On Prancing, Broad Shoulders and Alec Ross


Alec Ross has received a lot of press attention over his accusing openly gay Sen. Rich Madaleno of “prancing around around Annapolis.” Ross’ initial reaction was to ignore. Then, he said he would not apologize in a meeting with the Howard County Young Democrats.

His running mate, openly lesbian Julie Verrati, a co-owner of Denizens, got outraged in a tweetstorm. Beyond arguing that Ross is not homophobic, Verrati pointed out that she has been regularly subjected to demeaning remarks, which is an odd defense of her running mate doing the same on television.

Verrati also argued that she shouldn’t have to address this issue. I agree. Ross should have just addressed it quickly and directly instead. Finally, I have heard that Ross made a form of the political non-apology apology over his poor choice of words that he should have done immediately to dispense with the issue.

Broad Shoulders

Ignored amid the kerfuffle is that Ross’ remarks are not the first time that he has trafficked in strange stereotypes.

Ross has repeatedly and weirdly referred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) employees as “broad shouldered” as part of his effort to gain attention for his staunch support of immigrant rights and desire to protect them against deportation. He did it at the debate in Chevy Chase Takoma Park that I attended and here is he doing it on the radio in Baltimore:

Though I laud the pro-immigrant sentiment, why is it necessary to stereotype federal employees? While ICE undoubtedly has its bad apples, as do groups that Democrats tend to like such as teachers and union leaders, the people who work for it are federal employees, like many people in the vote rich Washington region.

Of course, even more concerning, is his repeated statement that he would send in Maryland State Troopers to confront ICE. While a nice piece of braggadocio, this would not end well.

Alec Ross

All of this raises the questions about Alec Ross’ candidacy. These sorts of inappropriate and untempered comments are hardly an advertisement for good judgement or an understanding that language and word choice matters when you’re running for office.

As I have mentioned previously on this blog, I am a supporter of Rich Madaleno.