It’s been an extremely busy week for me – and the next seven to ten days promise to be the same – but I couldn’t refrain from commenting on a phenomenon which has bubbled beneath the surface for some time. Like the aftereffects of Jed Clampett shootin’ at some food, the frustration from grassroots activists first surfaced with the Republican National Convention rules change controversy and is now spreading to a flap over sending Maryland Republican volunteers to other states, perhaps at the expense of good Free State candidates who have a chance to pull the upset over entrenched liberal incumbents.
As reported by Ann Corcoran over at Potomac TEA Party Report, the Maryland AFP chapter enlisted former Governor Bob Ehrlich to assist them in enticing Maryland volunteers to help defeat Barack Obama in Virginia. This “Rally for Repeal” would occur in Maryland, with volunteers continuing on afterward to work in northern Virginia. Corcoran states that campaign volunteer Fred Propheter complained vehemently to all-but-official 2014 gubernatorial candidate David Craig and others about abandoning a number of good Maryland Republican candidates in the field because the party brass deemed the top-of-the-ticket race unwinnable here.
Similarly, Anthropocon‘s Jim Jamitis takes former MDGOP First Vice-Chair Chris Cavey to task over remarks attributed to him in the Baltimore Sun. Joining in the chorus were both U.S. Senate candidate Dan Bongino – who perhaps stands to lose the most from the state party hierarchy’s attitude that Maryland is a lost cause for Mitt Romney – and the Anne Arundel County GOP:
Instead of busing people out of state 2 fight,how about we bus people into Bal City, Montgomery Cnty, & Prince George’s Cnty & fight for MD?
— Dan Bongino (@dbongino) September 11, 2012
— Anne Arundel GOP (@AnneArundelGOP) September 11, 2012
Yet Jamitis stumbles onto a good suggestion in his Anthropocon post: why don’t conservatives in safe Romney states come to the aid of Maryland conservatives? After all, I’ve learned the local Wicomico Democrats are playing in Virginia:
We are holding weekly phone banks on Wednesday evenings, from 6:30 – 8:30, at Democratic Headquarters… Our task is to call people in Virginia (one of the swing states) about the campaign. We are given a script to follow, so making the calls is easy. I know a lot of people to whom I am sending this email have already helped with the phone banks, and I am hoping that they will continue to help. We’d love those of you who haven’t participated in a phone bank to join us.
…definitely bring your cell phone with you (we don’t actually have a bank of phones in Democratic headquarters, so we have to use our cell phones).
What? I thought the Democrats were fat and happy with union cash; apparently they don’t spread the wealth (or the dedicated phone lines) to states they think are in the bag. Maybe some Wednesday or Saturday I’ll drive by and see how attendance appears.
But I think a valid point is being made, despite the naysayers who say things like this. The following is an actual Facebook post, but I’ll withhold the person’s name:
There are two kinds of Maryland Republicans: those that can do math, and those that can’t. If I hear one more person complaining about resources being diverted to other states, I swear I’m registering as an Independent.
Interestingly, one of those who “liked” the post is heavily involved in David Craig’s campaign.
My point with all this, though, is to remind people the Democrats didn’t get to the position they currently reside in here in Maryland overnight. Along the line they had their share of activists, dreamers, and people who believed enough in their ideas – misguided as they are – to stand up and tell their friends to vote for their party.
And even though they’ve been running the General Assembly for a century and a half, it’s worth noting that the Democrats of 1860 or even the Democrats of 1960 aren’t really like those of today. As they stand currently a good share of Democratic registrations come from the “daddy” wing of the party, as in “my daddy was a Democrat so I am too.” Never mind there’s a good chance that if you sit down and talk to them, you can help them discover that perhaps they have much more in common with the GOP than with the party that left them.
But if we simply throw up our hands, complain Maryland is a lost cause, and decide we should go try to win states which are deemed more winnable by the blind followers of conventional wisdom who never venture beyond the safe confines of the Beltway, then we never talk to those people who may change their mind when they learn the truth and because of that continue to vote down-the-line Democrat – to their own detriment.
I’m not going to tell you we can win every race this year, but it is worth noting that in this supposedly true-blue Democratic state a large number of local elected officials are Republicans. Granted, there are pockets of the state where we have not made inroads and it may take a generation before we do. But that doesn’t mean the effort can’t begin now with Marylanders helping fellow Marylanders to see the light. Of course, if you want to help us from Texas, Utah, or the solidly GOP South, we’re not going to turn up our noses at you.
Let the Democrats assume they have these things safely in the bag – it’ll make November 7 even more depressing for them when they realize a lot of their patronage slipped away overnight, and it can create a template for important races in 2014. Even David Craig may appreciate Maryland conservatives by then.
Update: In fairness, I should note this came from the Maryland GOP, signed by new NCW Nicolee Ambrose:
This autumn we have the opportunity for Marylanders to help Maryland. To support our tremendous candidates and educate voters on the ballot initiatives, we have designed a Super Saturday program – all we need now is YOU!
Join the Maryland Republican Party StrikeForce for our Super Saturdays. We are asking that every GOP activist and Central Committee member donate ONE Saturday before Election Day to make Maryland a true two party state!
The MDGOP StrikeForce is composed of grassroots activists who will work on behalf of all of our GOP candidates: Romney/Ryan, Dan Bongino, Andy Harris, Nancy Jacobs, Eric Knowles, Faith Loudon, Tony O’Donnell, Roscoe Bartlett, Frank Mirabile, and Ken Timmerman; while also providing ballot initiative education material. We will spend four full Saturdays in targeted areas across our state to help Get out the Vote (GOTV) for our entire Republican ticket.
These “Super Saturdays” aren’t a new concept – I seem to recall we had at least one in each of the last several cycles – but it’s also worth mentioning that the focal points will be Baltimore County on September 29, Prince George’s County on October 13, Districts 3 and 7 on October 20, and Montgomery County on October 27.