The Democratic candidate for Virginia attorney general, Stephen C. Shannon, has suggested that Republican opponent Kenneth T. Cuccinelli is a bigot because he supports states’ rights. The Washington Post reports:
At a debate in Richmond, Shannon said that through history, Virginians who opposed federal law supported slavery, shut down schools instead of integrating them, prevented interracial marriage and sterilized mentally retarded people. “Our history in Virginia of states’ rights is not a flattering picture,'’ Shannon said. “When he’s talking about states’ rights, you have to understand the mistakes we have made in the past.”
This charge is very strange. New York’s Andrew Cuomo and other state attorneys general are seeking to intervene in a suit by the National Automobile Dealers Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “Our opposition to this lawsuit is based on states’ rights,” said Cuomo.
Earlier this week the New York Times reported on the Obama Administration’s policy on medical marijuana, observing that, “in effectively deferring to the states on some issues involving marijuana, the Obama administration is taking what could be seen as a states’ rights stance.” President Obama has been quite forthright in using the term, saying of the Defense of Marriage Act: “It’s discriminatory, it interferes with States’ rights, and it’s time we overturned it.”
If Mr. Shannon thinks that his opponent is a bigot because he supports states rights, then his charge also applies to Mr. Cuomo and President Obama.
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