he might have been able to keep his mouth shut for a while, the mouth that roared reappears. Anti-Semitic incidents across the nation have been rising recently, creating deep concern. At the end of December, a Chanukah celebration in a suburb of New York City was the scene of a vicious attack resulting in serious bodily injury to several individuals at the home of a local rabbi. Cooch, not losing a moment of time or press coverage, tweeted about the attacker as follows:
Apparently, American values did not take hold among this entire family, at least this one violent, and apparently bigoted, son.
Certainly, many in the public believed a federal official was providing reliable, verified information. As it turned out, Cuccinelli deleted the tweet following blowback. According to news reports, the father of the attacker had entered the country illegally but gained amnesty under an immigration bill signed by President Reagan in 1986. Some have interpreted the facts to mean that Reagan and the Cooch do not share the same American values. Nor did Cooch identify what American value failed the son of an amnesty recipient. Oh, apparently bigotry took hold. The Cooch has expertise in bigotry.
The attacker was later arrested and identified as a 37-year-old person with a history of mental and emotional difficulties. His age indicates he was born sometime in the early 1980s, possibly before his father received amnesty. That putative fact is likely all the Cooch needed to make the connection between father, son, and American values. God bless free speech even in the absence of common sense. Ouch, another American value
Apparently Cooch never heard of the maxim,
It’s better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than open it and remove all doubt.