First, Fred Hiatt raked Mitch McDonnell over the coals on climate change. Then, before the day is over, Barry Rascovar writes a bad, sexist, racist and condescending article about EMILY’s List and Donna Edwards - and my buddy Barry O’Connell takes Rascovar to task for it. O’Connell, usually a practitioner of bizarre “I know you are but what am I?” analysis, gets something right. First time for everything.
First, Rascovar. He’s upset at EMILY’s List for spending $1 million on ads supporting Edwards. Incensed, in fact. So much so that he adopts his best Don Draper mentality and goes to town on those stupid women.
What in the world was Emily’s List thinking when it threw $1 million into the Maryland Senate primary race for a candidate who could be an easy mark for Republicans next November?
Why would the women’s political empowerment group try to defeat a much stronger Democratic candidate who has an unblemished pro-choice record and strong support from elected female leaders in Maryland and women’s rights advocates?
It’s a baffling call, especially in an election season where a $1 million advertising blitz could make a huge difference in a number of pivotal general election Senate races around the country involving other Democratic, pro-choice, female candidates.
It’s really not hard to get it, Barry. They endorsed Donna Edwards early, she needs help now, so they did what they always do - spend money on ads for their preferred candidates. And I’m for the othe guy - so if I can understand, so can you. What this appears to be is a fit of pique - Rascovar is upset that the ladies won’t just settle for the perfectly good guy running against Edwards. That’s not how it works, sir - EMILY’s List only supports women. Like it or don’t in any give case, it’s their prerogative.
It gets worse, though:
It’s an independent expenditure committee ad campaign, which by law means Emily’s List cannot coordinate its activities with the Edwards camp. But the obvious similarities of Edwards’ campaign pitch and the Emily’s List ad is striking and raises concerns.
Even more troubling is Emily’s List’s attempt to target its ad to an African-American audience, with an obvious African-American narrator proclaiming Edwards will “work for us.”
If the same language had been used in support of a white candidate, there would be hell to pay – and rightly so.
Did you ever think that maybe “us” means “women”? EMILY’s List is a women’s organization, after all, dedicated to electing pro-choice Democratic women. Not men who might do just as well. Trust me, I get it - I have as good a track record on women’s issues as anyone, but they wouldn’t endorse me last year because I’m not a woman. And even if it means African-American women, why is that so bad?
Next, we’re told that Edwards isn’t as good a general election candidate as Van Hollen. That might be true - I certainly think so - but Rascovar does it by comparing her to Anthony Brown. Hmmmmmm.
Republicans are hoping for a repeat of Larry Hogan’s upset win in the governor’s race last year. He defeated Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, who lacked broad statewide support among Democrats, independents and elected officials.
If either of the two GOP front-runners, Del. Kathy Szeliga or Harford County Executive Barry Glassman is nominated, they could duplicate Hogan’s success if Edwards is the Senate opponent.
Both are good campaigners who want to come across as smiling, Hogan-esque figures.
Edwards, on the other hand, is a lightning rod for controversy. Her hard-edge political approach is far to the left of the Democratic center, she does not work well with her fellow politicians and she often has forgotten to tend to the services demanded by constituents.
No polls, no data, just an assumption that Edwards - who happens to be black - won’t be the favorite in a general election against either of two white opponents, in an election with a much larger electorate than 2014. I’ve got a big problem with that “analysis,” in terms of both substance and tone - not to mention implication.
Barry O’Connell, on Facebook, looks at this and concludes as follows:
I am not supporting either candidate in the MD Senate race. But the Barry Rascovar hatchet job on [Donna F. Edwards]is really uncomfortable. If it were anyone else i would think Unfair, Untrue, and Racist.
Well said. The only thing I’d add is “sexist” and “condescending.”