They’re at it again.
D.C.’s paper of record, the Washington Post, has written yet another editorial criticizing Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich for not playing their game. Anybody who paid attention to the 2018 Democratic Primary in Montgomery County would remember the deluge of political spending by the Washington Post’s favorite candidate. The Washington Post would go on to compare David Blair to existing presidential candidate John Delaney, and various writers at the Post repeatedly misrepresented the candidate’s background to imply he was a self-made entrepreneur (his earliest notable business venture was a partnership with his well-connected, wealthy father).
After defeating David Blair by a razor-thin margin, Marc Elrich went on to defeat both Republican Robin Ficker and centrist stalking-horse Nancy Floreen in November of 2018. Far from being a “hotly contested” election, Marc Elrich won with 65% of the vote to Floreen’s 19% and Ficker’s 15%.
Commonwealth exists to examine local news from a left-wing perspective, not to endorse any candidate or to act as the mouthpiece of any political organization. Despite what some may think, our criticism of progressive or democratic socialist politicians in Montgomery County is not a sign that Commonwealth or that other organization will be abandoning them. Nor is it a sign that we will come around to support the political program backed by the richest man on the planet. Commonwealth has been perfectly willing to criticize progressive or democratic socialist politicians while still supporting them in other ways.
The Washington Post’s is the most recent in a long line of articles demonstrating their contempt for the working people of Montgomery County. According to the Washington Post, Marc Elrich’s restoration of pay increases for his “union backers” is an example of special-interest politics that stands in contrast to “job creation”. In comical fashion, the Post’s editors claim that raises for Montgomery County public sector employees are “based on the bizarre logic that employees are somehow owed money for scheduled raises that were scrapped after the recession.” These employees are indeed entitled to raises. The budget “crisis” in Montgomery County is artificial, and its causes are known.
Beyond the expected fiscal extremism from Jeff Bezos’ pet project, it’s quite possible that there are more petty grievances at work here. Amazon notably has deigned itself to be above even the most mild scrutiny, pulling plans to build half of its HQ2 in New York City after local politicians began to question the tax breaks being offered to Bezo’s company. Marc Elrich did not take a stand against Amazon before or after his election, but his pro-worker political beliefs may have taken Montgomery County out of the running for Amazon’s HQ2 boondoggle.
We at Commonwealth do not expect the Washington Post to embrace the tenets of democratic socialism anytime soon. However, we suggest that they get over the fact that they backed the wrong horse in the 2018 primary. Nobody likes a whiner.