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Mark Herring: Statements Made at Cuccinelli Rally "a disgrace to Loudoun County & the Commonwealth"

by: lowkell

Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 19:50:21 PM EDT

The following statement is from the Mark Herring for Attorney General campaign. Also see the video in the comments section, and the photo to the right of Mark Obenshain and this John Whitbeck character. 


Candidate calls for Obenshain and Cuccinelli supporter to make a public apology

Democratic candidate for Attorney General Mark Herring condemned inflammatory comments made by 10th District Republican Committee chairman John Whitbeck. Whitbeck – who has been a strong supporter of Mark Obenshain – made the offensive comments during a rally for Ken Cuccinelli. Herring released the following statement:

“As a representative of Loudoun County, I have worked hard to foster an environment that is welcoming of people of all faiths, ethnicities and backgrounds. Mr. Whitbeck’s comments stand in stark contrast to those beliefs, and the efforts of so many in our community to promote acceptance.

“His comments were offensive, deplorable and a disgrace to Loudoun County and the Commonwealth of Virginia. Whitbeck needs to issue a public apology immediately for his statement, and every candidate on the Republican ticket should condemn these types of inflammatory comments.” 


During a rally for the Cuccinelli campaign earlier today, it was reported by the Washington Postthat Whitbeck “kicked off the festivities by telling a joke about how the head of the Jewish religion presented the pope with a long, elaborate document that the Jewish leader said was a bill for the last supper.” 

lowkell :: Mark Herring: Statements Made at Cuccinelli Rally "a disgrace to Loudoun County & the Commonwealth"
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Video of Whitbeck's "joke" (0.00 / 0)

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Transcript of bizarre Jewish "joke" at Cuccinelli hatefest/rally (0.00 / 0)
So you know, I'm a Catholic, and one of the things that we- I, by the way I'm John Whitbeck. I'm the 10th District Chairman, one of the things that we celebrate recently is the new pope- [inaudible].

And when the pope is elected, the head of the Jewish faith goes to the Vatican and brings a ceremonial piece of paper, its very old and it dates back hundreds of years, and he puts in the pope's office and he ceremonially hands the piece of paper to the pope, the new pope. And then the new pope ceremonially rejects it. And the head of the Jewish faith leaves . . .

Well, this time around, the Pope said: 'I gotta find out what's on this piece of paper.' So he actually takes it from the head of the Jewish faith, he looks at it, and he closes it [inaudible] and his Jewish counterpart says 'what was it?' And he says, 'that was the bill for the last supper.'

[Crowd laughs]

[Tracker says: 'What the hell?']

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[ Parent ]
Sen. Adam Ebbin rips " mean-spirited joke using the lowest stereotypes of Jewish people" (0.00 / 0)
Why Ken Cuccinelli and his political allies think its appropriate to open a political rally with a mean-spirited joke using the lowest stereotypes of Jewish people is beyond comprehension. Statements like these are divisive, offensive and below the standard we set for our political discourse. They should apologize for these offensive statements.

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Anybody want to give back this clown's money? (0.00 / 0)
$250        Comstock for Delegate - Barbara

$245 Republican Party - Virginia 10th Congressional District

$150        Cuccinelli for Governor - Ken

$125 Letourneau for Loudoun County Board of Supervisors - Matt  

Cuccinelli's campaign claims (0.00 / 0)
they "don't even know who the guy [John Whitbeck] is." Oh really? Then why is this on Whitbeck's Facebook page?

John Whitbeck
October 6, 2011
Everyone save the date for October 18 from 7-9pm at the Lansdowne Resort. I am hosting an event for future Senator Patricia Phillips with Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. Patricia's victory is critical to our efforts to retake the VA State Senate.

And how about this image, also from Whitbeck's page, of him posing with Ken Cuccinelli?

Finally, note that Whitbeck was the EMCEE for Cuccinelli's own event!  Of course they know who Whitbeck is! LaCivita's just lying through his teeth (not exactly surprising for Mr. Swiftboat).

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Ken Cuccinelli loves him some anti-Semites (0.00 / 0)
Of course, the funniest part of this story is that the new Pope will be incensed by this joke and will probably give Whitbeck a couple of centuries in purgatory.

