Update: 201108232315 – This post was published too quickly as I ran down the rabbit hole of ridiculousness that is the Ramadan campaign and found myself late for work. Prayfully, this version will contain editorial changes sufficient to satisfy my husband and the audience.
Loudoun voters should take advantage of the opportunity to vote in the August 23, 2011 Republican primary and vote for the most far-right anti-science candidate on the ballot. The candidate of choice should believe that:
- Citizenship rights begin when sperm meets egg. The candidate will sometimes misleadingly use the phrase “human life begins at the moment of conception“.
- Marriage as defined by God is between a man and a woman. Any aspect of our culture that affirms the existence of married gay couples (and by extension, the existence of LGBT people) must be combated by legislation, regulation and bullying.
- Government must never confiscate private property, unless it is needed to build a road, erect a religious symbol, or store nuclear waste.
- English is the official language of the united states. Los Angeles, San Diego, and Las Cruces are all English words.
- Government taxes too much – and spends too much.
- The Second Amendment is sacred. There must be no restriction on gun ownership for the law abiding.
- All Regulations are bad, except for regulations on women’s wombs, gay families, latino people, Muslims, use of non-english languages, free speech, and free association of workers.
- Government must expedite road building.
- Government must expedite carbon and nuclear-based energy production, and remain neutral on issues of energy efficiency, conservation, and production of non-carbon-based energy sources.
Unfortunately, all Republican candidates agree with at least 90% of these “beliefs”. Loudoun has no John Huntsman to stand up for reality. If we want to fix this disaster, we need to force the candidates to stand by their beliefs, openly and proudly. That’s the principle voting criteria. Don’t let the slippery, Hollywood, big establishment candidates win. Vote for the honest candidates who aren’t afraid to share their deeply held beliefs. Here are my endorsements.
In the House 87th: Jo-Ann Chase
Jo-Ann Chase didn’t come up with the nine beliefs. All but #9 are taken from David Ramadan’s issues page. Ramadan is the establishment candidate in this race. He courted Edwin Meese and Grover Norquist and they spoke at two separate fundraising engagements. His opponent, Jo-Ann Chase is opposing him from the right and you wouldn’t know it from her web site. Chase is using Islamophobic rallies to distinguish herself from Ramadan and to identify the like minded. The establishment isn’t happy.
Chase’s pattern of gaffes, hostility, or revolutionary zeal is being repeated at the national level. For example, see Karl Rove dump on Rick Perry. But the presidential election is so far away and the Loudoun prelude is much more interesting. Here we have the opportunity to interact personally with the candidates and their supporters.
I’ve been to both Ramadan events and know the grass-roots LCRC supporters on both sides. In 2003, there was a 50/50 split in the LCRC over a federal “marriage” amendment. Since that time, LCRC leadership has gone both ways. The prior LCRC chair, Glen Caroline was establishment. The current chair, Mark Sell spearheads the Christian nationalist theocratic opposition movement. The crop of Loudoun candidates is hard to label as it isn’t strictly comprised of the “mythical” Dominionists. Dick Black is a Catholic, and Catholics don’t make the end-times cut.
The candidates fall in line with the “religious” political movement that Chuck Colson and Richard John Neuhaus tried to construct in their book Evangelicals and Catholics Together. I’ll refer to them as the ECT faction so as not to confuse them with the hard core Dominionists. The ECT leaders; Morton Blackwell, Mike Farris, and Eugene Delgaudio, all signed the a 1789 Project pledge as did Dick Black. Black appears to be the ECT leader. He’s been tasked to turn underdogs into winners. In the 87th, Ramadan has the momentum. He’s raised $250K to Jo-Ann Chase’s $25K.
But Chase is endorsed by Dick Black, Bob Marshall, Morton Blackwell, the Eagle Forum PAC, Dimitri Kasari and Jack Shockey. In the old days, Jack Shockey’s Citizens for Property Rights (CPR) was referred to as “the crazies”. The ECT faction is a better label. All ECT candidates must pass a purity test, possibly vetted through a “church” network. Farris’ PHC provides an excellent point of cohesion for this interaction among Evangelicals. PHC students attend churches throughout the county, some going as far as Ashburn to attend Sell’s Grace Community Church. Black provides the politicized Catholic glue.
Because ECT candidates all know what they believe, Chase’s web site can be more reasonable than Ramadan’s. For example, Chase just says “I am 100% Pro-Life”. She says nothing about protecting marriage. At a personal level, she doesn’t need to. Jo-Ann and her husband Clay have been known to be none too restrained about public displays of affection. Ramadan’s year-old marriage ended in divorce. Could that be why he’s compelled to say ‘I will oppose any efforts geared toward any “re-interpretation” [of marriage]‘ – to redirect from his own personal issue? I don’t think so. He has a name problem and needs to prove that he has “Christian” credentials. The contradiction between his own marriage failings and his gay-baiting may get him into trouble with the Log Cabin Republicans who sheepishly failed to make any endorsements in this election, but that’s a political price he’s willing to pay.
