The above photo of Heather Mizeur and Andy Harris was taken when Mizeur recorded her “Soul Force Politics” podcast with Harris in December 2017.
Marylanders of the First congressional district got what they voted for — an extreme right-wing, sedition-supporting Republican who has accomplished little during his six terms in Washington. Andy Harris has a long record of weirdness — his support of the Hungarian leader Orban might be the weirdest — and has questioned government efforts to contain the coronavirus. A Trump supporter, he also took part in the effort by members of the House to challenge the election of President Biden. He also refused to honor the police officers who defended the Capitol during the Jan. 6 mob attack. Harris, a Hopkins-trained anesthesiologist, is now engaging in quackery; he’s on record in support of unvaccinated people taking a horse medication to ward off the coronavirus and its deadly variants. The Washington Post, apparently tipped to a radio show Harris co-hosted with his wife on WCBM last month, reports that Harris prescribed ivermectin to a patient and replied, “Good idea,” when a caller to the show said he had gone unvaccinated and had taken the horse dewormer. Here’s a link to the story.
Do the people of the grossly-gerrymandered-by-Democrats First District deserve better? Well, yeah. But a large majority of them, including independents, voted for Harris six times, and it’s not like they didn’t have better candidates to choose from after it became clear that Harris was awful. As Mencken put it: “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”
Meanwhile, Democrat Heather Mizeur, the former Maryland state delegate who lives on the Eastern Shore, thinks the people of the First District do, in fact, deserve better representation in the House. She reports raising $1,048,756 in campaign funds to unseat Harris in the 2022 general election, assuming she wins her party’s primary. If she gets that far, Mizeur will have plenty of material to use against Harris in campaign ads.
But that’s assuming, of course, that a majority of First District voters think it’s a bad thing to have a rep who supports a democracy-killing European leader, claims without basis fraud in the 2020 U.S. election, refuses to honor cops who defended democracy and prescribes horse dewormer for a virus that has killed nearly 730,000 Americans.
Another big but: As Josh Kurtz reports at Maryland Matters, Harris still has a substantial advantage in cash on hand. And the First District went solidly for him and Trump in 2020. Democrats would have to convince a hell of a lot of independent voters to replace a quacky, extremely conservative Republican with a rational, progressive Democrat.
There’s one other unknown (or hope), as Kurtz points out: “One of the big questions when the Maryland General Assembly convenes in early December to draw new congressional maps is how dramatically the district boundaries will change — and whether the 1st becomes more hospitable to Democrats. Mizeur’s strong fundraising, however, may pressure Democrats, who control the redistricting process in Annapolis, to design a more competitive 1st District.”