Carroll County Times Opinion

Shoemaker: Enough folderol at county, state, federal level of government | COMMENTARY

There is a lot of tomfoolery going on right now. In fact, it seems to be everywhere you look, and at every level of government.

At the federal level, there is a man running for president who accomplished nothing in 47 years as an elected official, but who now suddenly thinks he has all the answers. Accomplishing nothing may be a slight stretch. After all, he was a primary architect of the war on drugs and the 1994 crime bill, both of which resulted in the mass incarceration of thousands upon thousands of African Americans.


And, of course, he also amassed a vast fortune and substantial real estate holdings despite being little more than an elected official his entire adult life. His son, and his brothers, got rich as well. As Harry S Truman aptly put it, “Anyone who leaves public office with more money than he had coming in is a crook and a liar.” But Hunter Biden’s laptop is pretty damning and demonstrates that not only did Hunter cash in on his father’s connections, Sleepy Joe did as well. Draw your own conclusions about Joe.

At the state level, things aren’t much better for the suddenly scandal-plagued Hogan Administration. In between catching flack for his former chief of staff’s $230,000 publicly subsidized golden parachute, being subjected to continued questions regarding the South Korean test kit debacle, and issues arising from businesses and individuals still suffering from his lockdowns, in his spare time, Hogan managed to vote for a dead president.


What a ridiculous exercise that was! Here’s a thought, (and it’s the same thought I had in 2016 when Hogan exclaimed that he had written in his father’s name for president): If you have such a visceral disdain for Donald Trump, how about keeping your mouth shut? Couldn’t he have said that one’s vote is personal, and left it at that?

Instead, he makes a mockery of the right to vote that was secured through the blood and toil of the men and women of the American military by casting a vote for a man (albeit a great man) who passed away in 2004. Really, with regard to the election, Hogan had one job – ensuring that folks have the option to vote in person, if they so choose. Instead, he failed again in permitting the State Board of Elections to open only a handful of voting sites for Election Day.

Locally, I am glad that the majority of our students have the opportunity to return to school, at least partially. I am grateful to the teachers who returned to the classroom. However, those teachers who took leave without a real reason to do so should be ashamed. And the response of the teachers' union clearly demonstrates that it’s really not about the children as they usually scream. It’s about them and the fact that far too many of them want to sit at home and collect a check. While that’s been happening since March, poorer kids (many of whom are minorities) have lagged further and further behind, while scientists have said that there is no reason in-person learning can’t be done safely. Meanwhile, the rest of the working world has returned to work, if they have not been working throughout. It’s malarkey.

Lastly, when are these county commissioners going to acquire some gumption? Stop extending states of emergency in perpetuity and open your meetings back up (in a safe and socially distant way). The taxpayers are owed that and Commissioner Bouchat is right. Enough with the folderol at every level of government.

Haven Shoemaker is a member of the Maryland House of Delegates representing District 5. Reach him at

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