How much of a difference the deluge ultimately made after Cuccinelli’s surprisingly narrow loss to Democrat Terry McAuliffe is open for debate. What isn’t in dispute is that Democrats and women’s groups believe their “war on women” playbook worked. And they have every intention of using it again in 2014 even as Republicans and some political observers argue that Virginia didn’t provide a mandate on the issue.
Democrats took to the Virginia airwaves and the campaign trail this fall to note Cuccinelli’s opposition to abortion, even in cases of rape or incest, and to say he backed legislation that would have effectively banned certain kinds of birth control, drawing on his record in the statehouse and as attorney general.
“Really, given that God does judge nations, it’s amazing that abortion has run as far and foully as it has,” Cuccinelli once said, one of his many comments seized on for campaign ad fodder.
That messaging came on the heels of the 2012 flood of TV ads bashing GOP nominee Mitt Romney on social issues.
I think part of the problem is how we’re defining “attack” ads. Is anything that mentions a Republican candidate’s position on an issue an “attack?” If you go out in front of God and everyone and say “I don’t actually believe ladies are really people, at least not so that they can make the kinds of full decisions about their bodies that I can make about mine” and someone, you know, records it and shows it on TV, is that an “attack?”
Nobody tied up Cooch and forced him to be a backwards-ass ‘neck who ran on these issues. He did that shit all on his own. It’s not like Democrats MADE UP “legitimate rape” or “forcible rape” or “contraception is abortion” or “life begins at fertilization” or any of the other blindingly stupid legislative initiatives Republicans have pushed in the past five, ten, twenty years. It’s not like these things aren’t laws or proposals on the books, with Republican sponsors and co-sponsors, with wingnut money backing them.
It’s not like they won’t have real consequences, for real women, whose clinics are closed or whose doctors are harrassed or whose health care needs are ignored.
But to Politico, it’s all just a Democratic “playbook.”