Michael Steele, Maryland’s Lt. Governor and favorite GOP black Trojan horse, is now claiming victim-hood because of his status as a Republican Senate candidate with $2 million in the bank in a bad GOP year. Only in the alternate universe that is the GOP Opportunity Society can anyone assisted by the sitting President of the United States and his minions Rove, Cheney, and Card in raising campaign cash from wealthy white folks be considered a victim. Bush was unpopular when he decided to run for the Senate. Bush was unpopular when he set up the fundraisers. Bush is still unpopular all these months later. It hasn’t deterred him on his quest to be a Bush enabler in the U.S. Senate.
Aided in his quest to become a GOP Trojan horse are the upper echelons of the Democratic Party that organized themselves into a fund-raising juggernaut for Congressman Ben Cardin which effectively squeezed out the first candidate to enter the race to succeed Senator Sarbanes, Kweisi Mfume. Black voters noticed that nobody prominent was helping Kweisi and they began to take a second look at Steele, a negro double agent if there ever was one.
On the one hand, there are the warm-and-fuzzy-feel-good issues of school choice and the faux examination the equity of capital punishment in Maryland. On the other, are the massive social service and education budget cuts the Ehrlich-Steele Administration imposes on the most vulnerable people.
A disproportionate share of these people are people of color. Those feel good public relations initiatives make it easy for Steele to look engaged in Policy while he actually uses his office to campaign for another and Governor Ehrlich uses his power to govern Maryland for the benefit of their mutual malevolent corporate benefactors.
The Ehrlich-Steele Administration has made draconion cuts to Medicaid in the last three fiscal years. According to the Maryland Budget and Tax Policy Institute, “In FY 2004 and FY 2005 more than $250 million was cut from the Medicaid program. These cuts include: Reducing payments to health care providers. Restrictions on length of stay in hospitals. Cuts in drug assistance programs for the elderly and non-Medicaid groups. Greater cost sharing for enrollees (i.e.,increased premiums and co-payments). Tighter controls on disease management Switching long term care support and services from fee-based to managed care. The cumulative effect of these cuts and this year’s $ 112 million dollar Medicaid cut is to reduce the access to medical care for the most economically insecure Marylanders.
The Ehrlich-Steele Administration also reduces funds availble for Higher Education and k-12 education in direct contravention to recent Maryland law. The resentment over the treatment of Mfume and the lack of an African American running mate for Kathleen Kennedy Townsend has created an opening to black voters for the GOP to exploit. 44% of African Americans polled recently are open to an appeal by Steele for their vote. Sadly, middle class blacks are largely delusional on this score because all Steele can offer are opportunites to press the flesh and phony feel good campaign events that don’t have a damn thing to do with policy. Steele has made substantial inroads into middle class black Maryland by pretending to care and pay attention to their inconseqential need for attention while the majority of black Marylanders suffer economically under the massive social service cuts imposed by Steele’s partner in crime.
It remains to be seen if this strategy will bear fruit in the end. All I know is it ain’t hurting Steele in the least to try and seduce the black community into cutting its own throat by voting for him.