Bob Ehrlich broke Maryland Republicans’ hearts. By way of expiation, in choosing a chairman for the state GOP, they rejected running mate Mary Kane and chose rightist radical ex-Sen. Alex Mooney.
By their 362 to 219 vote, they virtually guarantee an explosion of those who decline to designate any party that they belong to. The ranks of independents are ballooning in every county; that way, at least, they can enjoy “opinion diversity,” Mrs. Kane’s words quoted in Sunday’s Washington Post.
Ex-Senator Mooney, “I’m the only candidate who’s won elections in this race for chairman.”
As usual, Alex gave only part of the truth; he really won by dumping tons of money against Sue Hecht and Candy Greenway in his previous two races; against State Sen. Jack Derr he had the formidable assistance of Anita Stup who might have, all by herself, opened elected offices to her fellow Republicans. (In the face of a GOP tidal wave, Alex Mooney was swept away by Democrat Ron Young, the former Frederick mayor.)
Before Anita became president of the Board of County Commissioners and state delegate, Frederick rested safely in the hands of conservative Democrats. Senator Derr won office solely by the leave of Dr. James E. McClellan; and in tapping state resource, things were more promising then.
The constituencies of Montgomery, Prince George’s and Baltimore counties, when Maryland’s biggest city, Baltimore, is thrown in, the Democrats own this state simply by numbers. As Mary Kane asserted, the GOP’s strongest hope is in building the party’s numbers. That’s very obvious.
Frederick’s ex-senator sold Saturday’s convention on his proposition of getting tougher and meaner. Oh, yeah, and raising oodles of cash, as he has, from sources out of the county, out of the state and even out of the country. His mother is a Cuban immigrant and her community is on the very right. Alex attracts their money by strutting and posing as my “littlest Fascist.”
It’s true that any scintilla of liberalism totally shuts off the people who used to hang around Havana and other parts of the island; it’s always been that way, which is why the world had to endure so long Dictator Fulgencio Batista. After the Castro boys’ rule in the name of communism, things will become more rightist – at least among expatriates. And Cuban son Mooney.
The very reason we’ve had so few GOP governors in modern history is because Marylanders tend slightly liberal; not so much that Republican Ellen Sauerbrey or Democrat Kathleen Kennedy Townsend could wind up in Annapolis’ top chair. Either race triumphant would have put the first woman into the state’s highest office.
But it seems those who march under the red elephant flag want things that way. A Pope Benedict XVI, they want only followers with the purest conservative hearts. The drive to absolutism renders me slightly daft. Equally, Democrats dropping liberal blood on my britches impels me to kick theirs. Hard!
I vomit up each and every radical of any political stripe, as Jesus said several times in the New Testament. Absolutism is rejected by nature, and me. All rules and laws must be flexible to the point they allow human exceptions.
But then, I’m merely echoing the most successful GOP politician in the state in the 20th Century: Theodore “Ted” McKeldin. A name probably Alex Mooney doesn’t know, nor likely do many “new” Republicans.