by Akim Reinhardt
Last Wednesday, over at my website, I published an essay on the riot that took place in Baltimore, a city where I've lived since 2001. Sincere thanks to 3QD for re-posting it here.
That essay primarily focused on the riot itself, not the protests that followed or the de facto police state Baltimore has become since then. I considered the conditions in Baltimore that led to the riot and and examined rioting as a form of social violence.
In this essay, however, I would like to offer a more personalized reaction to the events of the past two weeks: fragments of thought and experience amid the choppers circling overhead, parks filled with protestors, and streets lined with soldiers.
Unleashing a Beast?: The Legitimizing of Governor Larry Hogan.
The night of the riot, a dear friend and fellow historian called me up and said: “This legitimizes Hogan.”
That's a very prescient insight.
When 9-11 happened, Bush the Younger was woefully unqualified to handle the situation. In the end, he seriously botched it in numerous ways. But it didn't matter. He was the man in charge. People turned to him, and he played it macho, maintaining his image enough to reap the political benefits. He was instantly legitimized, and despite all of his bungling over the next three years, was able to win re-election in 2004.
Eight months ago, Larry Hogan was kind of a nobody. Until 2003, he was just a businessman working in commercial real estate. Then, when Bob Erlich became the first Republican governor of Maryland since Spiro Agnew (yes, former disgraced Richard Nixon VP Spiro Agnew), Hogan finagled a spot as Secretary of Appointments. In other words, he was responsible for patronage appointments in the Erlich administration.