The Richmonder

[ Parent ]
Photo: Whitbeck nominating Cuccinelli (0.00 / 0)

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[ Parent ]
$$$ (0.00 / 0)
Give back the money! Comstock, Cuccinelli, Letourneau.

[ Parent ]
Interesting (0.00 / 0)
They're having a fundraiser for multi-time loser Patricia Phillips to run in the special election for the 33rd Senate.  The special election that would be held if Herring defeats Obenshain for Attorney General.

A freudian slip on the Republicans part, or are they just preparing for the big losses this November?  

[ Parent ]
Look at the date (0.00 / 0)
Was from 2011

[ Parent ]
impressed with Herring's capacity to see where and when to strike (4.00 / 1)
As one who was not long ago on the campaign trail, looking for opportunities to strike a blow in the combat that a political campaign is, I just want to say that I've been impressed with level of awareness and of tactical skill that Mark Herring has demonstrated in his punches.

Candidates are always pouncing on things, but it takes something that a lot of candidates lack to perceive the openings that matter and throw the punch through the opening.  Today's move is good lawyering, as well as good politicking.  But it is also more.  

In this case, for instance, Herring shows an awareness of how this "joke" exposes some of the dark side of the right wing that Mr. Herring is running against. Not only is the joke genuinely offensive, without requiring any distortion of the event, but it is offensive in a relevant way: the bigotry, the intolerance, the sheer ugliness that it represents, are part of the core of the dirty soul of a party that's nominated the Extreme Team.

I've been for Herring since before he got the nomination. But this is one instance where the candidate's conduct of the campaign has intensified my support, giving me some real excitement about what he might be able to accomplish as Virginia's attorney general.

Bad Joke, Yes. Anti-Semetic, No. (0.00 / 0)
While this joke was totally inappropriate for the setting and as Senator Herring put it "a disgrace to Loudoun County & the Commonwealth" it most certainly was not anti-semetic. I mean seriously, you have to be into the whole cult of victimhood thing and have incredibly thin skin to consider it so. I hear far worse things during holiday dinners, it's not like he told a joke about the Holocaust. I actually thought the joke was hilarious, probably the funniest Jew joke I've ever heard next to "if you like watching TV and movies you probably like Jews after all..."

So (0.00 / 0)
in what setting would this joke be appropriate to use?

[ Parent ]
In a room full of Jews (0.00 / 0)
Just like other minorities with double standards, had this joke been told by a Jew to another Jew, around other Jews, it would have been fine.

[ Parent ]
if it isn't anti-Semitic, just what was the joke? (0.00 / 0)
I don't get this "not anti-semitic" judgment. Whether or not the joke was a bad one, the whole joke builds toward the disclosure of the secret about what this piece of paper from the "head of the Jewish faith" (when has there been one of those since Moses, by the way) that he gives to the pope. "What does the Jew have to say?" is the question on which the whole story focuses. Getting some money from the Christians is the answer. (And for the cost of the dinner on the night that Judas betrays Jesus at the behest of the Jewish authorities who want to destroy the Savior. The Last Supper: is there no overtone of the Christ-killer accusation that wafts up from this bill the rabbi submits?)

We've got centuries upon centuries of deep cultural poisons that are summoned up in this little "bad joke."

Not anti-Semitic?

[ Parent ]
Don't be so uptight (0.00 / 1)
I guess its a generational thing. Perhaps only uptight rabble rousers like you take offense? Luckily my generation of Jews (I'm 24) doesn't take offense to every little thing that mentions a Jewish sterotype. And as someone who comes from a fairly prominent Jewish Family in Essex County, my uncle is a national vice president for AU, first cousin is the number 2 guy at Barclays, another cousin does editing for Spielberg, I've found most so-called anti-semetic stereotypes to be rooted in a fair amount of truth. Besides, historically speaking, Jews, the Vatican, and banking go back a long ways. Same with the media, music, and movie/TV production. Like I said in another post, Jews are the biggest purveyors of double standards in world history. We brag amongst ourselves about how great and powerful we are and yet when a gentile tries to say something hes immediately branded an anti-semite.

[ Parent ]
Oh, come on (4.00 / 1)
I was actually willing to let this thing die a deserved death, as this is just a lame joke, but your latest comments, which seem aimed at minimizing the public display of anti-Semitism by this yahoo, are absurd.

