The people have spoken . . . well, the small subset of the people who are permitted to speak, that is, by the Loudoun County Republican Committee’s very exclusive rules for how they pick the party’s nominees . . . and the winner is John “I did not tell an anti-Semitic joke” Whitbeck!
We’re so excited to see democracy in action again, Loudoun County GOP style.
The LCRC refused to announce the actual vote tally to the small number of party faithful who showed up and were permitted to vote at last night’s “mass” meeting to choose a candidate for the 33rd senate district, but take it from them, Whitbeck won.
Whitbeck is certainly an inspiring candidate. A local divorce lawyer, he got his start in politics by being appointed by big-shot Republican developer and Loudoun power broker Hobie Mitchel to the Lansdowne HOA, and proceeded to lose the GOP primary the one time he ran for public office (for state delegate in 2011, when he was defeated by big-shot Republican developer lawyer Randy Minchew).
But of course what Whitbeck is really known for, indeed throughout the free world, is the extremely funny joke he told in September to warm up the crowd at a Cuccinelli for Governor rally in Loudoun. A sample of the attention he garnered at the time:
“Va. GOP Official Refuses to Apologize for Anti-Semitic Joke” — Jerusalem Post
“Virginia Candidate John Whitbeck has Anti-Semitic ‘Macaca’ Moment: Wannabe GOP Congressman Makes Joke About Jews” — Jewish Daily Forward
“Whitbeck Defends ‘Joke'” — Leesburg Today
“Cuccinelli Disavows Official’s Joke about Jews” — Richmond Times-Dispatch
“Whitbeck’s presence disgraces the 10th District GOP. He must go.” — Richmond Times-Dispatch
When Whitbeck finally did “apologize,” it was the usual “if I could possibly somehow have offended anyone I’m sort of sorry I guess” non-apology apology (he actually stated that he now understood that “some” people had been offended by his “lighthearted attempt at humor” even though “it was certainly not my intent to offend anyone”).
The Richmond-Times Dispatch, by the way, added a further editorial observation after Whitbeck announced he was running for the GOP nomination for the 33rd district senate seat:
“A Whitbeck win in the nomination contest would further undermine the GOP’s appeal to independents and to decent Republicans determined to counter the deterioration of conservatism’s image and conservative thought.”
Well, welcome to Loudoun County, where those “decent Republicans” long ago gave up trying to participate in the LCRC’s process at all — given the threats, vilification, and dirty tricks routinely meted out to anyone that the right-wing wacko cabal which runs the local show deems insufficiently ideological correct. Remember, these are the same folks that hooted down and drove out of the party any Republicans who tried to make the (conservative) case that giving into the developers who wanted to build tens of thousands of new houses would drive tax rates up for everyone (it did) and who just this summer voted overwhelmingly to condemn the all-Republican Board of Supervisor’s censure of poor misunderstood Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling), after he was caught abusing employees, misappropriating county resources, and fiddling his office funds for political purposes. According to the LCRC crowd, however, none of that matters since Eugene stands up for “family values,” defined as mailing out hysterical warnings that the homos are “taking over” Congress, and asking that you send him $10, $20, or $100 to help him stop them.
“Decency” is the definitely one thing the Loudoun GOP finds it pretty hard to come up with, especially on those occasions when it is self-evidently needed the most.