Team players

I’ve heard a lot of talk about nominees who are RINOs and sitting out the election because so-and-so won the primary and they don’t want to vote for the “lesser of two evils,” and it always amazes me because this doesn’t happen on the other side. Here’s a case in point from a fawning AP story by Steve LeBlanc about Senator (and potential Presidential candidate) Elizabeth Warren.

Now, Warren is continuing her fundraising efforts, with a planned Monday event with West Virginia Democratic Senate hopeful Natalie Tennant. Tennant, West Virginia’s secretary of state, is vying with U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito for the seat held by retiring Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller. Capito is favored and holds a hefty cash advantage.

Capito’s campaign has also been quick to target Warren, calling her “one of the staunchest opponents of coal and West Virginia’s way of life.”

Warren has conceded that she and Tennant — who, like (Kentucky Democrat Senate nominee Alison Lundergan) Grimes, has criticized Obama’s plans to limit carbon emissions from the coal industry — don’t agree on everything, but can come together on economic issues facing struggling families.

So it’s obvious that the Democrats have their own 80/20 rule, but unlike some on our side they don’t take their ball and go home based on the non-conformance of the 20.

We had our primary, and at the top of the ticket there were 57% who voted for someone else besides our nominee – many of those live here on the Eastern Shore, where David Craig received 49.6% of the vote and carried seven of the nine counties. There can be a case made that Craig’s running mate, Eastern Shore native and resident Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio, was a huge factor in his success here, but the fact remains that this area I live in was one of the two areas Hogan was weakest (the other being southern Maryland, where Charles Lollar resides.) These are votes Hogan will need, and surely many will migrate his way because he’s the Republican nominee.

On the other hand, Anthony Brown got a majority of the Democratic vote and carried all but a few counties. Those three on the Eastern Shore, plus Carroll County, aren’t places Brown would expect to win in November anyway – except perhaps Kent County, which was the lone county Heather Mizeur won and which only backed Mitt Romney by a scant 28 votes in 2012.

The path to victory for any statewide Republican candidate is simple, because Bob Ehrlich did this in 2002 – roll up huge margins in the rural areas and hold your own in the I-95 corridor. Ehrlich won several rural counties with over 70% of the vote in 2002, and got 24%, 38%, and 23% in Baltimore City, Montgomery County, and Prince George’s County, respectively. When that formula didn’t happen in 2006, he lost.

Granted, demographic changes and other factors may not allow Larry Hogan to pick up 65% of the vote in Anne Arundel County, 61% in Baltimore County, or 56% in Charles County, but it’s possible he does slightly better in Prince George’s and may hold some of those other areas. Turnout is key, and we know the media will do its utmost to paint Anthony Brown as anything other than an incompetent administrator and uninspiring candidate – as the natural successor to Martin O’Malley, who has done a wonderful job further transforming this state into a liberal’s Utopian dream at the expense of working Maryland families, one would have expected Brown to have picked up at least 60% of the Democratic primary vote.

Yet you can bet your bottom dollar that even the most diehard Mizeur and Gansler supporters may hold their nose but will still push that spot on the screen next to Anthony Brown’s name. They may have several points of contention with Brown on key issues, but the other side will push those aside to maintain power.

Perhaps Natalie Tennant over in West Virginia had misgivings for a moment about inviting Elizabeth Warren for a fundraiser, but she realized that there is a segment of her would-be supporters who would gladly contribute more to her campaign to meet Senator Warren, despite the fact they are on opposite sides of a particular issue. To Warren, the end goal of holding that seat in her party’s hands and maintaining a Democrat-controlled Senate was more important than conformity with the one place where Tennant may go against leftist orthodoxy.

If we’re to upset the apple cart here in Maryland, we have to deal with the obvious flaws in Larry Hogan’s philosophy and platform at the most opportune time – when he takes office.


7 Responses to “Team players”

  1. JWB on July 14th, 2014 9:36 am

    Several important counterpoints:

    1) The Democrats have 2 80/20 rules: “Do you promote big government” for the white progressives and “Does my group get special favors” for the Democrat-affiliated minority organizations.

    Warren understands that Tennant has to be “pro”-coal in order to have a shot at winning, but that anyone from West Virginia will have to. More importantly, she’ll be a reliable vote for regulation and probably protect the EPA, which is how the coal issue will be dealt with anyway.

    Contrast that with the recent push in California to repeal Prop. 209 – the antidiscrimination measure for college. The Asian community understood that 209 protects *their* children from discrimination, and once they found about the push to repeal, the entire coalition fell apart.

    2) There are two different sides in the Republican Party, with mutually exclusive goals. The first is the Tea-Party/Libertarian wing of the party that wants to reduce the size, scope, influence and power of all levels of government. This is the party’s activist base.

    The other side is the Rockefeller/Progressive wing of the party, made up largely of older office-holders, their aides and their children. This side of the party is simply a different brand of Democrat – they believe in *different* government programs or the same programs run smarter – as in Hogan’s economic “plan”, consisting solely of *smarter* people picking winners and losers. This side of the party *hates* it’s activist base, and is more willing to fight it’s own supporters than the Democrats (#MSSen as example) because they *agree* with Democrats on the core issues.

