There’s a Congressman in Maryland’s 1st District that I have been at war with for over a year. His name is Andy Harris, and he is an anesthesiologist who was elected to the represent my hometown’s district in the 2010 Republican takeover of the House.
You likely know him as the Tea Partier who, while vowing to repeal Obamacare on the campaign trail, threw a fit about his government provided health insurance not kicking in until after he was sworn in.
He’s a class act on many levels. After contacting him multiple times by email on reproductive issues – and receiving increasingly self-righteous form letters and emails – I received an email updating me on Rep. Harris’s continued dedication to “protecting the sanctity of life.” Here’s my favorite part:
Knowing of your concern for defending the sanctity of life and the possible negative effects of the President’s health care law, the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (PPACA), I would like to provide an update regarding a recent ruling by the Health and Human Services Department (HHS) that would require most insurance plans to cover contraceptive and sterilization methods, including abortifacients.
Ah, yes. Rep. Harris knows all about my concern for fetuses and denying women birth control. When I got that email, I blacked out for six days and woke up surrounded by empty liquor bottles and blood. Okay, it wasn’t that extreme, but I was pretty livid.
So I did what any dissatisfied constituent would do: I called Rep. Harris’s office to schedule a face-to-face meeting. I never got that far. A member of his staff called me back while I was writing in a local coffee shop. She apologized profusely for the mix-up, and informed me that I had ended up on the wrong list. I said well, that’s kind of a big mistake for someone who wants to be in charge of my uterus. We got into a fight that lasted about forty minutes – at its zenith, she informed me that having had two children made her more of an expert on birth control than I, and I told her that the existence of those two children said quite the opposite – until she informed me that the office would no longer be accepting my calls. I thanked her, and wished her the best of luck finding a new job come November.
Except now it seems that neither she nor Andy Harris will be out of a job anytime soon – because Democratic challenger Wendy Rosen screwed up royally.
Rosen, who won the primary over her two Democratic rivals by a paltry 1%, has just announced that she is withdrawing her candidacy after admitting to committing voter fraud. Rosen voted in the 2006 and 2008 elections in both Maryland and Florida, making her the eleventh confirmed case of federal election fraud in the last decade.
Unfortunately for, well, everyone, the deadline for getting a name on – or off – the ballot in Maryland passed two weeks ago. So now, thanks to Wendy Rosen, the District 1 Democrats are saddled with the nearly impossible task of launching a write-in campaign in a conservative district.
Wendy Rosen has betrayed her civic duty on multiple levels. The obvious and most fundamental betrayal is that every citizen not only has a responsibility to vote, but to not commit voter fraud. Participating in a democratic society within the law is literally the least one can do, and Rosen failed to do it. And at the point that she failed, and betrayed this most basic element of society’s trust, she should have never further inserted herself into politics. She certainly should not have run for federal office knowing her criminal past barred her from being a viable candidate. Because now, not only has Rosen cheated when it comes to casting her own vote, she’s denied the thousands of progressive voters in Maryland’s biggest district the option to make their voices heard. Her actions are irresponsible and disgusting objectively – in an election where the health care of millions of Americans hangs in the balance, it’s downright despicable.
It’s already a tough road for Democrats to convince jaded and down-on-their-luck Millenials that their vote matters. Wendy Rosen stripping so many people of even the chance to make their voices heard just makes it that much harder.