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Advertise on the Tentacle

February 7, 2012


Roy Meachum

Maryland Senate President Mike Miller is a piece of work. I’ve observed him since he climbed into the “upper chamber” top seat in 1987. The electoral process that year was my introduction to how brutal state politics can be.


Baltimore Mayor William Donald Schaefer was shoved in front of now-U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, who at the time settled for a seat in the House of Representatives. In January 1987, Senator Miller (as Senate president), Governor Schaeffer and Congressman Cardin were all sworn in.


I’ve watched over the years as Senator Miller’s power accumulated in state politics under the pressure of his Democratic Party’s increasing domination. My GOP friends complain, but I point out how Virginia Republicans do the same. This Republic’s not about fairness but ensuring people have a democratic voice in government.


On his record, Senator Miller is squarely opposed to that proposition; he’s set out to prove Maryland voters are dumb clucks, who must be led. Not content to redistrict Western Maryland to suit his agenda, he wants to seat protégé Robert Garagiola on Capitol Hill. The young man became Senate majority leader only last year – with, of course, President Miller’s connivance. Not coincidently, his home was designed to fall into the new Sixth Congressional District; he’s not in the district as I write. Having all power in their collective pocket, the Democrats set out to remove Rep. Roscoe Bartlett from his post.


Rick Weldon’s column last on December 5 observed: “Lumping Rockville and Gaithersburg with Hagerstown and Cumberland into one congressional district is such a stupid idea that only a rabid partisan could have dreamed it up.”


Looking at the new Western Maryland lines, Senator Miller is quoted: “The map is much more aesthetically pleasing. All in all, the map will be better received than the map 10 years ago. We did the very best we could try to reach a consensus.”


Readers can gag on the statement’s hypocrisy, whatever their political allegiances. Mr. Miller did not as much as hint about his desperation to remove a safely Republican place into the Democratic column. But the quintessence of present-day politics can be found in exaggerated falsehoods, very unlike the Shakespearian sonnet:


           “When my love swears that she is made of truth

           I do believe her, though I know she lies,

           That she might think me untutor’d youth,

           Unlearned in the world’s false subtleties.”


With election campaigns assaulting our ears from every direction, what we hear simply cannot be categorized as “false subtleties.” Mike Miller’s echo booms from all around. It’s easy to pin the tail on the Senate president for vast untruths. His protégé, in his image, can also be held accountable.


The effect would be robbing the right to vote outside the Washington and Baltimore metropolitan areas. Our democratic voices would be lost to the noises of fractious, impatient big cities’ populations. They almost are presently. Electing Germantown attorney Rob Garagiola would seal the fate of all our hopes for government of the people, by the people and for the people. “Ach pfui!” as we can say in German-settled Frederick.


Reading the strength of my feelings, you can understand that I never sought an interview with the Senate majority leader. It was offered by a mutual Democratic friend. At the amiable request, I made myself available on two occasions; I was prepared to find a redeeming quality in the young man.


Alas, I never got the chance.



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

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