Even Terry McAuliffe’s campaign, after initial sabre rattling, backed off attacks on the issue as McAuliffe found himself unable to answer the simple question of whether, if put in Cuccinelli’s place, he’d use the law if it meant harsher penalties for pedophiles.
In addition to ignoring questions from reporters, McAuliffe failed to answer a Commonwealth attorney’s inquiry about his position on the statute. When queried about the issue on a conference call with state attorneys, McAuliffe first claimed ignorance and then promised to follow up the next day. He never did, according to a report from The Washington Post
But the Whoopis of the world haven’t let their own candidate’s reticence stop them. This kind of ill-informed rhetoric has multiple consequences beyond what what a talking head looking for shock value may comprehend:
First, it creates widespread confusion among Virginians about the aims of not just Cuccinelli, but the numerous other Virginia attorneys from both parties who’ve used this statute to bring predators to justice. 90 sex offenders have been prosecuted under the anti-sodomy statute since 2003, and 38 of those cases were handled Democrat attorneys.
Secondly, Cuccinelli and his family became the target of threatening emails in the wake of Goldberg and Maddow’s diatribes, which their followers understandably heard as calls to action.
This isn’t responsible stewardship of the platforms these media figures have been afforded; in the future we can only hope they will take the time to get their facts straight and consider potential implications before going off half-cocked on the air or in print.
And, when examined, those facts indicate that Ken Cuccinelli is just doing his job using the tools he has at his disposal. His post as attorney general doesn’t allow him to make laws, only enforce them to bring criminals to justice and keep Virginians safe from harm.