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Mr. Sensitivity

   Maryland's Gov. Bobby Haircut, the guy who went on the radio some months back and said that multiculturalism is "crap" and "bunk," has a way with symbolic actions. For his latest trick, he held a fundraiser at a country club in Baltimore that happens never once to have had a black member.
   Governor Ehrlich, who declares himself appalled whenever it is suggested that he picked a black running mate for the novelty of having a black person on his Republican ticket rather than because of any particular achievements of Mr. Michael Steele, has a ready response for all questions about his decision to hold last week's $100,000 fundraiser at the Elkridge Club: "I'm not going to answer this question," the governor told the Baltimore Sun (http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/politics/bal-md.elkridge02jul02,1,2995377.story?page=1&coll=bal-mdpolitics- headlines)
    There's a profile in courage for you. Ehrlich, you see, is running for reelection as the GOP governor of what is still, on paper, an overwhelmingly Democratic state. But it's also a racially divided state. And Ehrlich wants to underline his appeal to white suburbanites in the Baltimore area who like it when their plainspoken governor goes on the radio and rams it to the multi-culti types. So playing at a golf fundraiser at a club that has been searching for a qualified black member for 127 years is the perfect message to send a comfortable 16 months before Election Day. Far enough away so that any backlash will dissipate with time, yet close enough to assure the base that their governor is still their governor, nudge nudge, wink wink.
   What's the Democrats' strategy for dealing with this sort of governor? Why, how about a suicidal primary battle between the intelligent but charisma-challenged leader of the state's richest county (Doug Duncan of Montgomery County) and the highly charismatic but not hugely successful and sexual-scandal-ridden mayor of the state's biggest and blackest city (Martin O'Malley of Baltimore)? That should do the trick nicely.
   ---Marc Fisher

   

By Joel Achenbach  |  July 5, 2005; 11:32 PM ET
 
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Next: More Guns, Less Democracy

Comments

Marc, you're a blogging MACHINE.

Hott.

Posted by: Your Mom | July 5, 2005 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, usually I get here before the SAO-15 does because I'm in another time zone, but I'm thoroughly unable to keep up with the mad blog churning. WOW.

And on an actual blog-related note:
I got nothing. I'm in another time zone.

Posted by: nomes | July 6, 2005 7:00 AM | Report abuse

Where is Howard Dean when you need him? Seriously, I bet Howard is all over this. All the Democrats have to do is what HE did in the Presidential race: remember that the party is bigger than the individuals. Have each of the Democratic candidates pledge to support their party's nominee, and then refrain from negative campaigning in the primary--it just gives amunition to the Republicans. Then the two democrats join forces in the general election and they can win.

Posted by: kbertocci | July 6, 2005 7:28 AM | Report abuse

I would think that the Dems would want to do the OPPOSITE of what Dean did in the presidential race, since, ya know, he didn't even win the primary. Kind of like saying you're going to manage your baseball team exactly like the K.C. Royals, because of what they were able to do in the World Series. Or were you being sarcastic?

Posted by: jw | July 6, 2005 7:34 AM | Report abuse

Excellent point, jw.

But I still think that if all the Democrats had remembered the big picture and pulled together instead of attacking each other in the primaries, the Democratic nominee would have won. Maybe John McCain is a better model for what I'm talking about, but Howard does understand the principle--that's why he is party chairman now, and saying that if the party doesn't get its act together, it won't matter who they nominate in 2008.

Posted by: kbertocci | July 6, 2005 7:54 AM | Report abuse

On a completely unrelated note but still staying somewhat within the realm of politics--I saw a car with a "Free Tibet" sticker on it (obviously a new one, not a beat up old one from years past during those times of peace and love) today and I thought, "Free Tibet? What the hell?" They are an entire nation of people. If they want to be free and they can't do it on their own, then they can't sustain the freedom on their own either. Look at Iraq and what a disaster that is in many aspects. At the risk of sounding like Tom Cruise, how arrogant can some people be to think that other nations can't possibly free themselves--if they want to be free--without our help?

