You can tell that Michael Steele has a shot in Maryland because the Washington Post has produced an election eve editorial attacking him. The Post claims that Steele, not long-time Congressman Ben Cardin, is “the real candidate of the Washington establishment.” Yet the Post cites no tie between Steele and said establishment other than the fact (true of any candidate in a contested race) that the national party would like to see him win. Instead, the Post accuses Steele of being a “go along to get along” lieutenant governor of Maryland. But (a) that’s pretty much the job description of a lieutenant governor, (b) it has nothing to do with the “Washington establishment,” and (c) the administration Steele participated in was successful enough that the Post has endorsed the governor, Bob Ehrlich, for re-election. The Post claims that Steele didn’t play much of a role, citing some Democratic politician who disputes Steele’s claim to have been a player on one particular issue. But (a) why believe the Democratic politician and (b) what’s this got to do with the “Washington establishment”?
To see that Cardin, not Steele is an “establishment” candidate, one need only ask how each would be likely to vote in the Senate. We know with virtual certainty, based on his record, that Cardin will vote the liberal Democrat line at least 95 percent of the time. In Steele’s case, even the Post grudgingly admits that he “doesn’t always follow the Republican playbook.”
That alone doesn’t make him a good candidate — frankly I wish Steele followed the “playbook” more often. But it demonstrates the absurdity and dishonesty of the Post’s claim that Steele, not Cardin, is the true establishment candidate.
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