John Whitbeck, chair of the Republican 10th District Congressional Committee (Virginia), has announced he will seek the chairmanship of the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV), a position which would require Whitbeck to take a firm stand on throwing of paper airplanes during RPV events. Sadly, Whitbeck’s announcement states no such position, which bodes poorly for future RPV convention attendees bored out of their skulls with piles of paper on their chairs.
During the 2013 convention in Richmond, current chair Pat Mullins famously took to the podium during one of the many interminable waiting periods between ballots, and forcefully chastised Virginia Republicans for throwing paper airplanes to pass the hours, noting that a “$50,000 screen” behind the stage was at risk of being punctured by the surprisingly effective airborne devices. By that point in the convention, the so-called paper airplanes had evolved to a drone-like level of lethality which had Eric Cantor’s bodyguards forming a Roman-style shield wall with their jackets over the former congressman.
Mullins is believed to have begun planning his RPV exit that day in Richmond, when it became obvious he was out of step with the rank and file.
Thus far, Whitbeck’s only announced challenger for the chairmanship is Eric Herr, a former colonel in the Air Force, whose position on the airplane issue is said to be sophisticated and progressive, based on years’ of experience in the field.
Having sent their last anonymous attack email to Virginia Republicans on July 17, 2014 – the 13th since first spamming their way into our hearts on January 12, 2014 – the consortium of unhappy RPV mainstreamers has been silent for months, and their newsletter Web service portal is no longer online.
Personally, I always figured this sad effort came from the Burgers With Bill wing, and they would thus have as long a run as his political future.
In any case they are gone, either ran out of people to attack or simply withered away, which is a sign of health in the Virginia GOP.
As divisions within the GOP deepen during a primary season that has been more contentious than most, Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) Executive Director Shaun Kenney recently suggested some within the party need to shape up or ship out:
Speaking with The Fluvanna Review, Kenney said there are two ways to fix the problem when Republicans don’t get along:
… one is to act as adults and the other is to grow the pie. And if we can’t behave as adults we are damn sure going to make a bigger Republican party that can actually work together.
At first read, a cynic might be tempted to interpret the statement as inviting the Republicans who disagree with Shaun Kenney to be replaced by a better class of Republicans. In all fairness, however, the interview was likely given before the worst of the recent brouhaha erupted – and had he known what was to transpire, he might have taken a more humble tack.
Kenney also observed that “some of our own internal bickering gets in the way of the vision at times” which is a sentiment many in the GOP will likely be reflecting upon in the current environment.
Virginia Republicans interested in Kenney’s thoughts in light of the latest revelations regarding possible conflicts of interest and whether he really thinks a large segment of his party are bigots, are still waiting for that statement.
Shaun Kenney’s brains and passion may be exactly what the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) needs right now, but after his first week as executive director it appears a shift toward the former ought to be among the next orders of business.
A check up from the beard up, so to speak.
A brilliant young man with a mien the size of Michoacan, Kenney nevertheless exhibits the cloistered mindset of a worldview fashioned within close circles and staid surroundings.