Anne Arundel County Council Candidate Michael Peroutka was until recently the rare political bird who refused to talk to the media. When he finally did agree to talk to reporters, one cannot help but think that the original refusal was the better bet.
Peroutka has been active in the John Birch Society but it is his current board membership on the League of the South that has attracted scrutiny. Labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the League advocates secession from the U.S. Indeed, the video above shows Peroutka asking people to “stand for the national anthem” of Dixie–not the Star-Spangled Banner.
The Baltimore Sun, which has done a fine job of covering Peroutka’s checkered past and current unacceptable views and thus been one of the many criticized by Peroutka, reports that he doesn’t think that was a mistake and refuses to leave the League.
As a result, Republicans have started running for the hills. Gubernatorial Candidate Larry Hogan wisely didn’t wait to disassociate himself from Peroutka and his campaign says that Hogan “absolutely disavows” him. Peroutka now whines that Hogan didn’t “dialogue” with him.
Yes, Peroutka and the League are just all about dialogue. I wonder how much dialogue Peroutka had with LGBT leaders before he said that the “gay rights movement will lead to ‘forced homosexuality.'” Or the League had immigrant advocacy groups before attacking “the flood tide of massive Third World immigration and leftist attempts to destroy [the South’s] very cultural and political foundations.”
Closer to home, Anne Arundel Republican County Executive Candidate Steve Schuh said he would not run with Peroutka after he refused to resign from the League: “I simply cannot support someone who is a member of an organization that appears to be racist or that advocates for the dismemberment of the United States.”
Unfortunately the State Republican Party has yet to back up their leading candidates and has made “no decision” on whether to back Peroutka. At this point, the GOP is late and needs to join Hogan and Schuh in this no-brainer decision if it doesn’t want to persuade more Marylanders that they are way out of the mainstream.
The Capital has reported the Peroutka now claims that he is anti-secession even as he won’t give up his seat on the League board:
He said people moving out of Anne Arundel County and the state of Maryland because of high taxes represent individual secession.
Peroutka said his campaign was “anti-secession” because he was “asking people to place trust in me so that I can work within that government to prevent the individual secession that’s occurring now.”
“Whether that individual secession will form into a political movement — I’m not a part of that,” Peroutka said. “I’m actually going in the other direction.”
Peroutka can continue to piss all over America to his heart’s content and his party’s heartburn but he could at least do us the courtesy of not calling it rain to borrow a phrase.