Virginia voters will have a pair of heavyweights on the ballot this fall, Republican state AG Ken Cuccinelli and Democrat party operative Terry McAuliffe. The Washington Post, which is to a great extent northern Virginia’s local paper, has endorsed the Democrat in every single statewide race — every single one — for the past 15 years.
Usually they wait until after Labor Day to jump in and start campaigning for the Democrat. But in an editorial the Post published Thursday, the paper got an early start with a ridiculous attack on Cuccinnelli.
The Post pulls some familiar media jujitsu, praising one Republican who has compromised on a core issue, in order to condemn another Republican, who has not. The Post never pulls this move on Democrats. Ever. Yet it would have readers believe that it is neither partisan nor biased.
The Post praises VA Gov. Bob McDonnell — whom it opposed when he ran for the office — for approving the recently passed transportation bill. But in the next breath, it unleashes hate on Cuccinelli.
As with any political achievement, many have already tried to take credit. Those most deserving are Mr. McDonnell and the faction of Republicans who faced conservative antipathy for supporting a bipartisan approach that acknowledged the long-obvious truth about Virginia’s roads — that they can’t be built for free. In facing up to the reality-defying elements of his party to enact an overdue bill that will help Virginia, Mr. McDonnell showed genuine leadership.
Others did not. Following Mr. McDonnell’s action on the bill, gubernatorial candidate and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II (R) tried to take some of the credit for himself. “I was honored,” he said, “to work with members of the McDonnell administration in making sure the legislation was able to move forward without the threat of any legal challenges.” Mr. Cuccinelli declared last week one element of the unamended transportation bill to be unconstitutional, leading to one of Mr. McDonnell’s amendments.
Did you follow that? Cuccinelli won a concession to keep the bill, which he opposed, in line with the state’s constitution. In the Post’s eyes, that makes Cuccinelli the villain. Why is he not praised for protecting the state constitution? Because he is a Republican, and will be running against a Democrat. It really is that simple.
Here’s a fact that the Post never gets around to editorializing on: The transportation bill is the largest tax increase in Virginia history. McDonnell campaigned on resisting tax hikes, then turns around and signs a big one. But…Cuccinelli is the villain here? Because he wants Republicans to stick to their word, and legislators to adhere to the constitution of the state?
AG Cuccinelli is only the villain because he will be facing off against a Democrat in the fall. The Post ought to become an honest paper and report this editorial, and the many surely to come in support of every Democrat running statewide, as in-kind advertising contributions. That’s what they are.