Virginia's Attorney General Says It's Okay to Break the Law for Jesus
Photo Credit: Panaspics/ Shutterstock.com
Stay up to date with the latest headlines via email.
Let's say, just hypothetically, you are the attorney general for the commonwealth of Virginia. So it's sort of your job to uphold and enforce the law, even the laws you don't like, because that's part of the job. You know what isn't part of the job? Advising people to break the law you've sworn to uphold.
While that might seem obvious, apparently it isn't so obvious to a certain attorney general and wannabe governor whose name is Ken Cuccinelli. (As is so often necessary when discussing Republicans, please note this is not from The Onion.)
Cuccinelli recounted an exchange with his own bishop in which he counseled the cleric to embrace civil disobedience: “My local bishop said, ‘Well, you know I told a group I’m ready to go to jail.’ And I said, ‘Bishop, don’t take this personally: You need to go to jail.’”
Lest you think Cuccinelli and his bishop were casually discussing breaking the law in a righteous battle for some greater good, you can stop that right now. Because the greater good for which these two fine Catholics think law-breaking is worthwhile is, of course, the fight to stop women from having access to basic health care because Abraham Lincoln had some good quotes about stuff and also religious liberty:
“You know, Abraham Lincoln has many good quotes, but one of them is ‘the best way to get rid of a bad law is to enforce it vigorously.’ And here we’re going to have an example of what tyranny means when it’s played to its logical conclusion,” Cuccinelli said. “Because forcing business owners and businesses to do this is not consistent with our history of preserving religious liberty, one of the most important protections we have in this country.”
If you're scratching your head trying to figure out how encouraging civil disobedience is actually a form of "vigorously" enforcing the law, don't bother. It doesn't make sense, and it isn't supposed to. We're talking about Republicans, after all, and they never let a little thing, like not making a goddamned bit of sense, stop them.
For almost a year, wingnuts and Catholic bishops (and yes, in the Venn diagram, that's basically just one big circle) have been whining and stamping their feet and reciting their favorite old timey quotes because it makes them super sad to think about women having basic health care. This has not actually persuaded anyone that women having health care is a bad thing. Quite the opposite, as demonstrated by about a bazillion polls on the issue. Not like that ever stops them.
So Cuccinelli, in his run for governor, is definitely doing his best to appeal to the wingnuttiest wingnuts in his base, and damnit, he'll even advise breaking the law—contrary to, you know, his current job description—to prove that he's just the guy for them.
You can listen to the audio here. You know, if you can stomach it.