Posted by: Sara | July 6, 2005 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Why You Should Care about Tibet - Some Facts:

. Hundreds of thousands of Tibetans have died under the Chinese occupation as a result of factors including torture, starvation and execution
. Approximately 6,000 monasteries, nunneries and temples, and their contents were destroyed from the late 1950s and during the Cultural Revolution
. Tibetans can be imprisoned and tortured simply for expressing their views
. Measures to repress religion are particularly severe in Tibet due to the close connection between Tibetan Buddhism and national identity
. Tibetan monks and nuns are frequently subjected to severe torture in Chinese prisons, including beatings with metal bars and electric shock batons and solitary confinement
. There is an increasing influx of Chinese into Tibet, due in part to government incentives and policies, resulting in severe threats to the cultural and economic life of the Tibetan people

Today the situation in Tibet is increasingly tense. The influx of Chinese increases; peaceful demonstrations in Lhasa and elsewhere take place despite the strong and often violent reaction of Chinese security forces.

Hundreds of Tibetans are imprisoned for their political or religious activities. Asia Watch states in its 1994 report, Detained in China and Tibet, that "The proportion of 'counterrevolutionaries' to common criminals in Tibetan jails today is almost 21 times higher than in China proper."

Detainees are regularly tortured and exiled Tibetans have only limited access to their country. Meanwhile, China has just opened Tibet to both individual and group tourism, and to wider economic development.

In recent years, and especially since the Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989, the concern shown by the governments in Europe and the U.S., in particular, has grown considerably.

A number of parliamentary bodies have passed resolutions condemning human rights violations in Tibet and calling for peaceful resolution of the conflict in accordance with the Dalai Lama's plan.

This is the most critical time for the Tibetan people. Tibetans urge the world to support the Dalai Lama's proposal and put pressure on the Chinese government to begin negotiations with the Tibetan Government-in-Exile, the true representatives of the Tibetan people.

-- From the Web site of the International Campaign for Tibet

Posted by: Anonymous | July 6, 2005 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Umm...I never said I didn't care about Tibet. I understand what is going on there right now. I was just saying that maybe we should stop thinking the rest of the world needs us to save them because, believe it or not, other nations are capable of doing that themselves.

Posted by: Sara | July 6, 2005 9:48 AM | Report abuse

This isn't really a question of the U.S. saving the rest of the world. It's more about the rest of the world (not just the U.S.) saving one small country -- a country that has actually asked for help.

Maybe the person with the bumper sticker wasn't even an American? Maybe he or she was Tibetan?

Posted by: Dreamer | July 6, 2005 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Hey, maybe it was the Dalai Lama himself. That would have been cool . . .

Posted by: Dreamer | July 6, 2005 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Not Tibetan. American teenager. About 16 or 17.

And would the Dalai Lama drive a car? I wonder...

Posted by: Sara | July 6, 2005 10:24 AM | Report abuse

American teenager? There is hope after all . . .

Posted by: Dreamer | July 6, 2005 10:27 AM | Report abuse

He only wants to "free Tibet" because Pearl Jam and U2 tell him he should.

Posted by: jw | July 6, 2005 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Thank you, jw. I was trying to figure out how to say that without sounding callous.

Of course you might only be agreeing with me because you know that I know how to shoot. I only shoot for recreational purposes, though. And because men find it sexy. ;)

Posted by: Sara | July 6, 2005 10:36 AM | Report abuse

I think Sara and jw were made for each other. Maybe we should forget the happy hour -- just make it a blind date for two.

Posted by: Achenfan | July 6, 2005 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Joel Achenbach, you are SO Wally Pipped.

Posted by: jarmuschguy | July 6, 2005 10:51 AM | Report abuse

A slight correction, Sara, if I may. The men at the shooting range find it sexy. Then there was the guy who woke up in the night, heard a noise and shot his toe off.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | July 6, 2005 11:57 AM | Report abuse

kurosawaguy, I can see how that would alter any opinions relating to guns. And I wouldn't blame him.

Posted by: Sara | July 6, 2005 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Where is Al Sharpton patrol, boycotting Erlich?

Blind date-JW and Sara. Maybe you two should try Harmony internet dating and see if the thousands of compatibility factors make you too a great couple! (it's just a joke)

Posted by: fdg31 | July 6, 2005 1:33 PM | Report abuse

I have a friend who was "unmatchable" on that website. I'd take that as an insult if I were her.

Posted by: Sara | July 6, 2005 2:12 PM | Report abuse

You can be "unmatchable"? Ha! You made me laugh again. Girls who can shoot ARE sexy. Period. They fall into the same category as girls who can drive stick, girls who can explain the infield fly rule, and girls who can shotgun a beer. I believe Gene W. would agree.

