Expanding her comment to my post about former MDGOP Chair hopeful Andrew Langer’s endorsement of Mary Kane, Right Coast blogger Julie Brewington almost laments about my “almost lament(ing)” the news.
While I know Julie has the best interests of conservatism in mind there are a couple items for which I need to take her to task. I suppose she can plead ignorance because there’s information I’m privy to as one inside the MDGOP as opposed to her outside position. Certainly I would be in a similar situation if the discussion came up about the local TEA Parties or the Wicomico County AFP circa late 2009.
Let’s begin with the Chambers Compact. Originally the brainchild of a group of Red Maryland editors led by Mark Newgent, it was revised and expanded by Langer. While I’ve had my disagreements with the remainder of the Red Maryland group in the past and had to set them straight a time or two, I think they have their hearts in the right place.
When you read the document it calls for, among other things, a leader “skilled at (grassroots) organization” and holding the “career politicians and statists” in Annapolis accountable. I see neither of these aspects in Mary Kane, not to mention that the party was already led once by her husband John, a hand-picked acolyte of then-Governor Bob Ehrlich. Talk about top-down leadership!
I also knew that Langer has been active in the MDGOP for some time, but applauded his efforts to reach out (or, as Julie seems to believe, co-opt) the TEA Party movement. Obviously since I happen to be on the Central Committee as is Julie’s former AFP cohort Joe Collins, we’re all trying to bring the two parties together. Simply put, we believe their political home should be the Republican Party! If that is Julie’s definition of co-opting, well, it is what it is.
But I’m also among those who also believe that many of those things the TEA Party stands for (things the GOP tended to drift away from over the last decade) should become part of the Republican platform. Not all “establishment” politicians are bad and some have decided to bring about change as they can within the system.
For these and other reasons, yes, I was surprised that Langer departed from his stated positions. I know he disgusted several of his potential supporters, including me – as I said, you could’ve knocked me over with a feather. Perhaps Julie’s seen that side of him but I thought he would be more of a man of his word.
As Andrew has, I’ve also spoken at some length to Mary Kane. We had a sometimes-spirited discussion but it wasn’t enough to convince me to give her my initial support. Simply put, I think there are at least two and possibly three others in the race who would do a better job. My observation is based on the past history of the Kane family being in charge of the party and things she has said in both the phone conversation and in writing.
So, yes, color me surprised. Obviously it makes sense that Jim Rutledge would endorse one of his former campaign workers for the post but this one came out of left field – I would have expected Andrew to go in another direction.