Just don’t expect an explanation (or apology)

The gang that couldn’t govern straight, aka the all-Republican Loudoun Board of Supervisors, said yesterday that it plans to reverse its recent appointment of wacko right-wing activist Andrew Beacham to the Loudoun Library Board of Trustees. This was after the Washington Post‘s Tom Jackman revealed in a blog post on Friday that Beacham was the guy who ripped pages out of the Koran in front of the White House, was arrested at the Capitol for disrupting the Senate confirmation hearing of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, heckled President Obama at several speeches, and routinely sends out virulent, violent, and obscene anti-gay and anti-liberal messages on his Twitter feed.

Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling), who nominated him, gave an incoherent explanation to Jackman as to why he was withdrawing the already-unanimously-confirmed appointment. While Jackman certainly deserves our deep thanks for breaking this story, he dropped the ball a bit on this follow up by not trying to even get a basic explanation from Delgaudio as to how the nomination happened in the first place.

Delgaudio claimed he didn’t know anything about Beacham’s background and had just met him knocking on doors in Sterling recently. It might be nice to at least try to find out something about that incredible explanation. For example: who approached whom about appointing Beacham to the Library Board? Does Eugene make it a practice of appointing people he knows nothing about to positions of trust and responsibility in local government? Why didn’t Eugene (or any of the other supervisors, for that matter) raise any questions about the four paragraph “resume” Beacham submitted that listed no education or work experience, no library knowledge or experience, and which we now know concealed his entire career as far-out political activist and failed congressional candidate?

Delgaudio of course views public statements as just theater and creativity exercises and his claim that he didn’t know anything about Beacham is of course absurd on its face. Jackman unfortunately got cute in his follow-up and spent his interview with Eugene playing devil’s advocate and asking if he was now excluding Beacham because of his “conservative” views. Ugh. Just to cut through this morass of logic: no one on earth would have objected to an appointee who was merely “conservative” if he (a) had any qualifications whatsoever for the position and (b) was not given to violent, obscene tirades and threats. But the lack of (a) and (b) together lead to the inescapable conclusion that not only is the 31-year-old college-non-graduate Beacham ridiculously unqualified, but that the only purpose behind his appointment was to give him a platform for the extreme anti-gay and anti-abortion views he himself has repeatedly said is his “mission,” which he just coincidentally shares with Delgaudio.

The Loudoun Library Board has a long and unfortunate history of being used by the far right as a training ground for political demagogues. It was where far-right anti-woman, anti-gay, and anti-abortion crusader and now state senator and just-announced U.S. congress candidate Dick Black got his start in politics and (as an alert reader reminded me yesterday) before Black, also Steven Whitener, who subsequently served a “colorful” term on the Loudoun Board of Supervisors during which he was censured and stripped of his committee assignments for ethical misconduct. Last year Supervisor Ralph Buona (R-Ashburn) tried to use the Library Board himself for similar theatrics, warning ominously that the library was allowing persons under age 18 to check out R-rated material.

As we said the other day, so it goes in Loudoun County when the GOPs are in the driver’s seat . . .





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