Maryland’s AG Attacked for Letting Teens Have a Good Time

What is the world coming to, guys! The attorney general for Maryland walked through a house full of partying teens in Delaware, met with his son, and then left without destroying anybody’s life or future.

The Baltimore Sun spills a remarkable amount of ink, not on Douglas Gander’s restraint, but his failure to stop young people from consuming beer:

When Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler arrived at a house party of teenagers in June, he pushed through the crowd, past youngsters dancing on a table and a smattering of red plastic cups. One of the revelers snapped a photo.

As the night wore on, teens at the South Bethany rental home posted tweets, photos and videos of a bash labeled the "eviction party" for its intensity — a celebration where underage participants later confirmed many were drinking alcohol.

Gansler, a Democrat who is running for governor, said this week that he stopped by the Delaware beach house to talk briefly with his teenage son and then left. He said he does not remember whether he saw anyone drinking. But even if he had, Gansler said, it was not his responsibility as a parent or a high-ranking law enforcement official to intervene.

"Assume for purposes of discussion that there was widespread drinking at this party," Gansler said. "How is that relevant to me? … The question is, do I have any moral authority over other people's children at beach week in another state? I say no."

Pearls were clutched in abundance. Can we live in a world where attorneys general are not actively trying to ruin the lives of teenagers? I’m not so sure. It would certainly be a brave new world.

Of course, these kids were all friends of his son’s. But I’m sure he’d feel the same way about a house party full of non-privileged youths as well, right? Right?

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  • Hospital||

    That's not possible. The person who did the normal, non-authoritarian thing in this instance is a democrat in a generally prog-leaning state. And everyone here knows that liberals are vile, twisted, evil monsters, who feast on the flesh of children in order to power their satanic socialist agenda.

  • Cytotoxic||

    That they are. This is abnormal. Exception that proves the rule or some such.

  • Calidissident||

    At least in this scenario, I don't think it's that abnormal (well, since he's a politician, it probably is, my comment is simply regarding the general population). Most parents who don't care, or don't care that much, about their kids drinking in high school tend to be liberal (I would say libertarian parents are probably more likely to be laid back about it, but there are a lot fewer of them to begin with). Certainly not true of all liberal parents, but I definitely knew quite a few kids in high school whose parents fit that description.

  • Loki||

    See comment below. Until proven otherwise I'm just going to assume most of those kids were the children of campaign donors.

    For the record, I'd assume the same if he were a conservative Republican.

  • Irish||

    Given that the newspaper freaking out about this is the Baltimore Sun, a newspaper filled with leftists and which is published in a very liberal city, I don't think it helps your argument.

    One Democrat did something not evil and was promptly lambasted by an editorial staff consisting entirely of Democrats. Given that the Democrat position seems to be 'he should have behaved evilly' I'm not sure your point proves what you think it proves.

  • ||

    The question is, do I have any moral authority over other people's children at beach week in another state? I say no."

    Wow, that's one of the rarest things you'll ever hear from a politician, let alone someone who was probably a DA at one point.

    Tip of the hat to this guy.

  • playa manhattan||

    Would he have said that if his son weren't in attendance and subject to prosecution?

  • John C. Randolph||

    He sounds like the anti-Elliot Spitzer or something.

    I have to wonder why the Baltimore Sun is so bent out of shape over this guy choosing not to be a dick.

    -jcr

  • Goateggs||

    Maybe he did the normal non-authoritarian thing in this one instance, but Doug Gansler is exactly the sort of Smilin' Jack Fascist you'd expect the Democratic Party of this godforsaken state to cough up. The only nice thing I can say about him is that his likely replacement as MD AG, Brian Frosh, is ten times worse. It's very nice that he didn't take the kids' beer away. Now maybe he'd like to leave my pistols, my oil based paint, my grocery bags, and my cell phone alone while he's at it.

  • 21044||

    +5 cents (to reimburse you for the shopping bag tax in Montgomery County)

  • Loki||

    Of course, these kids were all friends of his son’s. But I’m sure he’d feel the same way about a house party full of non-privileged youths as well, right? Right?

    It would probably depend on whether or not the non-priveleged youths were merely drinking or smoking the devil's weed.

    I also wonder how many of those kids were the children of campaign donors. Is it bad that I'm so cynical that I assume a public official doing a non-douchey thing is only doing it because of crass political reasons?

  • Killazontherun||

    No, actually that may help me make sense of this, if those were factors.

  • playa manhattan||

    His son was there. That's enough for him to look the other way, in this one specific case.

  • Paul.||

    This is why America can't have nice things.

  • Irish||

    It makes me sad that this is the same paper Mencken wrote for. I'm pretty sure that if Mencken had wandered into such a party, he would have berated the teenagers for drinking low grade swill instead of Cognac or whiskey.

