The analysis (“Hogan in upset,” WJW, Nov. 5) of the recent Maryland gubernatorial race attributed the Republican victory to voter discontent with O’Malley administration tax hikes.
But the real elephant in the room of this unexpected GOP triumph lies elsewhere (humor intended).
Sen. Mary Landrieu (D.-La.) put her finger on it in her comment about “the South not always being the friendliest toward blacks.” And Maryland is, indeed, a Southern state.
Nationally, besides President Obama’s failure to publicize and defend his achievements, I really believe the underlying issue was race. Since whites couldn’t vote against Obama directly, they went after candidates in his party. That trumped even threats to Social Security and Medicare: Joni Ernst, in Iowa, and others said they favored privatization, or at least considered it an option. Would the “birther” controversy ever have arisen for a Caucasian born in Hawaii? Race, however unspoken, seems to trump everything.
Even, it seems, in blue Maryland. True: There was an element of complacency in the Brown-Ulman camp, and poor minority turnout was an issue, but how else to explain Hogan’s whopping 5-point margin of victory, other than that the rednecks on the Eastern Shore, western Maryland and Baltimore County (especially Judenrein Dundalk) and Anne Arundel County were highly motivated to come out and make sure that Anthony Brown did not become Maryland’s first African-American governor. Conclusive proof: League of the South affiliate Michael Peroutka won a seat on the Anne Arundel County Council. (Coincidentally, Hogan owns a real-estate firm in Anne Arundel County.)
The fact that Boyd Rutherford, Hogan’s running mate, is African-American is beside the point. After all, there were African-Americans who fought on the side of the Confederacy in the Civil War (or, as it is known in numerous rural parts of Maryland, the “War of Northern Aggression”).