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February 22, 2011

Frederick Republicans

Roy Meachum

After November voting swept him into Winchester Hall, Board of County Commissioners’ President Blaine Young announced he would not seek re-election. Injured hearts – and purses – seem to ensure that he will sit home four years from now.


The fairer gender has been the current board’s most prevalent target. The latest confrontation has stirred up bees, masculine and feminine. Words meant to support women who choose not to work and take care of their children, irked a large part of the female population, single and married. C. Paul Smith and Kirby Delauter stepped out in front on the issue. Their comments triggered controversy already building from their support of dumping the several millions entailed in Head Start.


The county commissioners did not vote to end the county program. But elected on a platform to snip off budget deficits, the board sworn into office less than two months ago is proceeding to make good on campaign promises for parsimony.“Ay, there’s the rub,” as Will Shakespeare put it.


Meaning to maintain Winchester Hall’s credit rating, the board has antagonized, in no particular order: firefighters, teachers, parents and most of all, women overall. In feminists’ ranks, the Grand Old Party receives condemnation as chauvinist, which comfortably fits into local customs.


More so than any political subdivision I know, Frederick County reflected the national swing against President Barack Obama’s administration in November. Put into that perspective, I cannot remember when the county commissioners counted a single party for all its members. It’s entirely possible the electorate in the past was simply carried away by Democratic or Republican propaganda. I don’t know.


In the 20th century, Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s promise and programs brought to Frederick County lopsided voting. When I arrived 28 years ago, a Democratic machine dictated who could run for which office. Even in that situation, the county commissioners were a mix of partisan commissioners; their personal affiliations owed no particular loyalty to any one political camp.


Blaine Young preached the 2010 elections’ sermon on top of the Catoctin Mountains, from a WFMD broadcasting studio. People avoiding the station are typically non-voters, teenagers or those interested in some other jurisdiction; not in Frederick City, where a majority Democratic registration prevails.


Starting with Bob Miller’s Morning News Express, the right-wing programming unalterably lays out Republican doctrine. The few telephone-in dissenters are seldom welcomed by the audience, while hosts, like Rush Limbaugh and Blaine, are usually deferential, polite and welcome to any political view, by good manners and as the Federal Communications Commission insists.


Democrats and Republicans know the radio station is the Frederick’s water cooler, a place to gossip and schmooze, put forth new ideas, and reshape them after reactions. General Manager Doug Hilliard has done a magnificent job in bringing WFMD into the community. Doug is the most fabulous salesman I’ve ever known, excepting maybe Roger Stevens and Mike Todd.


Roger conned the Congress as well as private investors into setting up the American counterpart to Europe’s way of sustaining the cultural elements, including the National Endowment for the Arts and the Kennedy Center, beside the Potomac.


Mike Todd did Roger one better by convincing the 20th century’s hallowed beauty, Elizabeth Taylor, into marrying him. I knew both bride and groom approved so I could but approve. I applauded the sterling job to bring stunning Elizabeth to the altar. But when all was said and done, Mike was an ultimate schlimazel.


Around and upon North Market Street, I’ve lived here more than enough to be unsettled by fads that occasionally blossom, and wither – so have Blaine and Bob. I’ve observed commissioners who started conservative, sagged between right and left. Some boards have been downright fascist – only to be turned out in the next election, or not.


By no means do I expect the frugality in Winchester Hall to last, no matter what anybody thinks or believes. Still I must support Winchester Hall’s efforts, including Commissioners Smith and Delauter effort to bring financial integrity to Winchester Hall; the result can only bring lower tax bills to you and me. But I don’t see it happening.


Will the Board of County Commissioners’ current efforts result in lesser stress on limited funding? As readers have learned to expect, I put the question in perspective. My answer comes in trans-Nile Arabic: The One God only knows. My one-time Cairo neighbors understand: Allah bas yaraf.


I’ve long ago accepted that for however I turned out as a human being, enough was never enough. In whatever regard, my aging personality turns out, it fits the political maelstrom.


Yellow Cab
The Morning News Express with Bob Miller
The Covert Letter

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