Republicans in Anne Arundel—ostensibly with the capacity to read, write, and think—voted for a man who has openly declared war on science, on the U.S. Constitution, on marriage equality, and who doesn't just whistle Dixie—he thinks it's the national anthem.
He has declared that the laws of the state of Maryland are invalid:
In an Institute on the Constitution video released yesterday, Peroutka claims that the Maryland General Assembly is “no longer a valid legislative body” and as a result, none of the laws that it has passed are “legally valid and legally enforceable.”Follow me below the fold for more ... it gets worse.
This is because, Peroutka argues, the Maryland Assembly has passed laws that “violate God’s law” and therefore have violated the Constitution and moved toward “despotism.” The laws that have invalidated Maryland’s entire state government in Peroutka’s estimation are a marriage equality bill, a transgender rights bill, an assault weapons ban and a stormwater runoff fee.
“Is it possible that those who are sworn to uphold the law, such as police and sheriffs and judges and prosecutors, may soon come to the conclusion that the enactments of this body should be ignored because they are based not in law, but in lawlessness?” he asks.
In Mainstream Extremism, Van Smith describes the local electorate:
Anne Arundel County’s Fifth Councilmanic District is the whitest, most-educated, and richest of the county’s seven districts, and its voters lean heavily in favor of Republicans. If that pattern holds true in November’s general election for the council seat, the district’s 75,000 residents—87 percent white, 97 percent with a high-school diploma and about half with a college degree or higher, and with a median household income of $111,000, higher than any Maryland county—will be turning for constituent services and leadership on local issues to the GOP candidate, Michael Peroutka."So what?" you might be thinking. He's not running for national office again. Or even state government (yet). As Van Smith points out:
Even if he loses the council race to Democratic contender Patrick Armstrong, Peroutka still won an elected position in the June 24 primary election: He’s now a member of the Republican State Central Committee in his district, making him a leader of the local GOP faithful—whether they like it or not.Peroutka won his primary bid by 38 votes, with 2,337 (32.54%) over the next runner-up Maureen Carr-York's 2,299 votes (32.02%). A quick look at a description of the county's politics and government points to part of the problem:
Anne Arundel County is one of the more reliably Republican counties among the heavily populated suburban and urban counties in the state's Baltimore-Washington corridor. Although Republicans usually have the edge in elections there are slightly more registered Democrats.
Combine that with depressingly low voter turnout for statewide primaries, and you have a recipe for political putrefaction. Sounds like some folks better wake up, get fired up, and get boots on the ground to do some more registration and GOTV for Patrick Armstrong.
In 2013, Peroutka joined the board of directors of the League of the South, and their members are chortling with glee about his recent win.
Who are they?
Let's take a look at the Southern Poverty Law Center description:
The League of the South is a neo-Confederate group that advocates for a second Southern secession and a society dominated by “European Americans.” The league believes the “godly” nation it wants to form should be run by an “Anglo-Celtic” (read: white) elite that would establish a Christian theocratic state and politically dominate blacks and other minorities. Originally founded by a group that included many Southern university professors, the group lost its Ph.D.s as it became more explicitly racist. The league denounces the federal government and northern and coastal states as part of “the Empire,” a materialist and anti-religious society.Peroutka has refused to cut his ties to the League of the South and to Hill. The Baltimore Sun, ran an editorial, Southern Discomfort, pointing at not only Peroutka, but area Republicans:
In Its Own Words
“Somebody needs to say a good word for slavery. Where in the world are the Negroes better off today than in America?”
— Jack Kershaw, League of the South board member, 1998
“[T]he Southern League supports a return to a political and social system based on kith and kin rather than an impersonal state wedded to the idea of the universal rights of man. At its core is a European population.”
