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June 23, 2011

Charity Golf and Politics

Blaine R. Young

The last thing in the world I ever thought I would write a column about is the game of golf. But as I hacked my way down the fairway Monday in a tournament to support a great cause, Mission of Mercy, golf was on my mind.


First, a few words about Mission of Mercy. It is one of the few causes that could get me to take a day off and spend it on a golf course. It provides healthcare to thousands of people who otherwise could not afford it, and it takes no government money whatsoever. This is the kind of organization the commissioners discussed during county budget meetings, saying we need more of these groups in Frederick County, and throughout the United States.


And I was also thinking about the U.S. Open which just concluded Sunday down in Bethesda. I watched a little bit of the tournament which was won by a 22 year old Irish lad with wild hair and a very appealing personality. Things could have been worse.


And things certainly could have been worse for Montgomery County and the State of Maryland. Officials estimated that the weeklong event would have an overall economic impact on Montgomery County of over $100 million. It was a great week to own a restaurant, a hotel, or even a taxicab company owner in Montgomery County.


One more word about the U.S. Open. I thought the apology NBC issued after omitting "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance was complete hogwash. Someone there knew exactly what they were doing, and NBC should be corporately ashamed of itself.


From an economic standpoint Maryland could use all the good news it can get can get. We lost 13,000 jobs in May, and our governor responded by going to Asia. I hope he found some jobs for us over there.


And I also noted over the weekend the much hyped golf match involving President Barack Obama, House Speaker John Boehner, Vice President Joe Biden and Gov. John Kasich of Ohio. The idea was to demonstrate to the people that the leaders from both parties could get along, if for only four hours on a golf course. This reminded me of the old days.


My first memories of state politics involved a Republican state Senator, Edward P. Thomas, who was a leader in our delegation to Annapolis along with Sen. Charles Smelser and Del. James E. "Doc" McClellan.


Although they were in different political parties, they worked tirelessly together for the overall good of Frederick County and the State of Maryland. They didn’t need to have a showy golf match at an Air Force base to convince people that they could work together for us. They just did it and it was either at Frederick’s VFW or New Market’s Eaglehead Country Club.


The average person has no clue about these three men; but those that have been involved for many decades know exactly who they are and all the money that they brought back to Frederick Country. Two Rest in Peace and Doc McClellan is the current chairman of the Frederick County Liquor Board, still serving the people of our county.


Nowadays it seems like Democrats and Republicans are more interested in the health of their party than of the United States and Maryland.


Maybe some good will come out of the bipartisan golf match last weekend. More likely though they will just continue to hit it out of bounds.


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