What nobody in the media will openly tell you about the Maryland Democratic Senate primary.

It’s all about the unwillingness of the white Democratic establishment (favored candidate: [mc_name name=’Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’V000128′ ]) in Maryland to let black Democrats (favored candidate: [mc_name name=’Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’E000290′ ]) get a bigger piece of the patronage pie.  And there is plenty of pie: having your own Senator is a lovely thing, even when you’re in the minority party in Congress.  And Maryland is an interesting case, as has been noted before: minorities make up a significant part of the party, and yet… that never seems to translate well to statewide representation. As has been noted before.

All of this is a real thing, and not really one up for dispute… which is why I found this passage entertaining, in its way: “Three influential Maryland progressives announced their support Tuesday for [mc_name name=’Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’V000128′ ]’s (D-Md.) Senate bid, calling it “laughable” that some liberal groups had already consolidated behind [mc_name name=’Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’E000290′ ] (D-Md.).”  The three people in question were all formerly involved with Progressive Maryland, which is studiously trying to stay out of this entertaining slap fight; and, of course, the Edwards campaign is already trying a Lefter-than-thou defense. But what the funny bit is in all of this is that, in point of fact, the most recent polling shows that Edwards beats Van Hollen in the primary.  Which doesn’t really make it ‘laughable’ at all.

So, why am I writing about a Democratic primary fight in a blue state? Simple: my readers should be prepared for what happens next, which is that Van Hollen will likely win the Democratic primary anyway. He’s got the money, he’ll have the national Democratic apparatus on his side… and Chris Van Hollen is white, while Donna Edwards is black.  And if you don’t think that doesn’t matter to white Democrats, go ask former Rep. Artur Davis what happened to him, down in Alabama.  Or Lt. Governor Anthony Brown, in last year’s Maryland gubernatorial election.  To be pretty blunt about this… the national Democratic party gets a little bit antsy when it comes to giving minority politicians any more access to power than the absolute, bare minimum.  And this tradition seems to be alive and well in Maryland.

…What’s that? “How do the Democrats expect to keep minority 2016 turnout at even 2012 levels, then?”  Why, that is a fascinating question. One that Democratic activists will be happy to answer, just as soon as they can come up with one that they can utter with a straight face.

Moe Lane

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