imageThe Palm Beach County Republican Party has a problem - a newly elected board member has yet to sign a loyalty pledge to the party which would bind him not to do anything injurious to the group's reputation.

Oh, and he's a white supremacist who's getting help from David Duke in his bid to maintain his hold on the seat.

This strikes me as one of those situations where I maybe should have put the second part first and the first part second.

Sporting a black hat, the son of former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard Don Black was seated last week in a restaurant off Southern Boulevard. Sitting next to him was one of his supporters: David Duke, former Louisiana state legislator and another former KKK grand wizard.

"We're going to fight," Duke said. "I know Derek Black is going to fight for his constitutional liberties. That's why I'm here, because I want to assist Derek."

Sorry, says county GOP Chairman Sid Dinerstein. In the qualifying period in June, Black didn't sign a loyalty oath pledging he would not do anything injurious to the party. And that's not the only problem.

"He participates in white supremacist activities," Dinerstein said. "We're the party of Lincoln. We're the party that says we don't judge anybody by the color of their skin."

Seems like a message you're not sending out strongly enough to the white supremacists running for seats in your party. I don't know much about virulent racists, but one of the things I do know is that they're generally pretty good at picking up where they do and don't belong, largely because of the fact that they hate almost everyone.

Anyway, the noncommunicative Party of Lincoln is now angry because a decidedly non-Lincolnite person is all like, "Hay! I can haz comitee seet?"

In true Republican fashion, rather than realize that there's something fundamentally screwy and in need of fixing given a process in which a white supremacist not only feels comfortable running on your ticket, but wins, they're instead seeking to throw him off the committee to which he was elected fair and square because of a technicality.

"The loyalty oath is very important, and folks do need to sign it on time," said Republican Party of Florida spokeswoman Erin VanSickle.

But Derek Black said he'll keep up the fight for the seat, even if his opponents want to shun him as viper's brood.

I keep reading about how the GOP needs to stop being the "old white men" party, which is great. However, when faced with the prospect of a white supremacist having a guiding voice in your party, it would be a great start if rather than using a technicality to get them to go away, you set it up so that white supremacists don't feel comfortable running for seats in the first place. Of course, the whole backdoor burying of readily avoidable shame is also a fine Republican tradition I would be loath to lose simply because of adherence to pie-in-the-sky ideals like equality and not being a fucking moron.