A surfeit of invective

February 05, 1991

Judging from the steady stream of invective that has poured from the pen and tongue of His Excellency in recent weeks, we can safely say that if gratuitous insult were dollars, Maryland wouldn't be facing a half-billion dollar budget deficit.

With the General Assembly session barely under way, it's hard to know what the governor hoped to accomplish by dismissing a whole region of the state, the Eastern Shore, with an unprintable epithet uttered in the legislative halls during a ceremonial occasion last Friday.

On the heels of this episode was the disclosure in yesterday's Evening Sun that a hapless woman who had expressed her political opinion with a "thumbs-down" gesture had her tag number taken down and subsequently received an unsigned note "From the Desk of Don Schaefer" quoting "an old expression" to the effect that "Your action only exceeds the ugliness of your face."

Wow! That's the sort of thing you expect in a banana republic, not the Free State! But since His Excellency is quoting old expressions, we might pass on a bit of wise counsel a successful politician got from his mother: "She told me the day I went to school, 'Now son, if the other boys throw mud on you, don't try to wipe it off, because that'll only smear it. Just let it dry and it'll fall off by itself.' "

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