Baltimore Evening Sun (16 May 1913): 6.
Standing of the clubs in the National Tuberculosis Lesgue for the week ended April 19:
Philadelphia.................432 Boston.......................358 New York....................409 St.Louis.....................305 Chicago.......................378 Baltimore.................304 Cleveland....................375 Pittsburgh.................187
The Hon. John C. Woolley, the dry geyser, to a gaping reporter for the Sunpaper:
After a tour of rural Maryland I am convinced that the people of the State intend to make Baltimore dry to relieve themselves from the blight of Baltimore liquor domination of State politics.
In which prophecy the discreet will find more probability than is comfortable. The doings of the Royal Family have not gone unnoted in the counties, and the country folks, who are always willing to believe the worst of city politicians, may be expected to let some blood at the first opportunity. Both in 1912 and in 1910 the Royal Family attempted such daring doings at Annapolis that the Sunpaper had to appeal to the countrymen to save the city from it. And the history of the Preston administration, you may be sure, is not unknown in the counties.
Country folks, of course, are not opposed to politicians as such. On the contrary, most of them are politicians themselves, and not a few keep body and soul together by the practice of the art. But a good deal of the old tradition still lingers in their hearts. They yet look upon public office as a public honor; they yet keep up something of the old illusion; they think of the dignity of power more than they think of its profits. The frank hoggishness of the city ringster is disgusting to them. They see no hint of the statesman in so grasping and unashamed a fellow. They do not regard him as a politician at all, for a politician, to them, means a spellbinder, an honorable, a leading citizen, a gentleman. In their sight he is merely a criminal in politics.
No doubt this attitude is due, at least in large part, to the fact that most of the counties of Maryland are not rich. There is very little public money to be grafted, and so no flourishing race of professional grafters has been bred. In the few counties that are opulent–for example, Baltimore--the true country politician has been replaced by an evil imitation of the city politician. He plays the same game; he is quite as far from the country gentleman. In the city itself, of course, with millions constantly on the board, politics is openly a. game of grab, and not one politician in a dozen has any thought save of the amount he can get for himself, and for the little fellows who make up his following.
Now and then, of course, an honest and well-intending man gets into public office, but only because the professional politicians hope to lead him by the nose, or because they need his perfume to disguise their own ammoniacal aroma. When, as in the case of Thomas G. Hayes or Barry Mahool, he refuses to hand over the spoils, he is quickly restored to private life, and a more complaisant fellow is put in his place. This is how the Hon. Mr. Preston became Mayor of Baltimore--by promising to admit the professionals to the trough. If he now changes his mind and turns them away, as he virtuously talks of doing, they will forget all the past favors and send him back to the practice of the law. He is safe so long as he continues to deliver the goods, but he will be a dead duck the moment he becomes a genuine advocate of good government.
What is more, the Hon. Mr. Preston is well aware of this, and the majority of intelligent Baltimoreans are well aware that he is aware of it, and so his occasional talk of reform is not taken with much seriousness. Everyone knows that he must stand or fall with the Royal Family, and everyone knows that the Royal Famifly is frankly devoted to getting whatever it can out of the city. Such, indeed, is its one excuse for existence: take away that purpose, and it would cease to exist. It stands for no reasonable theory of government; it proposes no intelligible program of administration. All it seeks is the spoil of office. It wants contracts and it wants jobs.
The doings of such an undisguised camorra of political merchants are abhorrent to the countryman. They offend his sense or fitness; they violate his inherited pruderies. He believes that pie is a legitimate reward of popularity, but he doesn’t like to see it gobbled so wolfishly, and in a hog pen. Observing such swinishness in full blast, he reaches for a length of hickory. He is against it. He fears and despises it. And he is willing to believe anything of men who practice it.
Here behold the fine skill of the Hon. William H. Anderson, that wiliest of politicians. Two years or more ago he began his savage onslaught upon the Royal Family, and particularly upon its grand master and field agent, the Hon. Mr. Preston. There seemed, at the time, little sense in this onslaught: the Hon. Mr. Preston, in point of fact, had done nothing to the Hon. Mr. Anderson. His one desire, indeed, was to avoid the Hon. Mr. Anderson, to do nothing to him. But all the while there was this sense in the Hon. Mr. Anderson’s attack: that it would enable him to profit, soon or late, by the certain blunders of the Royal Family, that he would be aboard the galleon, and wielding a large gory ax, whenever an outraged yoemanry finally bore down upon it.
This has actually come to pass. The more the Royal Family gets into disfavor, the more it appears that the Hon. Mr. Anderson was a good prophet, and what is better, a virtuous one. Every time the spotlight swings ’round to the Padgetts, the rural mind is mellowed for Anderson. Every time it is proved that his enemies are genuinely evil, his friends swear in a fresh batch of recruits. TO make an end, the hon. gent. has played the game with all his surpassing skill, and if he cashes in a bit later on, as the Hon. Mr. Woolley predicts, no observant man will be surprised. At the moment, of course, he is not quite ripe for that cashing in. The probabilities are, indeed, that the Royal Family will strike back at him at Annapolis next year, and perhaps do him some hurt. But in the long run he will win. He tras discovered a system that is practically sure.
Boil your drinking water! Help the boozehounds! Watch the super-Mahon turn reformer! Wait for Bob to come back!
But what about the man who allowed Padgett to nominate the inspectors? And what about the man who sent them to Padgett’s plant to learn the business?
The Concord Club will celebrate the auspicious recovery of the Hon. Dan Loden by having its parlor papered.--Adv.
Ten thousand dollars reward for any argument against suffragettes which doesn’t also apply to anti-suffragettes.--Adv.