The Baltimore Sun Editorial Board has weighed in
on Nic Kipke and Kathy Szeliga ousting Tony O’Donnell and Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio from the Republican House minority leadership.
But color us skeptical that rearranging the deck chairs in the House GOP caucus is going to accomplish much. Mr. Kipke, who represents Anne Arundel County, said the change was needed because the party hasn’t been good enough at getting its message out. Really?
We may be skeptical that Kipke is the best messenger, given some of the bad votes on his record
, but he is absolutely correct.
When it comes to messaging and communications the Maryland Republican Party has been dreadful over the last several years.
The Sun editorialists need only consult their own opinion page
for Richard Cross’ piece, which details the fact that it took five days for the party to acknowledge the scandal at the Baltimore City Detention Center.
One of the major reasons why Republicans lost on the three ballot questions last November, was that the campaign—or running the party—was not the first priority
for then state party chairman, Alex Mooney.
The Sun editorialists certainly know the Republican message on taxes and spending etc… What good is a message if you fail to properly disseminate it? Simply put the Maryland Republican Party has been AWOL in communicating its message to voters not plugged in to Maryland politics.
Furthermore, it’s one thing to say you stand for lower taxes and limited government.
There are plenty of Maryland Republicans who can do that.
However, the state party has precious few who can take that message and explain to voters why those ideas are better for them.
And let’s not act as if the Sun’s editorial and reporting coverage wasn’t doing a disservice to voters.
Even if it is true that Marylanders are more moderate on some issues than the Democrats in the legislature, it is certainly the case that voters are more moderate than the state GOP. Marylanders may not like higher taxes, but they also, as a whole, understand the proposition that when it comes to government services, you get what you pay for. Over a long period of time, they have shown a willingness to invest in good schools, good roads and a clean environment — and a lack of interest in the reflexive anti-government rhetoric that Maryland Republicans too often parrot from the national party.
It’s easy to say Marylanders support such things when you fail to offer any evidence that may require questioning them.
While paying lip service to the need for two functioning political parties, the editorial goes on to say
But rather than seeking to unite behind a moderate platform — the kind that led the likes of Wayne Gilchrest, Connie Morella, Helen Bentley and even Mr. Ehrlich to success — the state GOP seems more keen on damaging internal struggles. Like the selection of new party Chairwoman Diana Waterman last month, the election of Mr. Kipke and Ms. Szeliga has divided a party badly in need of unity. Already, a blogger at the site Red Maryland is complaining that Mr. Kipke is insufficiently conservative.
This is a disingenuous argument. The Sun desires a functional opposition party as an alternative to one party rule, however they require that party to support a “moderate platform.”
In other words they want Republicans to be more like Democrats.
Where’s the alternative in that?
It’s a Coke versus Pepsi argument—a distinction without a difference.