A question of reputation

In the parlor game which we in Maryland call the race for the Republican party chairman’s seat, a fair amount of hay has been made  – even a couple years ago, when the event actually happened and way before Alex Mooney even considered resigning and handing over the hot potato to her – about interim Chair Diana Waterman deciding to name a black cow “Oprah.” Admittedly, that’s not the brightest move but to me that’s not necessarily going to disqualify Waterman – certainly I feel it’s much less damning than Diana’s complete mishandling of the whole RNC Rules Committee situation and its associated miscommunication.

But there is another question of perception in the race which needs to be answered to by challenger Greg Kline. Obviously his supporters are going to think it’s no big deal and his detractors may point to this and call it grounds for immediate disqualification. I bring this up to be fair warning on where I think it could lead and as what I think is a valid point to be made in the race.

If you listen to Red Maryland radio you will hear that one of the sponsors is Kline, who is a practicing attorney as well as one of several Red Maryland show hosts. But Greg’s bread and butter may be an avocation which turns off the soccer moms among us, for he promotes himself as a specialist in defending those accused of drunk driving. The website he promotes on the canned Red Maryland spot is simply called Anne Arundel DUI. Even though it was last updated about the time Diana Waterman was picking out names for a little black calf, the site gives somewhat generic legal advice (and a fair bit of self-promotion) for the person who’s had one too many.

There’s no question that those accused deserve professional representation in a court of law, and obviously drunk driving is a serious offense which has led to thousands of needless tragedies and could land those accused in deep legal hot water. But what perception would the press assign to a party which elects a drunk driving attorney as its chair – even though it’s not the majority of his work, according to this site.

Yet even as he’s running Kline makes no secret about his specialty:

Mr. Kline has extensive experience representing DUI/DWI defendants and is the author of the Anne Arundel DUI blog, which is full of helpful information for anyone facing a alcohol related driving charge.

So by the same token that naming a black cow “Oprah” disqualifies Diana Waterman, does the fact Greg Kline occasionally represents the reprobates among us who abuse the freedom we still have to drink alcohol take him out of contention?

(Just to be fair, Collins Bailey is a self-described lumber broker and owner of a lumber company. But surely some 2×4 he sold failed and caused an injury to someone.)

Indeed, we may be descending to the trivial in this race as the camps try to outdo each other in promoting their candidate at the expense of the others. But I’m figuring that a press which does its level best to dig up the absolute worst things about Republicans and promote their self-inflicted wounds – even if the facts don’t jibe with the presumed narrative – is going to store that little tidbit away as well as the whole “Oprah” affair and anything they can find out by snooping around Collins Bailey.

When we as Maryland conservatives, pro-liberty freedom fighters, TEA Party denizens, or whatever label we’re currently using to describe ourselves figure out that we’re not going to get a fair shake in the media and begin to use our own methods to fight back, that’s the time we begin to succeed. After all, we’ve known for decades that “politics ain’t beanbag” so we need to fight with the facts we know are on our side.

Remember, perception is reality.

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