In Maryland if you plan to be a drunken public servant be sure to be a Democrat
Go ahead and take a deep breath. No, a really deep breath. I’ll wait… there, did you smell it? No, not that – that’s Annapolis, where the stink of incompetence hangs most heavily from January to April (and over every special session in between).
This stench – this vile bouquet – is the nauseating odor of hypocrisy, practiced by both political parties but perfected – especially in this state – by the Democrats. And it is that double standard that has been parading about in full plumage since Republican Delegate Don Dwyer was implicated in a boating accidentthat – through the delegate’s own admission – involved a copious amount of ingested alcohol.
“He failed seven out of eight measures in a ‘walk-and-turn’ assessment,” a police incident report read, including being unable to maintain balance and walk in a straight line. The same report noted that he also failed four out of four measures in a ‘‘one-leg stand” assessment, all of which point to someone who is obviously inebriated.
Got it? Good, because the just-quoted police report was not one pertaining to the arrest of Don Dwyer, but to the DWI and DUI charges assessed to Delegate Kumar Barve – the Democrat Majority Leader of the House of Delegates – back in 2007.
“Police said the driver was detained because the motor vehicle was being operated in an erratic manner.” This report also noted that a series of field sobriety tests were administered and the operator failed a number of them. A breath test was not administered, police said, because there was confusion over a phone call which allowed the two-hour time limit for the test to elapse.
Dwyer? Nope, it was T. Eloise Foster, Maryland’s Secretary of Budget & Management who wasarrested in 2007 for driving while impaired by alcohol.
Now would probably be a good time to note that both Barve and Foster are still on the job, and both Democratic Gov. O’Malley (a spokesman said at the time that the outcome of the case would not affect Foster’s employment status) and Democratic House Speaker Michael Busch (who said that Barve was “as human as everyone else, and sometimes we all make mistakes”) didn’t think the infractions warranted dismissal from their positions.
Curiously, a search of the archives didn’t reveal any editorials scribed by The Baltimore Sun-Democrat calling for either the Secretary or the Majority Leader to “amplify a message of responsibility by resigning from office” – which is just what they pontificated in an opinion pieceabout Del. Dwyer that appeared in their August 24 edition.
Even more remarkable was the absence of news regarding both Foster’s and Barve’s arrests in the half-dozen articles The Sun-Democrat has published since Dwyer’s boating accident – an accident that resulted in numerous injuries and gave the Sun’s editorial charlatans the opportunity to sermonize on both boating fatalities and Coast Guard statistics.
Sadly, no such preaching on highway deaths and Department of Transportation stats accompanied Foster’s and Barve’s dangerous behavior.
You see, Republican missteps are greeted with a veiled level of glee, not only obvious in headlines such as “Boat crash could have deep impact on Dwyer’s career”, but also in opening paragraphs of editorials that state “disagreements with the delegate on numerous matters of law and social justice.”
Comparatively, Foster’s arrest was a teachable moment, accompanied by a headline that read, “T. Eloise Foster receives probation for driving while impaired, judge orders counseling.”
Foster, the 2007 article explains, serves on numerous boards and committees for the state, including the Governor’s Executive Council and the State Employees’ Health Insurance Advisory Council. She has also worked as assistant dean for Program Development and Business Affairs at the University Of Maryland School Of Medicine.
Dwyer, according to the August 25 piece, “is best known in Annapolis for his vocal opposition to same sex marriage.”
Nah, no agenda to see here, folks…. Now move along…
Dwyer, an article from August 24 tells us, is also “a strong supporter of gun rights,” as if his championing of the Second Amendment has anything to do with operating a boat while ‘faced.Sun-Democrat reporters went out of their way to mention the delegate’s religious convictions, conservative pedigree, the articles of impeachment he initiated against Attorney General Douglas Gansler and the alleged kicking of a puppy when he was in elementary school.
Just kidding about that last one.
There are numerous differences in how all three of these criminal activities were reported but the point is clear: the conservative gun-lover who thumps his Bible and hates gays needs to disappear from public view faster than Senate Minority Leader Rob Garagiola’s alleged ethics violations. The two Democrats, on the other hand, were simply victims of bad decision making that couldn’t possibly affect their work on behalf of the good citizens of Maryland.
Well, at least Don Dwyer “manned-up” and apologized for his actions and asked the public for forgiveness. Kumar Bavre didn’t “care to comment” on his arrest and referred reporters to his attorney, fellow delegate Luis R.S. Simmons. T. Eloise Foster said she was “incredibly embarrassed,” and had her attorney issue a statement that said the Secretary was “suffering from a lack of sleep when the incident occurred.”
Hey, say what you want about Democrats, but they really step up to the plate when it comes to taking responsibility for their actions, huh?
Was Delegate Dwyer at fault? You betcha. Is he damn lucky he didn’t kill someone? So much so that he should now spend his days holding on to that four-leaf clover and rubbing the hair off his rabbit’s foot. Should he be punished? Absolutely, but let’s keep in mind that Foster was sentenced to unsupervised probation, ordered to undergo alcohol counseling, complete 10 hours of community service and pay a $200 fine. Oh, and she was ordered to abstain from alcohol for one year.
Kumar Barve copped a plea, received unsupervised probation, paid a $200 fine (and court costs), and was ordered to abstain from alcohol use for a year and attend a meeting of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
But for Don Dwyer, well, his actions should most certainly mark the end of his political career.
And that’s the best thing about the smell of liberal hypocrisy in the morning – you may especially enjoy it at sunrise, but rest assured; the sanctimonious stench will remain with you for the balance of the day.