Virginia Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli’s (R) habit of invoking the abolitionist movement in discussing his opposition to President Obama’s health care policy is attracting the ire of the local NAACP.
“This comparison of states’ refusal to comply with the law and the return of human beings to unholy bondage is offensive to our nation’s history and experience. It is unhealthy and absolutely inappropriate,” Dr. Kim Allen, president of the Richmond NAACP, told reporters in a conference call on Wednesday.
Noting that the NAACP supports the ACA, Allen described Cuccinelli’s comments as “an affront to thousands upon thousands of African-Americans of our commonwealth who have died due to the disparities in our health care system.”
According to a report by Politico earlier this month, Cuccinelli suggested in a meeting of the Republican Attorney General Association that it would be difficult for the federal government to compel states to obey the ACA if they decided to ignore it as an act of civil disobedience. He cited state reisstance to the Alien And Sedition Acts and the fugitive slave laws as a model.
“There have been periods of time when states have just thrown their hands up and said, ‘We’re not going to do this,'” Cuccinelli was quoted as saying. “It’s still possible, but it’s outside the expected legal structure.”
Cuccinelli has also, like other pro-life politicians and activists, linked the abolitionist movement against slavery to the anti-abortion cause today.
“Start right at the beginning, slavery. Today, abortion,” Cuccinelli told supporters in a recently surfaced video. “You know, history has shown us what the right position was.”
In addition to the invocation of slavery, Allen is upset with Cuccinelli’s comparisons between his resistance to the ACA’s mandate that employers cover contraception in their insurance plans and Martin Luther King’s struggle against racial discrimination.
“There’s absolutely no reason to make comparisons between abortion and slavery,” Allen said. “This reference simply reflects the growth in appropriateness of such comments used in a partisan political debate on health care reform.”
A spokesman for Cuccinelli did not immediately return a request for comment.