Is former Loudoun County sheriff Steve Simpson the only candidate dealing honestly with the Loudoun County Republican Committee (LCRC) pledge?
Long-expected and now about to become reality, Simpson is almost certainly running again as an Independent for sheriff, weeks after pledging to support the Republican nominee for that office.
Like the Irish walking stick that helps you get from point A to point B, serves a head smack to someone in the way, and holds seemingly magical powers, the pledge provides access to the LCRC institution, is invoked to threaten and sanction opponents, while projecting the committee’s faux-authority to intimidate neophytes and rubes.
Can you get from point A to B without a shillelagh? Of course you can, and when needed you can toss it aside – or simply wink at it and it will disappear. Because it is magical, and essentially fake. Just like the LCRC pledge.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that! I am here today not to bury Steve Simpson but to praise him, because in a political arena of mushmouthed lies, Simpson is unapologetically realistic.
All that matters is the office and who holds it. As you get further up the government hierarchy the two-party system dominates, but at the end of the day the parties are merely devices for getting to an actual place of power.
Oh, you might not know that from listening to the parties. They have principles and platforms and pledges and creeds. That’s all a load of hooey aimed at capturing market segments, as “principled” as the red of a soda can or the blue of a corporate logo.
The LCRC pledge takes on poignance in Simpson’s case for a few reasons. He supported Eric Noble prior to the LCRC convention, and Noble used the pledge as a club to hit his GOP primary opponent, Mike Chapman, repeatedly. Noble and his supporters online goaded Chapman about keeping the pledge, presumably under the expectation Noble would prevail at the convention and Chapman would be tempted to run as an Independent. Shortly after Noble lost, those supporters seemed rather positive about the possibility of Simpson breaking the pledges he took (in order to join the LCRC and then vote at the convention) and run for the office himself.
Disclosure: When I argue the LCRC pledge is a sham, I should point out, I do so as someone who has a 100 percent perfect record keeping the LCRC pledge. I have never failed to vote for an LCRC nominee on any ballot since I moved here in 2004, despite not being an LCRC member most of that time, and my loyalty includes 2007 when I supported the LCRC nominee for sheriff, Greg Ahlemann. That last item – if my calculations are correct – places me higher atop the pinnacle of LCRC perfection than the majority of Republicans who were on the committee in 2007.
Does that make me some kind of great Republican? No, in fact what it makes me is a rube. But let’s take a quick look the texts comprising the so-called pledge.
Here are the relevant sections of the official LCRC documents: