Basketball Gets Political, and It Seems Politicians Don't Like Maryland

First it was President Obama, who picked Maryland to lose to Michigan State in the Round of 32. I can understand that - I mean, Michigan State is good, and saying they'll win isn't a crime or anything. But now the political hate is piling on. I think there might be a conspiracy in Washington.

Steny Hoyer, who represents PG county and is the House majority leader, proposed a resolution to congratulate Maryland on a successful season. Aside from the obvious fact that these people should be doing something...oh, I don't know, important or useful, the bill (these types are not unusual and usually get passed) got voted down, by none other than my ideological compatriots.

Hoyer and fellow Maryland Rep. Donna Edwards (D) spoke in favor of the bill. But then California Rep. John Campbell (R) got up, and he was not happy.

While emphasizing that he didn't want "to cast any aspersions on [Maryland], nor on any Terp fans or anything like that," Campbell complained that back in October, he had offered a resolution congratulating a school in his district -- the University of California, Irvine -- for winning a men's volleyball championship, but Hoyer had "pulled that resolution from the floor.

"Finally, Mr. Speaker, I have here the sports section from today's Washington Post," he said. "I will read from the front page where it says that according to a study, Maryland had the lowest graduation rate, 8 percent, among the 65 NCAA tournament teams. Given that this is being put forth in the Education and Labor Committee, if we were going to look at all the 65 teams in the NCAA championships, should we be considering the academics of the teams that are in or not in?"

Ouch. Bitter much, Mr. Campbell? In a double-whammy for me, though it's probably good for some of you, Hoyer turned that right back around.

Hoyer's office suggested the GOP's opposition wasn't surprising. "Republicans are staying true to their 'Party of No' doctrine: Whether it's health care, job creation, or basketball, Republicans aren't for anything," said Hoyer spokeswoman Stephanie Lundberg.

Hey, at least Obama and Congress Republicans can agree on something, even if that something is hating on Maryland. Gotta start somewhere, people. Now maybe we'll get meaningful healthcare reform and an economic recovery plan.

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