But this comment of yours is downnright offensive: "I've found most so-called anti-semetic stereotypes to be rooted in a fair amount of truth."

And for my non-Jewish friends out there, this statement is factually incorrect: "We brag amongst ourselves about how great and powerful we are." Jews, like any ethic minority, take a lot of pride in the accomplishments of other fellow Jews, in the same way and to the same degree my Italian friends take pride in the accomplishments of other Italians, and my Irish friends take pride in and identify with Irish Americans like JFK. And so on with every group of minorities in America that make up the tapestry of of country. That is all. Why on Earth is this a matter worthy of special mention?

And finally, you comment below, explaining the humor in the joke as deriving from the fact that Jesus was a Jew, as opposed to feeding the stereotype of Jews as greedy business people, is delusional.  

[ Parent ]
The Jewish Daily Forward (0.00 / 0)
weighs in:
John Whitbeck, the Republican chairman of Virginia's Tenth District, today introduced the GOP candidate for Virginia governor with an anti-Semitic joke.

And by anti-Semitic, I mean really anti-Semitic. It's about Jews presenting the pope with the bill for the Last Supper, so it packs two of the most toxic anti-Jewish stereotypes into a single punchline: God-killers! Cheapskates!


...Why would someone with the world experience (one would think was) needed to become a district party chairman think this is okay? More creepily, why does everyone laugh so heartily?

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[ Parent ]
moved to respond (4.00 / 1)
By your logic, Mr. Shapiro, when you write "had this joke been told by a Jew to another Jew, around other Jews, it would have been fine," there's no racism involved if a white person uses the N-word.  After all, that word is used by many blacks. Fortunately, America knows better.

Turning from the logic of the case to your turn toward the ad hominem, I wonder on what basis you decided that "uptight rabble rouser" was an accurate characterization of me, and how that insult would be relevant to the issue even if it were true.

I had refrained from calling attention to the evidence you yourself present of your being perhaps not having the best antennae for recognizing anti-Semitism when you claimed (and have now repeated it):

Jews are the biggest purveyors of double standards in world history. You can't attend a gathering of Jews without hearing incessant bragging about how the best doctors, lawyers, movie producers, etc.. are all Jewish and Jews are so powerful and influential and yet the second a gentile tries to say the same thing many will start screaming anti-semtism and bring up the Holocaust. Its absolutely ridiculous

Perhaps it's a generational thing, though not as you imagined. 24 year-olds have generally not had the time to come to a balanced way of holding issues that have been emotionally charged for them. Your energy seems to be for the defects you see in your ethnic group, and it may take some time for you to disentangle those perceptions of yours from the meaning of many centuries of history around the subject of what's been done to that group, and how symbols and images and even "jokes" have been utilized in that history.  (And of course, it is not only history, as dark currents of that same poison still flow copiously in some other parts of the world.)

Part of the "generational thing" is that I've spent a half century studying how some of these dark and destructive forms of bigotry operate. I've been posting here on Blue Virginia a series that "The Spirit that Drove Us to Civil War is Back," and in the process of my investigations I've been studying white racism against black as it has flowed through American history, from the time of slavery to the election of America's first black president. I've also been studying the ways that dark forces come to possess a cultural system, which has led me to study the currents of authoritarianism and anti-Semitism in German culture prior to the rise of the Nazis.

I would say that far more than my having a history as an uptight "rabble rouser," my history is one of looking as deeply as possible into the meaning of what people do and express in the arenas where civilized societies conduct their business.

And to my sense of things, the appearance of this "joke" in the context of a campaign of a gubernatorial candidate whose career has been marked by bullying (going after climate scientists), preying on the vulnerable (women with unwanted pregnancies), and a general spirit of hate, is a highly relevant piece of information to which it was entirely appropriate to call the public's attention, as Mark Herring has done.

[ Parent ]
What??? (0.00 / 0)
"Besides, historically speaking, Jews, the Vatican, and banking go back a long ways. "

Historically speaking, Jews entered the banking profession in Europe because they filled a need for Catholic Europe. The Vatican forbade charging interest for loans; however, the economy required lending, and to get money it was necessary for the lender to earn interest. Thus, Jews entered banking. Sadly, that business resulted in a stereotype still widely used in jokes like the one above. (See also the anti-semitic phrase "Jew" the price of something down.)

