Jealous thinking too much like Russians

Two Times’ articles on Sept. 29 caught my attention. The first (A5) discusses the proposed name change of Macedonia — proposed so that Greece will drop its opposition to Macedonia’s efforts to join NATO. Russia opposes the name change because they oppose the country’s efforts to join NATO. In typical Russian fashion, intimidation has begun. Russia’s ambassador has warned Macedonia that, should it join NATO, it “could become ‘a legitimate target’ if tensions increased between Russia and NATO.” How’s that for a threat? The strategy is to eliminate the opposition through intimidation — reminiscent of early Russian threats to Georgia and Ukraine. Do it their way or suffer consequences. That sort of set me up for the story on page A6, which was headlined “Jealous seeks districts that will shut GOP out of Congress.”

Ben Jealous appears to think like a Russian dealing with Macedonia, Georgia and Ukraine. Maryland has eight congressional districts. In recent memory, we had six Democrats and two Republicans serving in the U.S House of Representatives — until, that is, Democrats (once again) successfully gerrymandered the state. The sixth congressional district (formerly mostly western Maryland) was twisted in a tortuous manner to run down the Potomac River into Montgomery County — conveniently providing more Democrats. In the subsequent election, the Democrats knocked off the next-to-last remaining Republican representative.


Page A6 further revealed that Jealous said, “I would send eight Democrats to Congress… .” Presumably, he’s ignoring the two sitting U.S. Senators — also Democrats. Clearly his intention is to eliminate Republican representation for the entire state.

Gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous has pledged to deliver an all-Democratic congressional delegation if he’s elected. And Jealous is warning his fellow Democrats that if Republican Gov. Larry Hogan wins re-election, Hogan would boost the number of GOP members of Congress to split the delegation.

Let’s look at some facts. Maryland Democrats outnumbered Republicans 2,143,288 to 1,003,153 effective June 2018 — 68 percent to 32 percent. Jealous obviously has no problem eliminating congressional representation from almost one third of Maryland voters. Will Democrats ever be satisfied with anything less than total dominance? Many Democrats complain endlessly about the few remaining predominantly Republican pockets that remain. I know because I live in one.

What about diversity? What about fair representation? What fair-minded, truly democratic Democrat begrudges two congressional seats? Sadly, almost every elected Democrat in Maryland seems to lean in that direction.

Maryland does not need Ben Jealous, or people who think like him, in any elected office. Do such people even acknowledge the words inclusiveness or bipartisanship? Let’s leave Russian-like thinking to other continents. That’s close enough for me.

Rick Blatchford

Mount Airy

Colvin rises above Harris as representative for both sexes

On Sept. 27, on WMAL, District 1 Congressional Representative Andy Harris described Dr. Christine Blasey Ford as a “troubled woman” with “psychological problems.” Dr. Ford has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault while they were both in high school. Rep. Harris dismissed Dr. Ford by referring to her mental health, without making the obvious connection that the experience of sexual violence is the “trouble” that often leads victims to seek mental health support. I do not expect Rep. Harris to fully comprehend the trauma of sexual assault and how fear of it informs many women’s lives. I do expect that he shows the basic decency of listening to the lived experience of a woman, without attempting to undermine her before all the facts are in. Instead, our representative insulted her with pity while casting doubt on her testimony, then went on to identify with the accused.

In a radio interview, Maryland Republican congressman Andy Harris emphasizes Ford's "psychological problems" while accepting Kavanaugh's denial.

As we evaluate our choices for District 1 in the coming election, the actions of Harris’ opponent, Jesse Colvin, stand in vivid contrast. When former Army Ranger Colvin was asked to look into an alleged sexual assault in the ranks, he sought the counsel of leadership and experts to ensure his response was thorough and appropriate. After winning the primary, he invited his opponent Alison Galbraith to join his team as a subject matter expert on women’s issues, among others. He recently attended Havre de Grace’s “Out of the Darkness” event, demonstrating awareness and respect for those affected by mental health crises. (He was also in Hampstead and Manchester this week, recognizing that District 1 is more than the Eastern Shore.) Based on their words and actions, Colvin rises above Rep. Harris as a representative for both sexes who is willing to listen to women and men. I hope women (and those who love them) take note in November.

Melanie Brennan