    Not long ago I invited a prohibitionist to supper, and induced him to drink a horn of Pilsner, assuring him that it wouldn't hurt him and hoping that it would cure him of his mania. He confessed afterward that its effects were surprisingly pleasant and harmless. He retained the use of his so-called faculties, and was aware of no impulse to kick over the table or brain the waiter. But he felt that he had to object to something, and so he objected to the taste. "It is," he said, "too bitter. I'd like it better if it were sweet." Fancy that, Hedda! Pilsner too bitter! That fellow, when he gets to heaven, will object to the fact that angels have wings.
  • Agammamon||

    Six of 'em, in fact.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Wow, you're right, last night I thought it was 12.

  • Hyperion||

    I live right down the road, walking distance from where Mencken lived in Balmer.

    I don't personally know anything about the AG in MD, but it's almost a guarantee that he is a total slimeball. Politicians in MD are the worst of the lowest slimeballs on earth. I guess that is sort of what happens when you pretend to be liberal and at the same time are the worst type of statist imaginable, and you are in a state in which their is no opposition at all to such hypocrisy.

  • John C. Randolph||

    Politicians in MD are the worst of the lowest slimeballs on earth.

    Sounds like you've never heard of New York.

    -jcr

  • Hyperion||

    It's just Maryland with a shitty climate.

  • Boisfeuras||

    Agree. Outside of maybe Chicago and New Orleans, Maryland probably has the most poisonous, corrupt political scene in the U.S.

  • 21044||

    Agreed as well

  • wareagle||

    I suspect most buckets of outrage come from those who are Repubs and who claim to believe in limited govt, individual liberty, and personal responsibility.

  • americanexile||

    No, it comes from people who believe in limited government pissed about big government liberals passing laws for us, then ignoring them themselves.

    Proper procedure is to get a law repealed, not flaunt it.

  • ||

    The Baltimore Sun being a rag for the Religious Right, obvs.

  • John Thacker||

    That would require a critical mass of Republicans in Maryland.

    Most of the buckets of outrage come from suburban wealthy types that might well be Republicans in other states (or not), but are definitely Democrats in MD.

  • Killazontherun||

    "Assume for purposes of discussion that there was widespread drinking at this party," Gansler said. "How is that relevant to me? … The question is, do I have any moral authority over other people's children at beach week in another state? I say no."

    He's an AG, and he is a democrat, yet, he also has a perfect understanding, at least as it is expressed here, of his role as a public official. I may have a brain crash. Someone call Leonard Nimoy to fix me when I do.

  • Number 2||

    Does Maryland have a statute imposing criminal law sanctions on parents who "host" underage drinkers, like New Jersey does? ("Parents who host, lose the most!")

  • Goateggs||

    Yes. The only exception to the furnishing to a minor statute if is it your own children, in your own home.

  • Number 2||

    Then Maryland 's AG failed to comply with a law that his office has likely prosecuted others for. I'd be outraged at him too .

  • Pathogen||

    And then again, by not being a total fucking dickhead, he might also spared his son the stigma of being a narc, outcast status, relentless bullyragging, or even a savage ass-whipping at the hands of those he once called friends... and the ugly headlines if his friends promptly rolled over on him, and the choice of prosecuting his son with all the others, or the scandal of his son walking scot-free when others didn't... who knows.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Attorneys general sounds weird and snobby. Its attorney generals, or maybe general attorneys.

  • Acosmist||

    Nope.

  • John C. Randolph||

    "Attorneys General" is correct. If it sounds wrong to you, then blame the government school you attended.

    -jcr

  • kevrob||

    ^This.

    Also:

    Mothers-in-law

    Solicitors General

    Surgeons General

    The noun takes "s" to make it plural, but the adjective doesn't. English isn't a declined language.

    "General" as a noun (high ranking military officer) started out in the same manner as an adjective:

    "Captain-general" was the original, used by both armies and navies.

    Kevin R

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    No, fuck you. That's gay. General becomes part of the noun, making the full noun 'attorney general'. And fuck that shit about capitalizing 'realtor'.

  • Free Society||

    The seemingly strange grammar here is a holdover from Norman French, an old language whose influence is most keenly visible in all British descended legal jargon.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    The Baltimore Sun spills a remarkable amount of ink, not on Douglas Gander’s restraint, but his failure to stop young people from consuming beer:

    Those SoCons and their blue laws.

    / Bo

  • Kid Xenocles||

    Yes, we should all be impressed at the restraint and mercy he showed a group of kids that included his son.

    How soon after he got back did he continue putting the screws to the perpetrator of some other malum prohibidum?

  • wwhorton||

    I don't care that he "wasn't a dick" to teenagers at a party. I care that he regularly speaks for and works with anti-underage drinking organizations. I also care that if a parent was present at a party that got raided by police and was charged, Gansler would fully recommend prosecution to the extent of the law.

    Hypocrisy is not something to be applauded. And someone who has no problem breaking laws he merrily enforces on others is not someone I believe should hold public office.

  • RussianPrimeMinister||

    So, to be clear, he's going to be prosecuted, convicted, sentenced, and jailed for a clear and determined amount of time, correct?

    I mean, there's no special privelege for people in public office, right? They suffer the same consequences as the rest of us, right?

    Right?

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