LewRockwell.com, November 7, 2014
by James Bovard
I was stunned that Maryland voters gave the heave-ho to Democratic gubernatorial candidate Anthony Brown on Tuesday. Obama’s “Mini-Me” never recovered from his role as the mastermind of perhaps the most disastrous ObamaCare Internet site rollout in the country. Plus, the dude seemed like a rascal from the get-go.
Earlier this year, I accidentally joined the same Rockville Memorial Day parade where Brown and his supporters were marching. It wasn’t my fault – I was distracted by the garish Gaithersburg SWAT Humvee.
I was out biking that morning and finished up by swinging into Rockville Town Center to get incensed by politicians milking hell out of Memorial Day. The speeches at a poppy wreath dedication were the usual “they died for your freedom” trope – and thus all the politicians that sent troops to die are absolved. The unctuous mayor of Rockville was the emcee, and her blather was enough to make listeners wish they were deaf. She introduced every politician in a ten mile radius, including Chris Van Hollen, the local congressman who has transmorgified into a bag man for the Democratic Party. There was far more adulation of politicians than reverence for dead soldiers.
As I was listening to the claptrap, some woman came up to me and asked, “Are you a registered Democrat?” I scowled and refrained from asking whether I looked like a parasite, idiot, or government worker. Most of the crowd looked utterly politically pliable, waiting to pledge allegiance to whoever seized control of the government.
[Brown supporters setting the street on fire]
There was a half hour break between the belated end of the speeches and the start of the Memorial Day parade – so I rode a mile or two north to where the marching groups were assembling.
There I saw the mayor sitting in the back of a convertible like a homecoming queen, smiling as if people actually gave a damn who she was. She would be followed by half a dozen other local pols and candidates in convertibles. Anthony Brown was there, and he had a flock of volunteers wearing his t-shirts and looking like they were the advance guard of a progressive era. Or at least a vast expansion of government jobs for Brown’s followers. Brown was acting like he was on the way to his coronation by voters later that year. (He easily won the Democratic primary for governor a few weeks later.) Brown tub-thumped about his military service in Iraq as if both Brown and the war itself had been a glorious success.
I wasn’t causing any trouble when, out of nowhere, the mayor started throwing candy to nearby little kids. The tykes scrambled like dogs fighting for a bone, and the mayor beamed and threw more Tootsie Rolls. Brown’s troop were also throwing out candy to onlookers. This is Maryland politics reduced to a 100 calorie thumbnail. Some of the same politicians throwing candy to kids probably favored harsh penalties against any private company selling junk food in government schools.
The mayor’s convertible took off for the parade and I figured I’d trail it – at least until I got kicked off the street. At that point, the parade was haphazard; units were getting launched far too slowly, leaving big gaps between performers. There were a lot more cops around than I preferred but they gave me no guff.
To get a good photo of the mayor dispensing goodies, I needed to be in front of her. I saw where the parade was heading and took a turn down a street seeking the best chance for a good shot. OOPS – the sidewalks were fenced in and people 4 to 5 deep were waiting to see the parade. As the mayor’s convertible turned into the street behind me, there was no graceful way to retreat – and the only thing ahead of me was the Rockville Police military-style color guard. So I wheeled along for a couple blocks between the mayor and the color guard – including past the reviewing booth and emcee.
Hundreds of people were gawking and I heard one little kid ask: “Daddy, who is that guy?” I finally found a break in the fencing. As I was taking my bike through it, some old lady growled at me: “People probably thought you were a clown!”
I didn’t stick around to see Brown’s contingent pass by the reviewing stand, but the Washington Post reported that Brown had been barking out orders to his street walkers the whole way through the parade. I suppose he is only barking orders to himself now. However, Maryland being Maryland, he is almost certain to haunt voters again in the future.
The real bummer was that despite my best efforts, I didn’t even get a good photo of the candy-tossing mayor.