Mr. Brownlee, if you’re going after Ken Cuccinelli on abortion, you’d better have your facts right

July 26, 2008

My good friend Shaun started quite the brouhaha over the Attorney General’s race, even getting the attention of candidate John Brownlee.  Upon closer look though, Brownlee may have done more to hurt his own cause than help it.

Brownlee was miffed about Shaun’s comments on the Bearing Drift podcast, in particular Shaun’s declaration that Brownlee “is not as strong on the pro-life issue as Cuccinelli has proven to be.”

Brownlee’s response revealed a shocking, jaw-dropping, ignorance (Bearing Drift):

“We both believe that life begins at conception and that abortion should be illegal unless it is to protect the life of the mother or in cases of rape or incest,” said Brownlee.


Cuccinelli’s pro-life position does not include rape or incest exceptions.  While I can understand that such exceptions divide the pro-life community, for those of us who agree with Cuccinelli (Shaun and myself are among them), that clearly delineates Cuccinelli as more pro-life than Brownlee.  More to the point, it shows Brownlee really has no idea what his opponents’ views are.  This reveals a shocking amount of ignorance about state politics, one that Republicans must keep in mind when nominating a candidate.

That ignorance flows through to his second statement on the issue:

Brownlee also stated that in the six years Cuccinelli has served as a state Senator that abortion is still legal and he has done little to advance the cause of making it illegal.

Crystal Clear Conservative already dealt with this, but once again, Brownlee seems to have no clue what Cuccinelli has done in Richmond to protect unborn children, including his fight to defund Planned Parenthood.  Moreover, it forces me to bring something else up.

John Brownlee, according to his own website, was U.S. Attorney for seven years, longer than Cuccinelli was in the state senate.  More importantly, Brownlee was active with the judicial branch of the Federal government, the branch which actually legalized abortion in 1973.  How many times did Brownlee fight to have Roe v. Wade overturned?  In how many cases did his office stand up for pre-born children?  If there were any, his website makes no mention of it.

Given that the Attorney General of Virginia would have to defend any pro-life measure signed into law in the federal courts, you would think Brownlee would at least note some role he played on that issue.  More likely, he did nothing.

Perhaps he had no opportunity, but that doesn’t give him the right to pretend Cuccinelli’s pro-life record doesn’t exist; nor does it give him (Brownlee) the right to mischaracterize Cuccinelli’s position.

All in all, Brownlee’s response actually made me happier for choosing to support Ken Cuccinelli for Attorney General.

Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal


2 Responses to “Mr. Brownlee, if you’re going after Ken Cuccinelli on abortion, you’d better have your facts right”

  1. Ken Says:

    You are correct that John Brownlee is significantly weaker on abortion than Ken Cuccinelli. Many of Brownlee’s answers, like this one, show that he is not a man who understands principle. If life begins at conception, should a child be executed for the crime of its father? Cuccinelli is consistently pro-life and John Brownlee evidences by his answer that he is not.

    You are wrong however, concerning Brownlee’s career opportunities to protect children or change Roe v. Wade. The US Attorney is the EXECUTIVE branch, not the judicial branch.

    However, he could have use the US Attorney position to investigate Planned Parenthood’s systematic protection of pedophiles. There is no evidence that he did so, so I would agree that John Brownlee has not lifted a finger to protect unborn children or their mothers during his career to date.

    Brownlee’s only experience in the judicial branch was the year that he clerked for federal Judge Samuel Wilson in Abingdon, Virginia.

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