Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Maryland (and Virginia) races

This WaPo article gives much more attention to the Virginia race than to the races in Maryland, while this one suggests that the endorsement of Steele by a number of Prince Georges County Democratic insiders was more a shot fired across the bow of their party than anything else.

By contrast, this WaTi piece focuses on the Steele/Cardin race and the role of churches in it. After this bit from a sermon, it would be impossible to say that Republicans are alone in abusing religion for the sake of politics:

"Everyone who’s your color is not your kind," the Rev. Delman L. Coates told the mostly black congregation at Mount Ennon Baptist Church in Clinton. "All your skinfolk is not your kinfolk."

Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin, the Democratic nominee, who is white, looked on from the front pew as Mr. Coates subtly disparaged supporters of Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele, the Republican nominee and the first black elected to statewide office in Maryland.

"On Tuesday, we have to have more on our minds than color," the preacher told the roughly 1,500 parishioners. He rattled off a list of unsympathetic black people, including the slave who alerted the masters to Nat Turner’s rebellion in 1831 and the black man who shot Malcolm X in 1965.

He drew parallels between the election tomorrow and the biblical account of Jews choosing to free from crucifixion the thief Barabbas instead of Jesus Christ. The minister asked how the crowd that loved Jesus only days earlier was tricked to switch from "Jesuscrats" to "Barabblicans" for that vote.

"Can’t you just see the commercials that were designed to endear Barabbas to the crowd," he said. "I can just see Barabbas well dressed, well groomed [and] holding a puppy."

The reference to Mr. Steele’s TV ads drew laughter from the congregation and prompted several worshippers to stand and applaud.

I’m waiting for Jim Wallis and David Kuo to remind Rev. Coates that Jesus is neither a Democrat nor a Republican.

This Baltimore Sun article covers much of the same ground.

The best Maryland story comes from
the Sun, which takes a close look at the ground game in the Free State. A sample:

Political parties and interest groups are grappling with shifting demographics and party affiliations. There has been huge growth in voter registration in Prince George’s and Charles counties since 2002, much of it among black residents, said Thomas F. Schaller, a political science professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Overall, party affiliation is dropping, and there are more registered independents than ever.

Matthew Crenson, a Johns Hopkins University political science professor and sometime Democratic activist, said the decline of Maryland’s Democratic clubs has made the party less effective in mobilizing turnout on Election Day.

"Thirty or 40 years ago, there were Democratic clubs in most working-class and even lower-class neighborhoods, both black and white, and they provided the core of workers on Election Day," Crenson said. "Those organizations have almost entirely disappeared, and so the party work force barely exists."

Read the whole thing.

Update: I somehow missed this WaPo article on the churches and the Maryland campaign.

Update #2: Kuo steps up to the plate on Rev. Coates’s "vile rhetoric."

Last Update: Andrew Sullivan used the "vile rhetoric" line at 5:39 p.m., Kuo at 9:32 p.m. My new theory is that Andrew Sullivan is David Kuo.

Discussions - 3 Comments

Professor K,

You don’t really expect Wallis to remind Rev. Coates that Jesus is neither a Democrat or a Republican do you? Wallis thinks Jesus is a Democrat, or at least, that he agrees with every major policy issue the Democrats support. He just isn’t intellectually honest enough to admit it.

Interesting article.


Sounds like that church intervened in a political campaign in opposition of a candidate in violation of IRC 501(c)(3). The IRS needs to investigate, though will be scared to do so. The church either needs to pay its 4955 fine (along with its officals) or lose its exemption.

"I’m waiting for Jim Wallis and David Kuo to remind Rev. Coates that Jesus is neither a Democrat nor a Republican."

That will be shortly after they walk on water.

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