— Michael Hill, essay on League of the South website, 2000
“If the scenario of the South (and the rest of America) being overrun by hordes of non-white immigrants does not appeal to you, then how is this disaster to be averted? By the people who oppose it rising up against their traitorous elite masters and their misanthropic rule. But to do this we must first rid ourselves of the fear of being called ‘racists’ and the other meaningless epithets they use against us. What is really meant by the [anti-racist] advocates when they peg us as ‘racists’ is that we adhere to ethnocentrism, which is a natural affection for one’s own kind. This is both healthy and Biblical. I am not ashamed to say that I prefer my own kind and my own culture. Others can have theirs; I have mine. No group can survive for long if its members do not prefer their own over others.”
— Mike Hill, Web essay
Mr. Peroutka not only declined to repudiate the league, but he singled out this newspaper for allegedly attempting to “smear” him by mentioning its Southern Poverty Law Center hate group designation. Mr. Peroutka also called out Larry Hogan, his party’s nominee for governor, for disavowing him last week because of his ties to the League of the South. Mr. Hogan “never took the time to even ask me if I was a racist or reach out to have a dialogue with me,” he complained to reporters.Letters to the editor at the paper both excoriate and support Peroutka:
Actually, Mr. Hogan is probably looking the best of anyone associated with this Anne Arundel oddity. Plenty of Democrats have disavowed Mr. Peroutka, too, but that’s a pretty easy call from that side of the political spectrum. Mr. Hogan, who has tried to keep a laser-like focus on matters of taxes and spending in his campaign, obviously saw no reason to be associated with secessionists. Indeed, why does Mr. Peroutka?
Anne Arundel Republicans ought to be running away from the candidate, too, but so far they seem to just be dancing. Del. Steve Schuh, the GOP nominee for county executive, issued a statement Wednesday indicating that he would not support “anyone affiliated with an organization that I believe may be racist and that calls for the dismemberment of the United States.” But that was more than one week after Mr. Hogan’s actions. Others have remained silent, perhaps because Mr. Peroutka, the 2004 Constitution Party candidate for President of the United States, and his views were not exactly unknown to them given that he has been a frequent contributor to, and volunteer supporter of, local GOP candidates and causes.
Mr. Peroutka, like Ronald Reagan understands that "government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem." All of this coverage seems to be just another liberal distraction meant to keep the people from the real issues, which the Democrats cannot win because their beliefs are not our beliefs. Mr. Peroutka represents our values.The League of the South has latched onto Peroutka's victory, chortling with glee, and after Peroutka's win, Hill was claiming a victory:
Theresa Buker, Glen Burnie
While he has been relatively non-responsive to most media since his primary victory, on July 8th, Michael Hill, President of the League of the South said.Michael Hill has an extensive profile at SPLC:
The League office received the following e-mail today. This means that after a vote recount, our Southern Nationalist candidate won the primary election!
The email sent to the League from Peroutka read as follows:
Dr. Hill: I am happy to report that after all votes were counted, we were ahead by 38 votes. Praise God from Whom all blessings flow. They will come after me in the general election in November. Not only locally, but also from across the country. There are many, as you well know, who hate the idea of Godly, constitutional government. I ask you to ask the membership for prayers and for whatever financial support they can muster. I am grateful for our friendship and for the work of LS.
Please accept my thanks for your hospitality in Alabama. I will be in touch.
Started with 40 people, the League initially included four men with Ph.D.s on its board, along with Jack Kershaw, who was once active in the segregationist White Citizens Council in Nashville and who remained on the board as late as 2009.It gets worse.
Hill's League started out complaining about the media treatment of white Southerners but quickly developed into a racist group calling for secession, attacking egalitarianism, calling antebellum slavery "God-ordained," opposing racial intermarriage, and defending segregation as a policy designed to protect the "integrity" of both the black and the white races.
