Crocodile Tears

My sort of hometown paper, the recently rebranded Morning Herald had crocodile tears rolling down its snout yesterday as it bemoaned the financial straits of the Maryland Republican Party.

It’s not known whether the drop in donations is due to the disappointment over the defeat of Gov. Robert Ehrlich or is a comment on how the party machinery is being run. That’s a question for the leaders of the party and its members to answer.

What concerns us is that with the almost unlimited power that Maryland’s constitution gives the governor over the budget, there needs to be an opposition that can act as a devil’s advocate, raising questions about dubious bills.

Political parties are fractious beasts at their best and when they are out of power and broke they become virtual laboratories for social pathologies as Brian Griffiths catalogues below. The Democrats went through their purges in ’72 and ’94. We’ve gone through ours. It isn’t like Maryland has a lot of closely contested House races where the party apparatus is going to make a big difference. We’ll return Mr. Bartlett to Congress in MD-6 and hopefully Andy Harris will register a Republican win in MD-1. But we aren’t going to sweep into power in Annapolis so long as there is a Baltimore City, Montgomery County, and Prince George’s County. It just isn’t going to happen absent some tectonic shifts in the Maryland GOP.

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But the editor of the Herald Mail doesn’t really want a strong Republican party. If you follow that paper over time the dissonance between the positions taken by that paper and the positions voted for by its readership are striking. The Herald Mail is about as concerned about the Republican party as the Baltimore Sun.

What the Herald Mail wants is another Democrat party. A party that doesn’t fight on the tough issues, like life. One that doesn’t oppose taxation but rather looks for the most efficacious way of soaking the rich.

We already have the Republican party that the Herald Mail wants. They would like a bigger one, to be sure, but they don’t want a stronger Republican party.

As they say, there is no reason to vote for a fake Democrat when you can vote for a real one. That is the problem of the Maryland GOP in a nutshell. Unless and until we start fronting candidates who are willing to talk about economic growth and education in terms of self reliance and personal responsibility we’ll continue to mainly send fake Democrats to Annapolis, or in the case of Wayne Gilchrest to Washington.

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