Posted by: jw | July 6, 2005 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Im not an "American Teenager" but Im in college. I may not have a Free Tibet sticker on my car, but I care about Tibet. Any maybe I attend concerts but the message I take home from the artist doesnt get me out of bed in the morning. I think that it is more arrogant and ignorant for people here to say, even worse, actually feel and think that young americans and young people abroad are only interested in global issues and the G8 meeting because of Bono or Will Smith. This should be even more evident by Sara's example. Just because Tibet is not as evident in the media does not mean that young people arent aware of the problems there. Things are important to young people even without the public glamour. Whereas people like you (Sara, etc.) need public displays and famous faces before you even talk about it among your peers... And even then you choose to belittle it!

Posted by: Lisa | July 6, 2005 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Im not an "American Teenager" but Im in college. I may not have a Free Tibet sticker on my car, but I care about Tibet. Any maybe I attend concerts but the message I take home from the artist doesnt get me out of bed in the morning. I think that it is more arrogant and ignorant for people here to say, even worse, actually feel and think that young americans and young people abroad are only interested in global issues and the G8 meeting because of Bono or Will Smith. This should be even more evident by Sara's example. Just because Tibet is not as evident in the media does not mean that young people arent aware of the problems there. Things are important to young people even without the public glamour. Whereas people like you (Sara, etc.) need public displays and famous faces before you even talk about it among your peers... And even then you choose to belittle it!

Posted by: Lisa | July 6, 2005 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Im not an "American Teenager" but Im in college. I may not have a Free Tibet sticker on my car, but I care about Tibet. Any maybe I attend concerts but the message I take home from the artist doesnt get me out of bed in the morning. I think that it is more arrogant and ignorant for people here to say, even worse, actually feel and think that young americans and young people abroad are only interested in global issues and the G8 meeting because of Bono or Will Smith. This should be even more evident by Sara's example. Just because Tibet is not as evident in the media does not mean that young people arent aware of the problems there. Things are important to young people even without the public glamour. Whereas people like you (Sara, etc.) need public displays and famous faces before you even talk about it among your peers... And even then you choose to belittle it!

Posted by: Lisa | July 6, 2005 2:36 PM | Report abuse

But what if we go on a blind date and it doesn't work out. Then, when ever we're posting, we'll have to go through the whole, "Oh, hi. Imagine seeing you here. What a coincidence. Um, you look good. Anyway, I'll see you." thing.

Posted by: jw | July 6, 2005 2:37 PM | Report abuse

You can be "unmatchable"? Ha! You made me laugh again. Girls who can shoot ARE sexy. Period. They fall into the same category as girls who can drive stick, girls who can explain the infield fly rule, and girls who can shotgun a beer. I believe Gene W. would agree.

Posted by: jw | July 6, 2005 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Wow, never should have had an opinion on the politics of world affairs. I'm going to stop that nonsense. I'm just going to comment on puppies, internet dating, my lack of cooking skills and jw from now on.

I prefer driving a stick, but I can't explain the infield fly rule. So maybe we shouldn't do the blind date thing. The awkwardness if it doesn't work out (which it won't because I can't explain the infield fly rule) would drive me away from the Achenblog because I'd be too petty to be nice and say, "Um, you look good. See you later." I'd probably say something like, "Rip any girl's hearts out lately, jw?" and just add to the awkwardness.

Back to work now.

Posted by: Sara | July 6, 2005 2:53 PM | Report abuse

I look much better on paper anyhow.

Posted by: jw | July 6, 2005 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Yo, jw- "Girls who can shoot are sexy. Period." I got just two words for you my friend- Aileen Wuornos.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | July 6, 2005 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Ah. But she is not a girl. There is a distinction. And not an age one.

She is female. And that is all.

Posted by: jw | July 6, 2005 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Not a girl, huh? Tell that to the seven dead Johns she wasted. Not to mention the numerous attractive bi- and lesbian women I have known. Aileen was no beauty, but she was a girl.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | July 6, 2005 9:47 PM | Report abuse

You must be single.

Posted by: jw | July 7, 2005 7:56 AM | Report abuse

By definition, girls cannot be prostitutes. Except for Julia Roberts.

Posted by: jw | July 7, 2005 8:05 AM | Report abuse

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=3812315

Posted by: Here's Joel on NPR | July 11, 2005 8:00 AM | Report abuse

I live at 26782 Commonwealth in Seattle. Been up here before?

Posted by: Mike Flacklestein | August 4, 2006 2:01 AM | Report abuse

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