I guess I’m going to have to start early with a request I made last year during the campaign season for Bill Reddish to let me know who his 7:40 a.m. guests will be on the “AM Salisbury” radio show. I was caught unaware this morning but managed to listen to most of his interview with First Congressional District hopeful Frank Kratovil of Queen Anne’s County.
The overall theme Frank had was that it was a time for a change. Noting that “I think we can have more effective leadership than we have in Washington”, Democratic hopeful Kratovil spoke during the 10 minute interview mostly on the issues of Iraq and immigration.
In his personal view, Frank thought the “decision to go in(to Iraq) was incorrect” and talked about his support of the Iraq Study Group report, which tends to favor diplomacy over military action to root out and eliminate the terrorist problem. (I happen to think the name of the confab was incorrect, it should’ve been “Iraq Surrender Group.”)
Hindsight is quite easy when things aren’t going as well as hoped. I seem to recall the vast majority of Americans (possibly including Mr. Kratovil) were chomping at the bit in late 2001 and 2002 wondering when we’d get even for the attacks of 9/11, and chastising President Bush for attempting diplomacy to resolve the situation. One word I did not hear escaping from Frank’s lips today was “victory.” Like Congressman Gilchrest, Kratovil would be a cheese-eating surrender monkey and vote for withdrawal just as soon as he was sworn in.
On the other hand, I agree with Kratovil’s call to “enforce the (immigration) laws we have”, but I wonder if he would feel that way given the Democrats’ tendency to support amnesty in order to gain the favor (and raw numbers) of Hispanic voters. He did speak about his experiences regarding the illegal immigrant problem affecting his own job as State’s Attorney for the county, but will that translate into votes against the party line? There’s a reason I bring this up.
The other day I received a press release from Andy Harris’s campaign talking about how often Wayne Gilchrest has strayed from the GOP party line. The study, done by the website cqpolitics.com, noted that Gilchrest voted barely 50% of the time with his party. It so happens that Gilchrest is both the top (or bottom) Republican in Congress by that measure and number one amongst all Congressmen.
On the Democrat side the least loyal House member is Rep. Gene Taylor of Mississippi. However, he still votes the party line 69.2% of the time in this study from 2007. Only four Democrats held under 75% loyalty to the party. Simply put, despite the Democrat challenger’s tough talk on immigration and the “law and order” approach instilled in him by his job, Frank is very likely to be a reliable vote in the liberal “D” column on at least some issues his district would like him to vote for in a conservative manner. Obviously, he’s also going to favor maintaining the ineffective (if not downright disastrous) leadership of Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer in the House as well.
With the support of the Maryland Democrat machine (including Governor O’Malley) behind him, the chances are quite good that Kratovil will face either Wayne Gilchrest or GOP challenger Andy Harris in the general election come November, 2008. It will be an interesting sight to see whether Kratovil runs right and fakes left or vice versa once the campaign begins in earnest next year.