Maryland power good for America


Maryland power good for America

By The Baltimore Examiner Newspaper- 11/9/08

When the 111th Congress convenes in January Maryland’s little delegation will wield immense power officially and even more unofficially. Every citizen of this state must have faith that such power will be used for the greater common good.We well know and trust Steny Hoyer, House of Representatives Majority Leader. We feel downright familial about Senate powerhouse Barbara Mikulski. And Sen. Ben Cardin, who brings a decade of Congressional connections to his first term, is a comfortable friend.

Most of all, powerful Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi may have her heart in San Francisco, but her deepest roots draw from the rich soil of Baltimore’s D’Alesandro political dynasty.

Of course, that bodes well for Maryland as Democrats take control of Congress and the presidency for the first time in 14 years. Let us not kid ourselves about having powerful people from our state in high office bringing certain benefits. It is inherent to all governance.

But it also must bode well for all of America. Why?

Because we know these folks grew to political maturity in the turbulent environment of Maryland public life.

Here in this 2-to-1 blue state, the actual reality tends more toward purple. Dealing with conservative Democrats and liberal Republicans accustoms our politicians to the art of compromise. Political conflicts often cleave more along issue lines than party lines. No wonder our recent slogan was “America in Miniature.”

Want evidence? We’re the state of the 1st Congressional District where President Bush endorsed liberal nine-term Republican dissident Congressman Wayne Gilchrest in a losing primary bid. Then Gilchrest endorsed centrist Democrat Frank Kratovil against conservative Republican Andy Harris. What did voters do?

About 350,000 of them split evenly on Kratovil and Harris after support for Bush grew from 57 percent in 2000 to 62 percent in ’04.

Pundits, prepare to scratch your heads when you ponder Maryland.

That’s just the way we are, and it’s a good thing. It assures us that if this one-party Congress and historic new administration drift toward some kind of political rampage, leadership from Maryland will impose common sense for the common good.

They know this most recent mandate for change in America is overwhelmingly a rejection of Bush administration aberrant policies than an embracing of President-elect Barack Obama’s vague, untested policies.

Where Democrats take America in the next four years could determine our nation’s future for a century. Fate has placed daughters and sons of Maryland in positions of immense power to forge that destiny.

We are comforted to know them, and that they will do the right thing.

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