Is Murphy the man?

Update 2, 8 p.m.: There is a draft movement to get writer and former State Senate candidate Ron Miller to run. I also have it on good authority that another former Delegate and candidate is considering the race as well.

Update: Eric Wargotz is on record in the Washington Post as considering a bid, too.

“We need to change the mindset — the idea that Republicans can’t win here. I’m a physician. I believe there’s a cure and a diagnosis for everything.”

A published report is now saying that Brian Murphy is “hinting” that he wants to be Maryland GOP Chair. Obviously the angle presented by Sun writer Anne Linskey is one of a near-rematch between Brian Murphy and Mary Kane – technically this rematch would be true if Mike Ryman jumped into the race (and for all I know right now observing this race he just might.)

Certainly Murphy would bring a more conservative element to the chairmanship, and those of us who supported him in the gubernatorial election were reminded on November 2nd that those naysayers who said only Bob Ehrlich had a chance against Martin O’Malley were, oh, only about 14 1/2 points shy of being right. Shoot, Brian could have gotten 40 percent of the vote just by being a underfunded placeholder.

The rub for any of these “insurgent” candidates, though, is whether they can keep some of the large donors and rainmakers on board. Of course, business sense does help when it comes to running a party, but there’s no denying that a number of people and entities decided to step up and open their checkbooks the moment Audrey Scott was elected. As I reported at the time:

In the spirit of cooperation, Mike Collins of Anne Arundel County began a parade of people willing to donate to the party. All told, the impromptu effort raised $4,000 for the party coffers, which included donations from two county committees.

In thinking back, though, one could construe that effort as a little bit insulting. The party’s needs didn’t change and hopefully its principles didn’t change either, but suddenly they were worth donating to again. Will Mike Collins and his ilk again snap their wallets shut in a snit if Murphy or another non-establishment candidate (read: anyone besides Mary Kane) wins? That seems like a poor reaction to losing control of a party that, quite frankly, badly underperformed on a state level.

One who will not be running is Jim Rutledge, who announced on his Facebook page he wouldn’t be a candidate. But he had some strong words for those who were:

This is the time for bold leadership, not the time to succumb to the siren’s song of moderation, liberalization, and the club mentality of the Rockefeller republicans who have held sway over too many elements of the party in MD for too long. We in MD are being ruled not represented. Money is king and those that have it threaten to walk if they do not get their way. I say, let them walk, no let them run to their democrat friends. It is time for the ruling class to be deposed. Just look at the MD GOP website today promoting a celebration of Audrey Scott who presided over one of the worst GOP performances in the nation. After losing 2 MD Senate seats, she should have taken the honorable path and resigned immediately.

Time is short, and under pressure, taking the familiar “safe” way will be a great temptation. Take the opportunity now to buck the trends and strike for a new face on the MD GOP. The phone calls and emails having been flying and clamoring for new leadership and a new direction. The enemies of liberty abound, and we are counting on you to strike the ground for freedom now.

I write as a citizen. I am no longer a candidate, and I am not running for the Chair. I have obligations to fulfill that will not permit me to give the job the time it will require.

The “familiar ‘safe’ way” got us drubbed by 14 1/2 points and only netted us 4 seats in the General Assembly. But in areas the state party didn’t touch nearly as much we were much more successful – look at our success here in Wicomico County where we picked up at least one (and possibly two) County Council seats and the State’s Attorney office. (Too bad we couldn’t fill the whole ballot or we may have done even better!) And I’d be willing to wager that those who run as the most conservative alternatives win easily in Salisbury’s upcoming election (which is nonpartisan.)

Maybe it’s time to listen to those who have success?

Blog note: I think I’m going to create a widget for my sidebar on the ins, outs, and maybes. Look for it later today or tomorrow.

Author: Michael

It's me from my laptop computer.

4 thoughts on “Is Murphy the man?”

  1. I think you’re omitting a rather important element when it comes to the ideology of potential candidates for MDGOP chair – where do they stand in terms of the conservative movement.

    Brian Murphy for example is someone I could never support as I would argue the social conservatism he espouses so eagerly is a cancer on the Right and a liability for the party, particularly in a state as blue as Maryland.

    If we’re examining candidates for the ideological commitment I think it’s of fundamental importance to consider whether they align with the social conservatives or the libertarians in the party.

  2. I’d like to know what you define as ‘social conservatism’ insofar as issues are concerned.

    For example, I happen to be pro-life because I believe the child’s life begins at conception; thus, the mother’s right to ‘choose’ is trumped by the child’s right to life. However, I part with those who think we need a Constitutional amendment banning abortion. I think Roe v. Wade should be overturned, but only because that’s a battle which is properly fought at each state level.

    The same goes for gay ‘marriage’ – I would have voted on the anti-gay marriage side of Proposition 8 in California; however, I can listen to an argument that the state shouldn’t sanction opposite-sex marriages either. Nor do I think the federal government needs such draconian drug laws – but if a state wants to they should have that right to do so.

    I think that as a society we should return to Judeo-Christian morals, but it need not be under the force of law. Unfortunately, society has devolved to the point where many people feel the law is a necessary place to turn. To me, that stance is not a ‘cancer on the Right.’

  3. Chief issues I would highlight would be War on Drugs, gay marriage, gay adoption, & DADT.

    On the issues of gay marriage, gay adoption, and DADT it is simply the fact that the population is steadily, and I would argue fairly quickly, growing more tolerant in their opinions on such issues. The continual insistence of the GOP of standing in opposition to all of them both contradicts its claims to supporting limited government and only serves to alienate young voters as well as libertarian minded individuals such as myself.

    Same goes for the War on Drugs but even more so. The whole project is a massive debacle. It costs astronomical amounts of money, pointlessly ruins thousands of peoples lives (not just drug users either, just at Cheye Calvo, the mayor of Berwin Heights), and completely makes a mockery of the GOP’s emphasis on “personal responsibility.” Plus, as with the gay issues the populace is growing steadily more tolerant and the continued support of the GOP for the War on Drugs alienates young voters and libertarian voters.

    On abortion, I don’t really feel confident as to when a child in utero can be considered to be a rights-bearing human. However I think the fact that social conservatives refuse to acknowledge that there is zero chance of Roe v Wade being overturned makes them fundamentally unserious. Beyond that the fact that they don’t, in light of that fact, revise their positions on things like contraception that could actually reduce the likelihood of people needing abortions doesn’t raise my opinion of their seriousness either.

    Beyond that the social conservative insistence on completely silly things like Creationism also makes them problematic. It did the GOP no favors when at one of the presidential debates multiple candidates raised their hands to indicate they didn’t believe in evolution.

    Finally, even though it isn’t really a social issue per se, due to its close tracking with political social conservatism and the degree to which they break from libertarian Republicans on it I think immigration could be counted as an issue where I see the social conservative issue as dangerous. I won’t get into the arguments here considering how much I write about it on my own blog, but the anti-immigration position staked out by many social conservatives is both wrong-headed and hugely problematic in light of the shifting demographics of the U.S.

  4. All that being said, I don’t really care what anyone’s personal morality is. I happen to think there are significant issues with the Judeo-Christian moral formulation, and favor a secularly realized morality rooted in natural rights theory, but if people want to believe that it’s their business.

    My issue is with those social conservatives who see it as the appropriate role of government to enforce that vision of morality. The only appropriate role of government in the sphere of morality is to prevent the violation of individual rights so that there can be full competition between different moral codes in the marketplace of ideas.

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