Baltimore Evening Sun (14 October 1911): 6.
The Hon. Der Doo on the revolution in his naive land:
The Chinese are tired of being bossed by the Manchu river. My people want to be like Americans; they want to be free—free from the rule of the Manchus.
But, after all, what is the essential difference between a Manchu and a Mahon?
Is there any gentleman in the house who believes that the Red Cross Committee of Fifty will accomplish anything? If so, what does he believe that it will accomplish? The overthrow of the super-Mahon? Its adoption of a new, a subtle, an impeccable charter? The restpration of civilized government in Baltimore? Bosh, dear heart! A long pause for boshing. The Red Cross Committes will accomplish nothing of the sort. It will accomplish nothing of any sort. A month hence it will be staggering around with tacks in its feet and its head hanging on by a shred. Two months hence it will be as teetotally extinct as all the other committees that have been appointed to save us during the last 10 years.
The reasons therefore are two in number. The first is that the common people of Baltimore are tired of being saved, that they have lost all faith in self-appointed rescuers, that the very mention of salvation by committee, whether commercial or political, makes them rock with mirth. The second reason is that they begin to sympathize with the super-Mahon and his friends; that they make ready to shed hot tears of pity once more, as they did in the spring; that they prepare to rally ’round the martyr a second time.
As everyone knows, it was his skill at posing as a human pincushion, with darts and arrows radiating from him like quills from the fretful porcupine, that elected the super-Mahon in the spring. His campaign was frankly a campaign for sympathy. The fact that the two leading newspapers of the city were against him, that they warned the people to beware of him, was easily translated into proof that a conspiracy against him existed. His maudlin bellowing undoubtedly made votes. After the first few weeks no other issue was half so fruitful.
On primary day the white voters of Baltimore decided for the martyr by 10,000 votes. On election day they decided for him again, and by a majority almost as large. If he was actually defeated in the general election, if chicanery was necessary to count him in, then blame the blackamoors. The majority of whites below the rank of Prominent Baltimorean were for him. The majority of whites within that exalted caste were for him. And now they are for him again. First, because the newspapers are against him. Secondly, because the grand jury has overdone the slaughter of his friends. Thirdly, because he is giving Baltimore the very sort of administration he promised.
Sat what you will against the super-Mahon, you cannot maintain that he appeared before the people last spring under false colors. The main issue in his campaign, true enough, was that of persecution, but he made no effort whatever to dodge the other issues, nor to conceal his attitude toward them. He openly declared, time and time again, that he would give Baltimore, if elected, a strictly “old-fashioned” administration. He took great pains, upon all possible occasions, to define “old-fashioned” clearly. He promised that he would get rid of all such men as John Finney. He promised that he would hand over the schools to the common people. He promised that he would distribute jobs among the faithful, and among the faithful only. He admitted frankly that he was a close personal and political friend to Mahon. He admitted that he was very friendly to Padgett. He made no attempt, at any time, to conceal his sentiments and plans. He preached reaction in plain words, eloquently and incessantly. And the white voters of Baltimore elected him.
Is it fair, now, to denounce him bitterly, to demand that he abandon his plain platform, to make plans for robbing him of the honest fruits of his victory? Hardly. Such unjustifiable melodrama offends good taste. The play before us is really not a melodrama at all, but a comedy. Let us then devote ourselves to gentle snickering—to snickering at the super-Mahon’s amusing vanities, at the ridiculous performances pf his appointees, at the thousand and one grotesqueries of the hour—but especially to snickering in the mirror. We are the goats. The laugh is on us. And it will be on us for 1,315 days more.
As for the Red Cross Committee, it will not engage us long. The meeting Thursday night was attended by a few intelligent men who couldn’t escape, by a weary guard of Prominents, and by a batch of absurd pushers who sought the easy opportunity to get their names into the papers. The Committee itself will die abornin’. It will never come to any clear decision as to what it wants. It will never deliver the goods.
But the super-Mahon has come to a clear decision, and he is delivering the goods. Let us grant him that virtue–a virtue extremely rare in Baltimore. He may be ridiculous, but he is not nearly so ridiculous as the Rescuers. He may be evil, but he is not nearly so evil as balderdash.
New novels that you may read without loss of self-respect:
“Ethan Frome,” by Edith Wharton.
“Rebellion,” by Joseph Medill Patterson.
“Abe and Mawruss,” by Montague Glass.
Boil your City Councilman! And then spray him with bichloride! And then stand him in a strong wind! ——— More extracts from the new charter in course of preparation by the learned jurisconsults of the Royal Family:
Section 62. The City Solicitor shall be the legal adviser of the Mayor and City Council of Baltimore City, and shall supply the said Mayor and City Council of Baltimore City with legal advice of whatever character or sort may be most palatable and useful to the said Mayor and City Council of Baltimore City. Section 41. The Commissioners of Finance shall be the head of the fourth sub-department of Finance, and shall be a Board composed of the Mayor, the Mayor, the Mayor and two docile and harmless persons appointed by the Mayor. The said Commissioners of Finance shall select the depository banks for City funds, by and with the advice and consent of the Mayor. It shall be unlawful for the said Commissioners, at any time or on any pretext, to furnish any reporter or editor of any public newspaper, journal, print, gazette or zeitung with any statement showing, or purporting to show, the names of the depository banks in which the said funds of the City shall have been deposited, or the amounts standing on deposit in any of the said banks. The said Commissioners shall not deposit in any one bank any sum greater than three times the paid-up capital stock of said bank.