Posted by David Keelan on Monday, November 20, 2006
Senator Allan Kittleman brought this The Baltimore Sun opinion piece to my attention.
With the loss of the governor’s office and a handful of seats in a General Assembly that was already overwhelmingly Democratic, it’s understandable that Maryland Republicans are feeling blue since the election. Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.’s defeat is a particularly disappointing moment for party loyalists, many of whom labored a generation or more before finally witnessing a GOP governor in Annapolis. But while the setback is significant, it needn’t be long-term.
It reminds me of a post written at brain-terminal “Earnest Advice from the Opposition“. In which the New York Times encourages the New York State Republican Party to be more like Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
A pragmatist like Mayor Michael Bloomberg could serve as the vanguard of a new New York Republican Party. He won twice in a heavily Democratic city by adding probity and managerial expertise to Mr. Pataki’s issues list. Some upstaters regard Mr. Bloomberg as too independent — their term is RINO, or Republican in Name Only. That’s a self-destructive attitude for a party on the ropes. New York’s G.O.P. should embrace the city’s dynamic mayor as its guiding star.
What the Baltimore Sun is asking of Republicans is that they be more like Democrats. The New York Times is making the same case.
Don’t get me wrong – Bloomberg is a fine Mayor, but so was Guilliani. Pataki was a fine Governor. Bloomberg is the Connie Morella of New York politics. Gulliani a moderate Republican and Pataki a conservative (for the most part) Republican. Republicans are not in the same position in New York as they are in Maryland. Maryland is tough. However, their is much more to being the loyal opposition than accepting minority status.
Maryland isn’t voting on social issues as much as they are national and pocket book issues. Republican in State wide races are not running on social issues – though many of their opponents try to make it an issue. Local candidates do no run on social issues either.
Let me ask, how many Republican candidates for Governor or President has the Baltimore Sun endorsed? Very few in the past 50 years. To paraphrase: Would Peter Angelos take advise from George Steinbrenner on how to beat the New York Yankees?
If we have accepted one party rule in Maryland then this is sound advice. However, encouraging the Republican Party to be more like Democrats will leave little room for debate on the issues. We will be a State devoid of not a loyal opposition but of new ideas.
Is that good for Democracy? I don’t think so.