An early sign of the League's underlying racism came in 1995, when Hill set up a student chapter at his alma mater, the University of Alabama. Within months, its members began to verbally attack gays, and chapter president Thomas Stedman wrote to the student newspaper to claim that "blacks did not invent ... anything of note anywhere in the world." Hill also praised extremists like the Holocaust-denying and immigrant-bashing Jean-Marie Le Pen of France, calling for "others like Le Pen to arise." The "ravages of multiculturalism and so-called diversity," Hill said, are anathema to him. Hill described the Pledge of Allegiance as "nationalist propaganda [meant] to indoctrinate" children with socialist ideas about government. In 2003, Hill led an attempt to resuscitate the Southern Party, another neo-Confederate organization. And he attacked the Supreme Court after its ruling in July of that year striking down anti-gay sodomy laws, saying the court was helping to advance what he called the "sodomite and civil rights agendas."
In a 2012 essay, he claimed that white people are endowed with a “God-ordained superiority.” Whites of “honor, genius and principle” left us with a “glorious heritage,” while black people “have never created anything approximating a civilization.” Slavery, he wrote, was “successfully defended from a Biblical standpoint” until “the institution’s legitimacy was systematically undermined in the name of ‘equality’ and misappropriated ‘Christian ethics.’” He also waxed nostalgic for the Jim Crow system of racial oppression.
Particularly alarming was Hill’s growing penchant for inciting his remaining followers to violence. At a March 2011 League meeting in Georgia, he urged members to stock up on AK-47s, hollow-point bullets and tools to derail trains. That summer, at the League’s annual conference, the leader asked, “What would it take to get you to fight? The mantra [that] violence, or the serious threat thereof, never settles anything is patently false. History shows that it indeed does settle many things.”
This increasingly vocal militancy brought the League’s ideology and goals closer and closer to those of the antigovernment “Patriot” movement. In a January 2012 E-mail, Hill declared the federal government an “organized criminal enterprise” led by “domestic terrorists,” and told his followers to prepare for a fight.
Michael Hill, who co-founded League of the South in 1994, said the group ran the same billboard earlier this year near the state capital in Tallahassee, Florida, but he said the sign remained up for the duration of the two-month contract.“We had a really, really good open public debate about this issue in Tallahassee,” Hill said. “Nobody got their pants in a wad about it.”...“The message is not offensive, it’s not immoral or unethical,” said Hill, who concedes the message is controversial.Frederick Clarkson has written about this both here and at Political Research Associates in Let’s Not Ignore the Overt Calls for Violence from the League of the South, as has jhutson, most recently in GOP Leader Questions Candidate About Hate Group That Advocates Death Squads.
Group members earlier this month protested the SPLC’s lawsuit seeking to overturn Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriage, and Hill issued a press release at the time mocking the civil rights group’s officials as overweight, Jewish homosexuals. Hill said his group is exploring other options, even as members contact the advertising company to ask it to reconsider.
Lest you think that Peroutka is an anomaly—a lone looney who has somehow slipped through the cracks in Anne Arundel's political process, Jonathan Hutson disabuses that notion as he describes the Republican running for sheriff in Anne Arundel in Meet Peroutka's Minion:
Joseph "Joe" Delimater III ran unopposed in Anne Arundel's Republican primary for sheriff. He's a pupil of Peroutka and Whitney who has taken several courses at their theocratic Institute on the Constitution. He's an elder in Whitney's congregation, the Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church in Pasadena, Maryland. And Delimater's comments on the Civil War, which he calls (in neo-Confederate fashion) the "War Between the States," are featured on the website of the Maryland chapter of the League of the South. However, he has not yet explained to voters his relationship with the white nationalist group.Looks like Anne Arundel has its own homegrown Joe Arpaio wannabe.
But how servile is Delimater to Peroutka's doctrine? Delimater, on his campaign website, plagiarizes an entire June 17 essay by Peroutka, changing only the title ("It's the Law"), and adding a single sentence at the end, all without attribution. The purloined piece concludes that it's the duty of County Council members and the sheriff to cooperate in resisting the enforcement of state laws - such as Maryland's laws on marriage equality, transgender rights, or stormwater runoff fees - which, in their views, contradict God's Law as revealed in their reading of the Bible. "If these man-made actions conflict with God's moral law," Delimater plagiarized, "then they are not law at all.... When our local officials, including county councilmen and sheriff's [sic] confront such 'pretended legislation,' it is their duty to resist its implementation."
