A recent editorial from The Washington Post that endorses MD Democratic nominee Rep. Ben Cardin strikes an unusually ugly tone by focusing 379 out of that endorsement's 394 words on GOP nominee Lt. Gov. Michael Steele's flaws as a potential Senate legislator. Something really nasty - we don't know - must have happened during Steele's meeting with The Post that led to this loaded piece:Despite his efforts to construct an image as an independent-minded newcomer, there is nothing in Mr. Steele's past -- no achievement, no record, no evidence and certainly no command of the issues -- to support it. Pressed on energy or the environment, health care or North Korea, he tells reporters that he would get "all the players in the room." That sounds fine but means nothing; he's running to be a senator, not a meetings coordinator. He proposes a list of big-ticket spending programs but offers no convincing idea about how they might be paid for. He knocks special-interest politics but is flush with campaign cash thanks to a team of GOP lobbyists.
What's unusual is that this official Post endorsement of Cardin says nothing about Cardin until the very last sentence. Hence, it first gives the impression that Steele is actually dominating this race despite the best efforts of the Democratic opposition. Secondly, the unusually terse tone in this anti-endorsement (something rare in our long time as avid readers of The Post) comes off as rather suspicious since there is nothing in it that mentions why The Post endorses Cardin other than its apparent hatred for Steele.
Certainly, many - particularly African Americans in Prince George's County, Maryland - will ask if The Post employed a double standard here. The question will be posed: "If Steele were White, would this editorial have been as ugly?" If that's the case, this may actually work against Cardin in the final stretch of a brutal campaign.