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April 30, 2010

Blocking the Road

Roy Meachum

My GOP friends may find difficulty in believing that I wear no party brand on my bald head.


Some of the harshest criticism my column concocted over 25 years has been deposited in Democrats’ laps. Candidates up for election receive no boosting here for their labels alone. ‘Tis true, but unfortunately the political world of Frederick County was seized by Republicans years ago. The official stupidity and misconduct lie at their feet.


There was another condition Thanksgiving Friday, 1984, when my first local word was published. There was a political machine in place, headed by Del. James E. “Doc” McClellan, with counseling by state Sen. Charlie Smelser. Their credo did not fall along Democratic national lines, but they were not listed as Republicans. They were so conservative that anyone would have difficulty not classifying them with the GOP.


Up my home’s stairs to the second floor is a photo that shows English pointer Pushkin with then-Republican gubernatorial candidate Ellen Sauerbrey. I backed her all the way, against Parris Glendening. My support for Bill Brock in his effort to tumble the incumbent Democratic senator brought sharp, angry words from Paul Sarbanes. However, the petulant side to Mr. Sarbanes was not revealed until after he decided not to run, six years later. Before moving up here, I wrote against President Jimmy Carter, which meant I was in Ronald Reagan’s corner.


You get my point.


The fact the column generally supports Barack Obama is because I witnessed the financial and moral mess wroth by the son of the man I endorsed running against Michael Dukakis. I step apart from the elected leader currently in the Oval Office over the American casualties and vast expenditures in Iraq and Afghanistan. I realize the realpolitik. Since there is so much domestic repairing and hauling to do, why make a move guaranteed to split the nation into smithereens. I understand the point; new widows and orphans will not.


Opponents of the recently passed health care measure – in my eyes – are kidding themselves. Those who lack insurance get taken care of and we all pay the bills. In fact, the country could save oodles if those indigent would receive regular checkups; the same goes for dental exams.


What frosts my cheeks right now is the solid GOP opposition to rewriting the rules that enabled bankers to tank our economy. The sole Democrat who crossed the aisle turns out to have as much as $6 million staked under financier Warren Buffett’s aegis.


Some measure will pass both House and Senate; it very well might contain exceptions and loopholes demanded by Wall Street despite the latest fiasco at Goldman Sachs. Does anyone really believe the few porno lovers at the Security and Exchange Commission can undermine the public confidence in the absolute need for change? This insults not me, because I’ve counted the few bureaucrats involved over the years, including when the White House was under Republican control.


Pushkin might become upset, because he doesn’t follow Capitol Hill machinations as much as his life’s partner. Wisely he sleeps on through the television shows that shout such vituperations. Besides, he turns 12 in July that sticks him in the too-young-to-vote category.


Equally, I know how the pointer’s face would shift back-and-forth if I tried to explain the really dumb tactics in both chambers. There is absolutely no worry about Republicans losing their principles if they consult with the other party’s members. I understand they hope to cash in this November when they can imitate 19th century cartoonist Thomas Nast’s famous depiction of Democratic Tammany Hall crooks each pointing to the next figure as responsible for the mess. They have every reason for hoping the majority party will lose Congressional seats; it’s usual.


But U.S. Speaker Tip O’Neill recognized the supreme truth: all politics are local.


From here, the GOP will lose in districts the party should win because their road blocking strategy can be starkly observed by independent voters who registered neither Republican nor Democratic. When asked why, they comment on the wreck both parties have made trying to govern.


That’s the ultimate point this column wants to make.


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