The day after Peroutka's political victory for theocrats and white nationalists, the Capital Gazette published an editorial questioning what the few voters who turned out had been thinking.
Thinking about this Johnny Reb as a sheriff makes me shudder. I have flashbacks of having to drive slowly and carefully with my parents, always at least 10 miles an hour below the speed limit, through both Prince George's and Anne Arundel counties when we lived in Maryland in the 1950s. Curiously enough, at one point in history, Anne Arundel was a haven for newly freed black folks:
Maryland's Fourth Constitution adopted on November 1, 1864 freed the remaining slaves throughout the State. As this labor source disappeared, farmers in the southern portion of the county increasingly shifted to crops such as corn, wheat, hay, and fruit though tobacco was, and is, still grown. Seafood and associated industries such as shucking houses also became significant factors in the economy of that area. Farmers in the northern portion of the County discovered that the prevalent sandy soils were ideal for truck farming. Eastern European families living in Baltimore were transported to the farms to harvest the fruits and vegetables. Initially, Baltimore was the primary market, but over time Anne Arundel County peas, beans, strawberries and cantaloupes became famous throughout the eastern seaboard. Canning and fertilizer plants were opened in northern Anne Arundel County in support of the truck farming.Listening to Peroutka's Bible-babble in his lecture, "Evolution Is 'Anti-American,'"
In the late 1880's, recreation became a major business throughout the County with the opening of numerous summer resorts including Bay Ridge, "The Queen Resort of the Chesapeake." Readily available rail and steamboat access from Baltimore brought clientele to Bay Ridge and other smaller resorts developed on creeks in the northern portion of the County. The resort areas developed in Shady Side and Mayo in the south though popular were relatively small as there was no rail access from Baltimore and the Washington lines ran only to North Beach in the extreme southeast corner of the County. Additionally, paved roads were the exception, not the rule until the twentieth century. In 1893, Major Charles R. Douglass, the son of abolitionist Frederick Douglass, established Highland Beach as an exclusive resort for African Americans. Many prominent African Americans, including Booker T. Washington, Paul Laurence Dunbar and Mary Church Terrell, either visited or owned homes in the community.
offends me as a social scientist and as an educator:
Partial transcript from his website:
American political philosophy is based on the belief that the world was created by God in six days and that this creation event occurred about six thousand years ago. So, the whole idea of evolution and an earth that is millions of years old is absolutely antithetical to America. When you see and hear folks describe the earth as millions of years old, you know that they are either willfully anti-American or they are ignorant of their own heritage and history.If we want to turn back time to 1925, to the days of the Scopes Trial, or to pre-1865 with my folks enslaved again and have traitors again defying the Union, it can happen. As long as we, the people, don't get up off our assets and exercise the franchise, we will continue to see more Peroutkas and Mo Brookses taking elected office. Forget about the idea that sane and rational Republicans will put a stop to it. It ain't gonna happen. Just look at loons like Jody Hice (R-GA). None of these people should even get elected dog catcher. They are proponents of devolution.
What I am saying is that the promotion of evolution is an act of disloyalty to America.
What I am saying is that there is no way you can promote or believe in evolution and sing God Bless America during the seventh-inning stretch. You either believe in creation by which you have rights that government is designed to protect, or you believe that all men are slime and that you have no rights at all.
“All men are created equal”. They are not “evolved” equal.
Evolution is Anti-American.
Don't tell me votes don't count. We put a progressive candidate in office in my district in New York state by 18 votes. We're now fighting to get her re-elected.
We can, and must, move forward together as a fusion movement. Peroutka and his ilk are against people of color, women, LGBTs, immigrants, workers, unions, the elderly, Muslims, Jews, atheists and educators. They are equal opportunity destroyers.
To quote the Rev. Dr. William Barber, If we ever needed to vote, we need to vote now.