It’s never too late to start doing the right thing

Honestly, I haven’t paid much attention to the latest excrement from the desk of Mr. Delgaudio, only enough to know that it has gone viral (and if someone from the UK could explain what a “Merino-faced numpty” is, that’d be great). Folks who know what he is are less inclined to give him attention. Phyllis Randall provides a nice summation of the dilemma in her comment at the Loudoun Times-Mirror site, pointing out that it’s really the responsibility of those in the party he has made his nest in.

She’s right. And where is the evidence that this isn’t true?

“There is only one logical reason [for the refusal of the LCRC blog police to condemn the behavior]; they along with others in their LCRC circle agree with the stuff Delgaudio has been saying.”

Unfortunately, as much as this silence should be pointed out, it also permits a very poor and distorted framing of what this is about. Contrary to the language of many commenters on both threads, the behavior at issue is not antics, it has nothing to do with the ‘politics of personality’, and the problem with it is not that it causes embarrassment to the LCRC or to actual Republicans, although I’m sure that it does. If the primary concern is bad publicity and the damage Delgaudio’s (and Black’s) hate speech will do to the cause of electing Republicans, even the well-meaning participants in this conversation have badly missed the mark.

The TSA email that’s currently garnering so much attention shouldn’t be – at least not as if it represents a new low point of Delgaudio’s career as a professional bigot. It doesn’t. It’s merely one more of many carefully calibrated look-at-me outbursts, one correctly described yesterday on the local NBC affiliate Reporters Notebook as “dumb” and “nuts,” but nothing really groundbreaking.

No, the low point was reached earlier this year, and the Republican leadership in this community utterly failed its responsibility to condemn the amoral little predator who claims to be one of them.

Referring to another human being as “it” is not an antic. It is not clowning. It is not a PR problem. It is not indicative of a colorful personality. It is not hyperbole. It is not the same thing as saying that the other human being is wrong, or sick, or even immoral. It is a statement that the other human being is not, in fact, a human being. It is a statement that the other human being is not, in fact, a human being.

With the pathetic* exception of Lori Waters, our supervisors – Mr. Delgaudio’s colleagues – easily made this distinction and called his behavior morally unacceptable:

Not so for anyone in his own party. I have yet to hear anyone who claims to speak for Republicans in Loudoun County make this distinction and single out this behavior for the condemnation it merits. This goes for both the smarmy LCRC operatives who are busy trying to shut up the dissidents, and those who only wish the “embarrassment” would stop. This was true back in January, and it is true today.

If there were ever a time for disciplinary action, this would have been it. If there were ever an event that would cause the supposed moderates in the LCRC and in elective office to stand up publicly and say that this violates basic human decency, this would have been it. But no one did. They all responded as if this was just another PR problem for them.

Let’s be clear: This is a measure of basic human decency. Anyone who fails to recognize this behavior as distinct and requiring specific condemnation cannot be trusted to govern. It doesn’t matter how moderate you say you are if you can’t be trusted to do the right thing when it matters.

*I highlight “pathetic” here rather than something else only because Ms. Waters’ reaction struck me as more clueless than cruel when confronted with the realities of public restroom use. I could, of course, have misread the situation.

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