Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Truth About Bob Ehrlich, and the Washington Post's Odd Logic

I've been puzzling since this morning about the Washington Post's bizarre endorsement of Bob Ehrlich. I find it very odd that they would describe him as undisciplined, immature, and more interested in picking a fight than in getting things done, and then they go ahead and endorse Ehrlich. And despite spending all day (in between, you know, doing my job) thinking about this, I still have no answer.
But their characterization of the issues they cite in the endorsement are way off-base. Here's why:
1. The Post claims that Ehrlich pushed the ICC through. However you feel about the highway, and I happen to be against it, to place credit for building it on Bobby's shoulders is just plain ridiculous. Being on the losing side of that fight, I got to watch as the Montgomery County Council, the County Executive, and a majority of Montgomery County's delegation to the General Assembly shifted to support of the highway, pushing it through. The difference wasn't Ehrlich, it was Montgomery County pols like Doug Duncan and Rich Madaleno who made it happen.
2. Then there's the Flush Tax, which the Post treats as some huge environmental victory. Right. Like he saved the Bay. The Bay which is continuing to decline under the weight of massive pollution rolling down our rivers. And Ehrlich fixed a couple sewage treatment plants, while opposing every other environmental bill that came his way. There's a reason Ehrlich scored a D from the League of Conservation Voters.
3. The Post says that Ehrlich fought for the state's charter school law. Again, however you feel about charter schools, Democrats like Roy Dyson were pushing for a state charter school law before Ehrlich even took office, and it was Dyson's bill, not Ehrlich's, that passed in 2003.
4. Ehrlich has pardoned more felons than either of the previous two governors. Of course Ehrlich pardoned more felons, because it's politically easier for a Republican to do so without seeming to be soft on crime, for the same reason that only Nixon could go to China.
I disagree with the Post on a lot of things. In most cases, I can honestly say that while I disagree, I can respect their arguments and opinions. But I'm sorry, this endorsement is just plain wrong, and the supposed reasoning behind it doesn't pass the laugh test. Ehrlich has been a failure as Governor, and Maryland voters should recognize that on November 7.
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Blogger Thomas Nephew said...

I think there's no "logic" at work here, it's just the usual pro forma "evenhandedness", a.k.a. Broderism. The divided government argument even makes that explicit -- while your own post makes clear just how shaky a foundation the governor's side would be.

10/25/2006 07:07:00 PM  
Blogger Matthew Jerome said...

It is a travesty that the Post would applaud Ehrlich's record on the environment when he has been such a proponent of the ICC. Likewise, it is a travesty for the Post to continue perpetuating the myth that the ICC will do anything about the region's traffic crisis.

10/26/2006 09:37:00 AM  

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