Jews also had a history of education and learning that has resulted in their, on average, achieving a higher level of education and accomplishment than many other ethnic groups. Being proud of what your people have achieved is not "bragging;" it is reveling in the facts that the people worked hard to get the success they enjoy.

You should admit that Jews celebrating their success is far different from prejudiced non-Jews making that success into something bad, driven by jealousy. I am married to a Jew and attend a Jewish house of worship with him often. I never have heard any congregational member - or mt husband - make fun of gentiles and their lack of similar success. In fact, I have never heard them tell a "gentile" joke.

Perhaps you are secretly ashamed of your heritage.

[ Parent ]
Seriously? (0.00 / 0)
Was this really "the funniest Jew joke [you've] ever heard next to "if you like watching TV and movies you probably like Jews after all..."

I mean, I've heard plenty of "Jew Jokes," and let me tell you, this one is not funny.

That said, I should add that while the joke obviously aspires to to be anti-Semitic, I do not  find it particularly offensive, mainly because it is so profoundly stupid that it reflects way more poorly on the moron telling it and the Yahoos in the crowd laughing at it (hahahhaha - the greedy Jews were delivering a bill) than it does on us purported objects of its derision.

[ Parent ]
stupid makes it less offensive? (0.00 / 0)
It is the spirit of bigotry that should give offense. The jokes of bigots are often stupid, but that does not make the spirit behind them any less dangerous. How many stupid anti-n-word jokes do you suppose those people who made up lynch mobs laughed at back in the day when black men were turned into "strange fruit"?

[ Parent ]
Fair point (0.00 / 0)
I was speaking personally as a Jew here, not in any objective sense. I guess I didn't make that clear.

I was also attempting ridicule, which apparently did not come across clearly.

[ Parent ]
I just asked a Jewish friend of mine (0.00 / 0)
and her immediate response was that the "joke" was both "Antisemitic AND distasteful.  Yuck, and yuck again."

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[ Parent ]
One of them, yes... (0.00 / 0)
I find it funny because Jesus was Jewish and ended up preaching against the evils of usury which supposedly led the Christians to put Jews in charge of the banking systems as a Jew can charge interest to a gentile. So on multiple historical levels, it has comedic value, unlike most Jewish jokes which depend solely on sterotypes. I didn't see it as a greedy Jew joke, more like one about reminding the Pope that Jesus was Jewish since that so often seems to be forgotten. Granted the setting and delivery sucked.

[ Parent ]
Usury (0.00 / 0)
The prohibition against usury did not start with Jesus. Usury by one Jew against another was prohibited in the Torah. Since you accept that Jesus was a Jew, surely you must think that he was a Jew speaking to other Jews. Thus, yous specious argument is foolish on its face. That "joke" was neither funny nor without prejudice. What in hell was the purpose of telling a joke like that at a political event?

The idiot who somehow thought he was a stand-up comedian just had his very own "macaca moment." If Ken Cuccinelli doesn't condemn it immediately, he, too, now has a "macaca" moment (not his first).  

The Republican Party has gone as far as it can by playing on hatred and prejudice. It's past time for them to clean up their act...or not...We Democrats will reap benefits if they don't.  

[ Parent ]
Speaking of the "Macaca Moment" (0.00 / 0)
I guess one result of this is that Cooch lost George Allen's vote.

[ Parent ]
First Congressional District Democratic Chair Reacts to Anti-Semitic Jokes at Cuccinelli Rally (0.00 / 0)
Marc Broklawski, the Chair of the First Congressional District Democratic Committee, released the following statement today condemning anti-semitic remarks made at yesterday's Ken Cuccinelli Tea Party rally in Sterling:

"Yesterday at a rally for Ken Cuccinelli's campaign, a senior Republican official made a deeply offensive joke about some of the worst stereotypes of people of the Jewish faith. It is disappointing that Virginia Republicans find it appropriate to open political rallies with anti-semitic slanders, and downright upsetting to hear that Ken Cuccinelli said exactly nothing to condemn those remarks when it came his time to speak at yesterday's events."

"Remarks like these divide Virginians when we should be coming together to solve the problems we face together. Instead of trying to convince Virginians he doesn't know Mr. Whitbeck, Ken Cuccinelli should condemn this offensive rhetoric."

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