Baltimore Evening Sun (25 March 1913): 6.
The Hon. William H. Anderson, in the current number of the American Issue, formally surrenders the Hon. MM. John Walter Smith, Blair Lee, William Luke Marbury and James Harry Preston to the devil, and goes over to the corpse of the Republican party with a bang. The one hope of local option, he says, lies in peace between Republican standpatters and Progressives and a united front against the Democratic bibuli. If such a peace fails, then two wet Senators will be elected by the Legislature, and what is more lamentable, there will be various “legislative excesses” against the dry movement within the State, including “additional outrages in the way of even worse election laws.” So speaks Zarathustra.
True words--true, and sad! The fact is that the dry ship now faces a stretch of very stormy water, and that seamanship of a high order will be needed to pull it through. At the beginning of the Senatorial campaign, its prospects were bright, indeed. It then seemed a certainty that some, at least, of the candidates would declare for the blind pig and tin dipper, and that it would be possible to put them through with a whoop, and so share gloriously in their victory. There was even a possibility that all of them–save one, perhaps--would join the lodge, and that victory would be turned into an affecting rout.
But the event has shamed the haruspices. Instead of yielding gracefully and promising to be good, the Hon. John Walter Smith has unexpectedly hurled a defiance at the drys. What is worse, the Hon. MM. Lee and Marbury, his sworn foes, have done exactly the same thing. Now add these treasons to the well-known and irreconcilable hostility at the Hon. Mr. Preston and to the shrewd reluctance of the Hon. Mr. Fred to be lured into the melee by the Hon. Mr. Anderson’s slick city ways and oily tongue--add these things together and you will begin to perceive the parlous position of the drys. No matter which way the cat jumps, there will be two wet Senators. And both of them, it is probable, will be wet to a highly feverish extent, for the campaign methods of the Anti-Saloon League do not promote a forgiving and genial spirit in its opponents.
There remains, of course, the Hon. Isaac Lobe Straus, but not even the Hon. Mr. Anderson is counting on the Hon. Mr. Straus. His nomination is conceivable, just as the sudden conversion of the Hon. Robert Crain is conceivable, but it does not fall into the class of likely things. He may poll enough votes to defeat the Hon. MM. Marbury and Lee, but there is no chance that he will poll enough to elect himself. And if he defeats the Hon. MM. Marbury and Lee, he will insure the election of a pair of hard-boiled and intransigeaat wets. What is worse, that victory will put joy into the hearts of the permanent corps of professional wets at Annapolis, and the result will be a gay session, with many offensive moves against the dry camp. In brief, the Hon. Mr. Anderson will find himself on the defensive, with every hand turned against him, and he will be lucky if he escapes with his hide.
His one hope, as he himself frankly points out, lies in the defeat of the Democratic Legislative ticket. If he can bring the Republican standpatters and Progressives together, and make them combine upon candidates favorable to local option, and if he can then carry the State for those candidates–if he can do all these things, there will still remain a chance of victory for him. But observe the three fateful ifs. First he must bring the standpatters and Bull Moosers together--a feat equal to making a stable cocktail of nitric acid and bicarbonate of soda. Secondly, he must convert the resultant alliance to local option. And thirdly, he must carry the State for it in a Democratic year.
Labors for a Hercules! Nevertheless, the hon. gent. tackles them bravely. On the one hand, he dangles before the Republicans and Bull Moosers the enchanting possibility of electing at least one Senator--though why just one he doesn’t explain. And on the other hand, he calls upon all plupious and sentimental Democrats to join the combination. It will be better, he argues, to have two Republican Senators who train with Woodrow than two Democrats who are against him. Virtue is above party; the spur of chemical purity knows no brother!
So argues the Hon. William H. Anderson, suddenly face to face with the most ticklish situation of his long career of surprise and ambuscade. It seems certain, at the moment, that he is in for a bad defeat, (a) because the Democrats will easily overcome his comic opera bloc of irreconcilable foes, (b) because all the Democratic Senatorial candidates defy his lightning, and (c) because the more he raises up scarecrow dry candidates the wetter he will make the Democrats who beat him.
But meanwhile, let there be no indecent haste about measuring him for his shroud. The election is still more than seven months off--and the Hon. Mr. Anderson is an infinitely clever and resourceful politician. In the whole State, indeed, there is no so-called leader who deserves mention in the same breath with him. He has pulled himself out of bad holes in the past: he may do it yet again. But this time, it must be confessed, he seems to be in above his chest.
The Maryland Suffrage News, after discussing vice in all its forms for 12 consecutive weeks, returns this week to the neglected subject of women’s suffrage, and so restores itself to good standing in refined society. I am, I hope, no prude, but more than once, during the aforesaid 12 weeks, the Suffrage News made me blush Once or twice, indeed, I darn near fainted. But now, as I have said, it returns from its excursion into medical jurisprudence and morbid anatomy, and resumes its argument for the extension of the suffrage. The best of luck to it!
It is only fair to add that the vice crusaders show much the same change of technique. Two or three months ago my mail was filled with pamphlets, leaflets and circulars of such appalling frankness that they kept my lily-white gills in a constant state of inflammation. I had to discharge my lady secretary, the sole support of a thrice-widowed old mother, and employ a dissolute medical student in her place. But now, I am glad to say, I get no more such startling documents, and so I plan to get rid of the medical student, whose devotion to cigarettes is offensive to me. My library, however, is still full of that hectic literature, and if the Hon. Anthony Comstock ever comes to Baltimore I shall have to go into hiding.
Bilen sie das trink-wasser! Machen sie die garbage-can uebergecovered; Ach Gott, es giebt kein use!