With respect to the economy, Ramadan says he will “Ensure that tax incentives for companies locating in Virginia are being used and in compliance with their stated objectives.” If a major firm like a Lockheed Martin, Oracle, Verizon, or Northrop Grumman relocated or brought additional operations to the region Ramadan wouldn’t object to their pro-gay domestic partner benefit policies. Scrutiny of tax incentives wouldn’t touch marriage “re-interpretation” (his scare quotes) in a firm’s personnel policy. He doesn’t seem to be that cruel.
The same can’t be said for Chase. Her chief endorsers are the state’s chief homophobes. They go after GLBT people. They hunt them out and use any means; agitation, legislation, regulation, and constitutional amendment to try to make them invisible. The ECT faction would stand up to a fortune 500 company and say “Want tax incentives? Rescind your domestic partner policy.”
Ramadan is a bit too modern for that. He turned Local Republican politics into Hollywood. At least it felt like Hollywood when Edwin Meese talked about small government. Meese was instrumental in the war on drugs which lead to the growth of the prison industrial complex.
Two things are pretty obvious about the Ramadan. He has establishment power and money, and there is something creepy about his entire campaign. Perhaps it’s his strength, the business aspect. Ramadan is responsible for Curves India, a women’s health fitness franchise that promises to “create jobs for Indians, increase prosperity, and provide more fitness options for consumers.” India is in the midst of an obesity epidemic, due to poor education, the prevalence of oily snacks in the slums, a genetic disposition to store more body fat and a sedentary lifestyle.
While Ramadan claims to offer an “option”, he actually doesn’t. The option to consume less food, stay active and stay healthy isn’t a viable economic option. According to Ramadan, the only option is to consume more food, consume more health care and consume fitness services
Ramadan’s consumption option doesn’t seem to be the smartest, but it does result in better Gross Domestic Product (GDB). Who cares that Ramadan, is a man who looks like he doesn’t work out. In some altered state, he’s the American prophet to bring women’s fitness to India.
If Chase were to get the nomination, it would be a real blow to the Republican establishment and a coupe for the ECT faction. Afterwards, Chase won’t be able to generate the momentum of Ramadan in the general, and will lose to Mike Kondratick if runs a good campaign.
In the House 10th: John Whitbeck
The 10th is a tougher call. I consider Randy Minchew to be a casual friend. We’ve talked on many occasions and he seems to be a genuinely nice guy, but that really doesn’t mean anything when talking to a politician, except that he’s a good politician. As chair of the 2003 LCRC, Minchew was the party lead during the Citizens for Property Rights (CPR) takeover of the County board. Regardless of splits within the party, his loyalties have always been party first, citizens second.
It isn’t too hard to overcome casual friendliness when Minchew isn’t honest with the citizenry. For example, Minchew thinks he shoots a hole in the 14th Amendment debt ceiling argument by quoting and capitalizing “The validity of the public debt of the United States, AUTHORIZED BY LAW, shall not be questioned.” So what? Authorization of the debt is AUTHORIZED BY LAW when congress passes the budget. The debt ceiling is raised because the government doesn’t have the funds to meet it’s obligations and subsequently DEFAULTS on those obligations.
Ok, Minchew is an establishment nice-guy propagandist and Whitbeck, if he’s anything like Black, can’t pass as the “nice guy” test. Whitbeck’s coded pro-life message is similar to Chase’s: ”I am pro life – period.” His issues page doesn’t mention family or marriage. Whitbeck is endorsed by Dick Black, Tag Greason, Jim Plowman and ECT activists Joe Guzman, Suzanne Volpe and Mick Staton.
Who shall we pick? A nice establishment guy, or a man who will embarrass himself and weaken the Republican party?
In the Senate 13th: Dick Black
Dick Black has a record. He is the commissar of ECT activism in Loudoun and is not well-liked across the board; not by independents, Democrats, nor establishment Republicans. But the 13th is a gerrymandered Republican district. What if he wins? If he wins, he’s going to let it all hang out, and his coattails are long. He was endorsed by: Roger Zurn (tax collector), Jim Plowman, Scott York, and Mike Farris. Not only will York be forced to explain his endorsement over and over again, all faithful Republicans will be forced to choose between conscience and party. I can’t see a down side to a Black victory in November, should the worst thing happen. In the long run, this will further exacerbate Republican splits and provide opportunities for voter education.
That’s why I title this post “Disaster Voting”. The Republican slate is a disaster and the citizens don’t seem to understand that if they vote establishment, their actions in the House and Senate will be indistinguishable from the actions of the candidates I’ve endorsed. The endorsed candidates will be much more damaging in their gaffes and challenges to science and the reality-based-world. If we’re going to have a disaster, let’s get it over with quickly.