Baltimore Evening Sun (7 June 1912): 6.


Respectfully submitted to the Hon. MM. Charles Joseph-Bonaparte and William Shepard Bryan, Jr.:

A lady is any woman who never beats her husband--without provocation.

Remarks of the Hon. the super-Mahon on August 24, 1911:

I do not think the [public school] teachers cease to be citizens or lose their rights as citizens to express their views simply because they are employes of the School Board. * * * I think the teachers ought to feel free to express their views on any subject under discussion relating to the welfare of the schools.

This from the immoral Evening Sun, a journal which chronically misrepresents that great martyr. But in the official newspaper of the the next morning (August 25, page 14, column 1) the very same words appeared. Therefore I take it that The Evening Sun, for once at least, tapped no tears. But let not the chatty Professor Boardman thereby take unction to his soul. Before the Hon. the School Board gets him into its bullring there will be plenty of time for the Hon. the super-Mahon to change his mind.

The way them ex-sheriffs hang on to the money you would think they had growed to it.

For President of the Johns Hopkina University, subject to the Democratic primaries:

The Hon. John Turner, Jr., M. D.

The estimable Democratic Telegram on the O’Neill moving-picture ordinance:

It will occur to the citizens of Baltimore that Mayor Preston is quite as competent as the Supreme Bench may be to select the inspectors.

And if not quite as competent, then at leist a good deal more eager.

Nevertheless, it is sound doctrine that the Telegram preaches. Once we have elected a Mayor, we should let him do all of our mayoring--not as little as possible, but all of it. If, by any chance, he is a political manipulator and puts the profit of his attendant pediculidæ above the good of the public, then the public deserves to suffer, for it was under no obligation to elect him. And if, on the contrary, he is a sincere, able, honest and energetic man (such a man, for exaniple, as the Hon. the super-Mahon), then it deserves to have his fair chance, unhampered by ifs, buts and an intransigeant judiciary.

One of the most disquieting signs of the times in the United States is the growing tendency to hobble public officials. On all hands the States are adopting laws which limit the powers of such officials and lay their acts open to revision. Mayors are set over City Councils and judges are set over Mayors and various plans are put forward for shackling and terrorizing judges. The result is that honest officials are hampered and worried and that dishonest ones are encouraged constantly to new and more sinister chicaneries.

All this is dangerous and wrong and may be fatal, in the long run, to popular government. The people themselves are not able to transact all of their own business. They must hire men to do it for them—experts, more or less genuine, who have time to tackle it and skill to tackle it properly. It is of the very first importance that these experts, once they are chosen, be free to do their work in their own way. Every time their powers are limited their usefulness is decreased. The sole effect of incessant interference is to make some of them cowards and the rest of them rogues. Only the free man has self-respect, and only the man of self-respect can be honest and efficient.

What is more, the hobbling of public officials reacts most unfavorably upon the electorate. It makes the voter careless. It inspires him to take a chance. It gives him the false feeling that he can always rectify his mistakes. No notion could be more evil. Above all things, the voter must be impressed with the fact that his function is serious, that it demands his best foresight and intelligence. And to that end he must suffer, certainly and to the full, the consequences of his follies. If he so far neglects his plain duties, if he so far yields to red fire and wind music as to put an incompetent or corrupt man into office, then he should be made to pay the bill, and to the last red cent. Only by such bitter experience will he be turned from his stupidity.

Hence the viciousness of all the late attempts to denaturize and dephlogisticate the super-Mahon. The boomers, at the recent session of the Legislature, tried to legislate him out of office--a disingenuous and indecent scheme, for he was honestly elected for four years. And since then various efforts have been made to restrict his powers--chiefly his powers to award contracts and to appoint jobholders. Let all such ambushes and thimbleriggings cease. If he is Mayor of Baltimore, as he undoubtedly is, then he deserves to enjoy all the customary rights and privileges of that office, including, above all, the right to farm out its duties and usufructs to men who think as he thinks and have his confidence--i. e., to his personal and political friends.

That is exactly what the super-Mahon is doing. If, as a result of his course, Baltimore is tranamogrified into that mixture of Coney Island and land office which inflames the boomiferous imagination, then the citizens who elected him deserve to enjoy the benefits thereof. And if, on the contrary, his administration ends in debauchery, bankruptcy and scandal, then they deserve to suffer the full penalty, without the slightest commutation for sober second thought. The ass must bear his burden. Such is the law of nature, and, like most other laws of nature, it is marked by a high degree of sapience and justice and is not without its touch of humor.

Meanwhile, of course, the super-Mahon’s right to his job, with all the enjoyments and glories thereto appending, by no means lifts him beyond responsibility. He is free to do as he pleases so long as he is in office, but by the same token any citizen of Baltimore is free to discuss, question or even denounce his doings. Such attacks have various effects upon different men. Upon the Hon. Thomas G. Hayes, when he sat in the Mayor’s office, they had the effect of gravel hurled at a battleship. Upon the Hon. the super-Mahon they seem to have the effect of nail-files applied to the crazy bone. An unfortunate defect of temperament. A man of tender heart, he is constantly dissolved in tears by his own wrongs. A man of almost pathological lack of humor, he is constitutionally unable to laugh at his own foibles. So he sheds a good deal of moisture, lachrymosely and from his pores, and employs bravos in his defense.

But he is still Mayor of Baltlmore–and don’t you forget it.