Sometimes A Great Notion

We can’t be faulted for dreaming, can we? When Bob Ehrlich tossed his hat in the ring we thought in this election season, in this climate, we had a real chance to end Democratic one-party rule in Annapolis. We could stop the looming tax increases—which are sure to come now—and strike a blow against bigger more intrusive government. Well we lost.

Even if Ehrlich ran a perfect campaign (he didn’t) I’m not sure the math would have broken his way. The political reality of Maryland’s electorate just could not be overcome for a Republican to win a state-wide election. As Ron Smith said it is ice skating uphill.

We wish Bob Ehrlich and his family well, and thank him for all he’s done for Maryland and the generosity he’s shown to us here at Red Maryland.

In many respects, conservatives and Republicans in this state will always be “we happy few, we merry band of brothers.” We stand for timeless principles, which put us at nearly insurmountable odds against the entrenched special interests of the Democratic monopoly.
Losing an election however, is not a formal surrender document. For if we truly believe those principles we stand and fight on them even in the aftermath of a lost election.

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The question now is, where does the Maryland Republican Party go from here? Does it continue doing the same things and expecting different results? Or will new leadership emerge and realize that we can no longer hope for the “perfect storm” to win a statewide race. It’s time to realize that we need to fundamentally change the electoral math. We need to get down to the hard work of creating more Republicans, and more voters disposed to conservative ideas.

It’s one thing to say we stand for lower taxes and smaller government. But rarely ever do I see Republican Party leaders make an argument as to why those ideas are better than what the Democrats are peddling. For example, Medicaid eats up a huge chunk of the state budget which is facing another deficit north of a billion dollars. Why aren’t Republicans talking about these free market reforms to the state’s Medicaid program, or regulatory reform to make private insurance more affordable, which would ease Medicaid’s strain on the budget?

The Maryland Republican Party needs to be out on the ramparts making these free market/limited government arguments to voters. And not just preaching to the choir, but out there making the case to the people of Baltimore city, Prince George’s and Montgomery counties. We need to show them why our ideas are preferable to the Democrats government dependence. Changing the electoral math is certainly no easy task, and will take more than four years, but will the next MDGOP chair have the long view to see that is the direction we need to go?

In the meantime, the party needs to do a better job of attacking the Democrats and O’Malley administration than it has in the past. While we’re more than happy to blast them, it’s not a good sign for the party that people think of us here at Red Maryland as the unofficial communications arm of the MDGOP.

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