Delgaudio’s calculated looniness

Everyone’s favorite orange-hatted self-hating homophobe Republican county supervisor, Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling), has been in full loony mode the past few days, hoping to salvage his political career.

Delgaudio campaigning for York, back when they were happy

Delgaudio campaigning for York, back when they were happy together

Even Chairman Scott York (R-At Large) and the rest of the all-Republican Loudoun Board of Supervisors seem to be dimly awakening to the fact they will need to at least pretend to do something in response to the now-undeniable evidence that Delgaudio committed egregious ethical misconduct, financial finagling, misuse of office, and violations of the county’s code of conduct.

In anticipation of the July 17 supervisors’ meeting at which they have promised — at long last — to take the matter up, Delgaudio is rolling out the antics that have served him so well throughout his political career, issuing strange and personal accusations not only about his critics, but also including York himself among his targets.

Delgaudio’s apparently been e-mailing what remains of the local media to share his special take on things. The Loudoun Times-Mirror reports that not only did Delgaudio compare one of his critics to Hitler and Saddam Hussein, but launched into some weird rant about commuter parking lots and York, alleging, “York is a hypocritical bully who opposes commuter lots for poor people while supporting Metro and giant truck highways for air cargo.”

(The paper reported that, in response, York yesterday said that he doesn’t need to respond to “the clown’s comments.”)

At first blush it might seem near-suicidal and simply crazy for Delgaudio to be deliberately antagonizing York ahead of the Board’s decision on if and how to punish Delgaudio, all the more so given the fact that York and Board have shown themselves remarkably unconcerned to date by any of Delgaudio’s crooked and unethical actions, and have been looking desperately for a way just to sweep it all under the rug. York in fact tried to squelch the entire matter last year, keeping the evidence secret even from the commonwealth’s attorney for six months and killing the Board’s own investigation last fall.

But don’t underestimate Eugene: he has perfected the art of saying crazy things for shrewd political effect — it’s part brand identification, right along with the goofy orange hat; it’s part grandstanding to the really crazy far-right faithful who think Eugene really means it when he says the homos are infiltrating Congress and the TSA’s airport scanners are “gay porno scanners”; and it’s part deliberate obfuscation — in this case, laying the groundwork for his inevitable spin that any censure of him by the Board is just personal retaliation arising out of a personal spat. The more he can provoke a name-calling fight with York now on irrelevant issues, the more he can try to pass off any subsequent punishment as a personal  grudge match  . . . having nothing of course to do with his misuse of county resources for personal gain, abuse of staff, neglect of duty, and violation of ethical rules.

Meanwhile, we can’t say it’s not entertaining!

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