Crossposted at Loudoun Progress
The Loudoun Times-Mirror this week published a very peculiar interview with Eugene Delgaudio. The first thing that jumps out at you is the incompetence. There is video, from which the reporters (the task required two of them) extracted the most coherent parts for inclusion in the story:
Q: What do you say to the statement that Kincora would force the county to take on a huge amount of debt?
A: I think that the debt issue is false because for a long time we have had a companion debt that no one has heard about. No one in Loudoun has ever once mentioned, factually, the [Community Development Authority] debt from Dulles Town Center. The facts are staff is playing to the ideological liberal elite that is statist in nature and anti-prosperity and essentially wants to enslave the 80 percent that pay the residential taxes. So the residents of Loudoun will see economic slavery forever if they’re fearful of a debt that doesn’t exist.
Keep in mind, this would be the part of the answer to question 3 that made the most sense. The debt “doesn’t exist”? I bet the county administrator and the rest of the board will be happy to hear that.
This answer isn’t even the most damning example. The rest of the interview is very much like this; incoherent denials of reality, devoid of serious policy content, studded with self-promotion and ideological buzzwords. See if you can make any sense of this one:
Q: Your concern regarding the immigrant community seems to be rooted on crime issues. What is your objection to the gay community?
A: Similar. It’s in their best interest that there not be federal legislation marking them. As a supervisor, we passed a law that no one understands and how can they implement it?
I can tell you that the defamatory, dehumanizing language Mr. Delgaudio uses to spread fear about these two targeted communities is “similar,” but I still have no idea what he means by this answer. His objection to the gay community is in some way “rooted on crime issues”? Mr. Delgaudio has commented here before; perhaps he can clarify for us what he was thinking. As for the statement that “it’s in their best interest that there not be federal legislation marking them,” the only thing this could mean is that he fundamentally does not understand the principle of the Fourteenth Amendment – or at least that is what he wants us to think. There is federal civil rights legislation that prohibits discrimination on the basis of religion, and that mandates the reporting of violence directed at people because of their religion. Which religious community is “marked” by these laws? Catholics like Mr. Delgaudio? Obviously not; these laws don’t “mark” people of a particular faith. Laws that make reference to “sexual orientation or gender identity” work exactly the same way. It’s one thing to make a casual error by referring to a marginalized group instead of to the general characteristic (“religion,” “sexual orientation,” “political affiliation”), but to actually claim that such laws apply only to a specified community reveals either profound ignorance or profound dishonesty.
Then there’s “we passed a law that no one understands.” Again, this reveals what would seem to be just a lack of basic competence in policy matters. An amendment to the county EEOP is not a “law.” It’s an amendment to a policy which the board has the legal authority to create. And it really does suggest a high degree of narcissism for someone to believe that because he doesn’t understand something, “no one understands” it. The policy wording is very simple to understand; the county government is prohibited from making employment decisions on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, which it obviously shouldn’t be doing, and from all accounts wasn’t doing anyway.
What is noticeably absent from the interview is the kind of abusive and defamatory language Mr. Delgaudio uses from the dais and in his constituent letters, not to mention in his day job activities. Some might be tempted to think this shows that he doesn’t really mean it – and that’s actually the problem. My question is why would that be better? What it means is that the use of “hyperbole,” as he describes his hate speech and emotional outbursts, is calculating and cynical.
Please understand: When I use the term incompetence, I’m speaking of policy and governance, not politics. One of the commenters on the LTM site has it right: Mr. Delgaudio is “a gifted politician,” meaning, unfortunately, someone who can speak of his concern for “the best interests” of people he has openly accused of sexual crimes against children and called perverted, filthy, disease-ridden, deviant, dangerous, a less-than-human “it;” in other words, people he regularly lies about and invites violence against. I no longer think that Mr. Delgaudio believes a word of his hate rhetoric; it is simply a part of his business model. These are the words of a charlatan who likely has a sociopathic personality disorder and sees nothing wrong with using such “hyperbole” to get attention and money. He buys direct mail marketing lists, crafts his appeals to a certain silly, fearful slice of the populace (see, for example, the much-ridiculed recent fundraising letter written in the style of bad pulp fiction that actually begins “One stormy night..”), and generates a monetary return. He runs his permanent political campaign the same way. There’s no law against what he’s doing, it’s just immoral.
Here’s what is even more reprehensible, though: Others who know exactly what he is and don’t care. His only Republican colleague on the board, Lori Waters, supported his venomous tirade against transgender people by repeating some of his insults herself, so don’t bother expecting moral courage from her. Self-styled “moderate” (!) Frank Wolf endorsed him. I’m not aware of a single Republican office holder who has stepped up to say that this sort of rhetoric goes too far. In addition to Frank Wolf, Mr. Delgaudio bragged of endorsements by Delegates Tom Rust and Joe May, County Treasurer Roger Zurn, Sheriff Steve Simpson and County Clerk Gary Clemens. That was in 2003. Will any of them now step up and say no? If not, then what will it take? Gentlemen, this is what doing the right thing looks like: