Baltimore Evening Sun (24 October 1911): 6.


Only 1,306 days more! Try to laugh, gents! We are the goats!

Why not pass the Preston-Field-Gwinn gum-shoe ordinance? We’ll all be happier for not knowing what goes on in the City Hall.

The super-Mahon! The super-Mahon! Go grab him, Dobson, if you can!

In the column of Letters From Evening Sun Readers today you will find one signed George A. Numbers, which may be reduced to two propositions, to wit.:

1. That The Sun and The Evening Sun show consistency in supporting the Hon. Arthur Pue Gorman, a professional politician, after opposing the Hon. James Harry Preston, another professional politician.

2. That The Sun and The Evening Sun, when they opposed the Hon. James Harry Preston in the spring, offered no plausible reasons for holding that he would make a bad mayor, and that, in consequence, they are not justified in alleging today that his present badness certifies to their gift of sapient prophecy.

Far be it from me to defend The Sun and The Evening Sun! There is a job for a young giant, not for one of girth and mounting years, softened and corrupted by luxury. I am not Hercules. I am not Ajax. But all the same I venture to point out to Mr. Numbers an essential difference between the Hon. Mr. Preston and the Hon. Mr. Gorman, viz, that the Hon. Mr. Preston specifically promised to give Baltimore a thoroughly “old-fashioned”–i. e., a thoroughly bad–administration, while the Hon. Mr. Gorman is specifically promising to give Maryland a good one.

A mere difference in promises! Maybe so. But, after all, a genuine difference. Unless the Hon. Mr. Gorman is the most shameless liar in captivity, he will make an honest effort, once he is in office, to avoid the more scarlet sins. He has learned a lesson. He has begun to see the light. Like the Hon. Austin Lane Crothers, he has slowly and painfully engulfed the idea that, even in politics, decency sometimes pays–in self-respect if not in actual preferment. The Hon. Mr. Crothers, in times past, was also a political manipulator–a for more daring and callous one than the Hon. Mr. Gorman. But certain rays of white light began to penetrate his cell. He turned over a now leaf. He has made a good Governor--the best, perhaps, that Maryland has had since the war. Maybe the Hon. Mr. Gorman has undergone a similar change of heart. He swears that he has. Let us give him the benefit of the doubt.

Did the Hon. Mr. Preston, during his campaign, show the slightest sign of a similar awakening? He did not. He openly and persistently declared for the old order. He boasted of his intimacy with political highbinders; he specifically promised to get rid of those city officials who were most valiantly battling for progress; he specifically promised to distribute jobs in the ancient manner; he made not the slightest effort to conceal his sympathy with the wrong way of doing things. Was there any need, in the face of all this beautiful frankness, for The Sun and The Evening Sun to pile up proofs against him? Hardly. He did the piling himself. There was never the slightest doubt about his platform. He went to enormous pains to make it plain. And he has gone to enormous pains, since the day of his inauguration, to prove that every promise he made in his campaign was made sincerely, with a full intent to carry it out to the letter.

Such are the differences between the Hon. James Harry Preston and the Hon. Arthur Pue Gorman. Such is the answer to the first of Mr. Number’s questions. And such is the answer to the second. The Hon. Mr. Gorman, it is true enough, may make a bad Governor. He may swiftly undo, once he is in office, all the good work started by Governor Crothers. He may oppose good bills and fight for bad ones and give jobs to loafers and play cheap politics–just as he did when he was a Senator. But if he does these things he will attach to his name, for the rest of his natural life, a stench so powerful that that arising from Baltimore harbor will seem, by comparison. like the sweet scent of some woodland flower.

But how, much better the prospect if the candidate for Governor were a man of undoubted and indubitable good intentions–a man with a good record as well as a good platform–a man on the right side in the past as well as today--a man with no aroma of dead things in his vicinity–in brief, such a man as Blair Lee! True enough! But the people of Maryland lost their chance to get Blair Lee. They must now make the best of a bad bargain. They must pay once more for their chronic folly. Some day, perhaps, they will learn by experience. But that time in not yet.

From a morning paper of this moral town:

In an address in Corpus Christ Catholic Church yesterday morning, at children’s mass, the Rev. James F. Nolan, rector of the church, * * * mentioned the fact that although other denominations pretend to discredit the story of h----, nevertheless they do believe, etc., etc.

An exquisite example of newspaper virtue! Father Nolan, it appears, did not hesitate to use the word itself, without dashes or other disguise, in the presence of his parish children--and yet it was too harsh, too shocking, too indecent to be set naked before the adult readers of that chemically pure gazette! Oh, lovely! Oh, piffle!

What with salary and perquisites, it costs the people of Baltimore about $2,000 a year to keep a City Councilman. That same sum would maintain two public comfort stations. If there is a gentleman in the house who thinks that a Councilman is worth two public comfort stations I shall be glad to send him a ticket to the next Council meeting. One visit will convert him.

Chairman Charles H. Dickey, of the Greater Baltimore Committee, announces that the Red Cross Committee of Fifty “will at all times be open to suggestions from everyone interested in the problems of city government and that such suggestions will be welcomed.” Suggestion No. 1: That the said Red Cross Committee of Fifty do now adjourn sine die.

Which recalls the fact that the Citizens’ Relief Committee is still in process of organization. A slow, a tedious, a baffling business! The Prominent Baltimorean grows more elusive every day.

The beting odds in the downtown kaifs, as my spies report them:

20 to 1 that McNulty will not poll 10,000 votes.
4 to 1 that Carr will be elected.
17,375 to 1 that Preeston will not be re-elected in 1915.
30 to 1 that the first stuffers put on trial will be acquitted with honor and thanked by the jury.