Some conservatives think that Paul Ryan, the blue-eyed pride of Wisconsin, is making too many demands as he considers a run for speaker of the House.
Others think he is a Trojan Horse for the homosexual lobby.
Not necessarily others, but other. Specifically Eugene Delgaudio, a county supervisor in Virginia and head of the gay-bashing organization Public Advocate of the United States.
Delgaudio, who speaks in a Bernie Sanders-level thick New York accent and wears glasses reminiscent of Stanley Tucci in The Lovely Bones, is responsible for a recent letter urging the general populace, frankly anyone who will listen, that Ryan is not qualified for the speaker position because he voted for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which Delgaudio refers to as the “Gay Bill of Special Rights.”
“Now, Ryan thinks he can hide from his past record of voting to throw conservatives under the bus as he runs for the most powerful position in the House,” Delgaudio wrote in a letter that appeared in an ad on the Drudge Report homepage, likely contributing to the “lot of clicks” he said he was getting over the past few days.
“That’s why after you call 202-224-3121, I need you to sign your petition to your Congressman too and tell them, ‘a vote for Paul Ryan for Speaker is a vote against Traditional Values.’”
Drudge, who obviously didn’t respond to a request for comment for this piece, has been less than kind to Ryan since his announcement to consider the speaker position Tuesday night, calling him a “Dem Favorite” and “Obama’s New Partner.”
The letter concludes with a plea requesting a “most generous contribution” to support the Public Advocate, which has been designated in the past as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
“We feel that ENDA will bring discrimination to Christians and other believers of traditional marriage at the workplace,” Delgaudio said in a phone interview after clarifying that I was a real person and that The Daily Beast was a real publication.
“That was an intentional joke for you!” he yelled after I insisted that, to my knowledge, I was an actual human being. “So you’re young enough to know that old people can make jokes.”
Delgaudio is 60 and he started Public Advocate in 1981, an organization he uses to stage things like a “Man-Donkey Mock Wedding Ceremony” at gay-rights marches. He makes some $150,000 a year in this self-appointed position and wields the bully pulpit to target people like Paul Ryan at will.
“Mr. Ryan’s vote for [ENDA],” he continued, back to the business at hand, “we think, is an indication that Mr. Ryan will continue this assault on Christian and traditional value believers.”
“Is Paul Ryan a homosexual?” I asked.
“No, we didn’t say that,” Delgaudio responded.
Ryan’s office did not respond to a request for comment for this article.
This is not the first time Delgaudio has warned the masses about the evils lurking in our midst. In 2010, he claimed that the pat-down procedures instituted by the TSA were a thinly veiled extension of the homosexual agenda. He also once took up the righteous cause of naming Milton Friedman’s birthday, “Milton Friedman Day.”
“Are you getting a Pulitzer Prize for this?” Delgaudio asked mid-interview before continuing to rail against Ryan.
“Mr. Ryan is asking Americans, members of the Congress—they’re all Americans—he’s asking my fellow Americans in the U.S. Congress to surrender their rights as Americans to challenge the leadership. HELL NO!” he screamed, clipping the top of the sound register on my recorder.
Because Delgaudio is so effusive about Ryan’s inability to be the speaker of the House, I wondered who else he might think is a valuable replacement. He suggested the man formerly known as Democratic presidential candidate: Jim Webb.
“He’s available, isn’t he? I think I would trust him ahead of Mr. Ryan as far as sticking to his guns and not compromising,” Delgaudio said about a man who considered not running as a Democrat so as to have a better shot at the presidency.
It is unclear how big the loosely crafted Public Advocate organization is and Delgaudio didn’t illuminate anything about its scope on the phone. But his constituents in Loudoun County have expressed discontent with the organization over the years and he was stripped of a big share of his budget and many staffers in 2014 for not responding to citizen requests and treating his employees badly. The supervisor position itself is a part-time job so many political laws don’t cover his actions in office.
Which gives Delgaudio more time to send out warnings about “radical homosexuals” who “will terrorize daycare centers, hospitals, churches and private schools.”
“You’ll see men hand-in-hand skipping down to adoption centers to ‘pick out’ a little boy for themselves,” he wrote last year.
Now he has 48 hours to see if Republicans will be responsive to his grassroots tactics, before Ryan himself makes the final call. And for the moment, Delgaudio is just happy getting his name out there.
“I’m honored to be interviewed by The Daily Beast,” he said after asking if I was “the top writer.” “It’s like being in National Review or National Lampoon.”
I didn’t bother explaining the difference to him.