    3) The only way to be drive out the Progressive wing of the GOP (which is numerically insignificant but generally well-connected, politically experienced and wealthy) is to *not vote* for them. Even if they can win a primary, if they know that a large portion of the base won’t vote for them regardless, they’ll either not run or honestly run as Democrats. When the general-election voters are given a clear choice competently made, they generally vote Republican. When it’s all or only part of the Democratic platform, they vote for all.

    4) To your last point – Hogan’s problem is not a flawed platform or philosophy, it’s the *absence* of them. Even his strong criticisms of O’Malley/Brown are only followed with “and I’ll take a look and see if I want to change some small pieces of it.”

    More importantly, he told the Liberty-minded, small-government Republicans to go to Hell *during the primary*. What makes you think he’ll listen once he’s elected and doesn’t need us *at all*?

    My 80% friend is not my 20% enemy. But my 0% friend doesn’t get my vote just because he runs as a Republican.

  2. Shoreman on July 14th, 2014 10:38 am

    So we should just not vote? Let the Dems run amok with no credible challenge? We need to purify our party? What your advising is a recipe for extinction. Why cant the GOP be a big tent party like the Dems? Why does every GOP candidate have to go through a loyaltly test? I am admittedly very conservative and staunch in my beliefs, but that said, we cant become an exclusive party. Many voters already see us an elitist and out of touch…how does not voting for GOP candidates because of their moderation change that opinion? Especially in a stateas blue as MD, moderation may be the path to victory. Your comments sound like the embittered bench player who is a team cancer behind the scenes. Instead of recognizing the candidate who won, you would rather tear him down just because he beat you. Instead, come together and support him and win im Novemeber. You never know, by gettug on board, youvmay find influence on a moderate candidate and help change their mind! If the GOP wants tovstay relevant, we need to welcome all voters, not just those who can pass the artificial lotyalty test.

  3. Bob Amato on July 14th, 2014 11:06 am

    STRONGLY AGREE!!! Campaign for Liberty should meet this challenge…or form (and fund) their own political party.

  4. JWB on July 14th, 2014 3:08 pm

    Forgot to add:

    Ceterum autem censeo Hamas esse delendam

  5. Orlando Johnson on July 14th, 2014 6:38 pm

    Here’s my intellectual $0.02:

    Anthony Brown is going to be the next governor of Maryland.

  6. JWB on July 14th, 2014 7:17 pm

    “So we should just not vote? Let the Dems run amok with no credible challenge?”

    “The same thing as Democrats but better run and less expensive” is not a challenge. Neither is “the same thing but halfway”.

    “We need to purify our party? What you’re advising is a recipe for extinction.”

    I’m not saying everything needs to be 100%, what I’m saying is that voting for someone who has already told us to get lost on every conservative issue, who has only shown a willingness to push back against the *right* is a vote for not only moving the GOP further left but sharing the blame for failed Democratic policies.

    “Why cant the GOP be a big tent party like the Dems?”

    Because the Democratic coalition is based on favor-trading, manipulation and corruption, not agreement.

    “Why does every GOP candidate have to go through a loyalty test?”

    Because they’re running as a Republican. If they’re running as a Republican just because the path to the general election is easier, and believe *nothing* in the Republican platform, why should they get automatically get Republican votes? Because they massively outspent everyone in the primary and got the votes of people who just saw an ad on television?

    “I am admittedly very conservative and staunch in my beliefs, but that said, we cant become an exclusive party.”

    Not saying we should. I’m saying we should *believe* in something and that we should ***stick to it***. Nobody votes for “Just half of what my opponent promises”.

    “Many voters already see us an elitist and out of touch…how does not voting for GOP candidates because of their moderation change that opinion?”

    People don’t see us elitist because of our beliefs. People see us as elitist both because of baseless propaganda and because we sometimes run wealthy, clueless candidates who don’t believe in anything other than their own specialness.

    Especially in a state as blue as MD, moderation may be the path to victory.

    Winning by abandoning our platform entirely, as Hogan has made it clear that’s what he’s doing, gets us what?

    You don’t know your history. The GOP was a permanently minority national party when it’s guiding principle was “get elected”. It begin to actually win and become a competitive majority party when it stood for something other than “I believe in whatever you believe, just less of it and done more slowly.”

    Give the voters an actual choice and *make the sale* again and again, and it can (and has) shifted the electorate.

    Your comments sound like the embittered bench player who is a team cancer behind the scenes. Instead of recognizing the candidate who won, you would rather tear him down just because he beat you.

    Nope. I’m objecting to a team captain whose idea of strategy is “Do whatever the opponent is doing, just do it better.” I’m objecting to a leader whose idea of leadership is to say “I’m not interested in what anyone else has to say.”

    I’m objecting to the Republican version of Barack Obama.

    Instead, come together and support him and win in November. You never know, by getting on board, you may find influence on a moderate candidate and help change their mind!

    Change the mind of a candidate who has already expressly rejected everything I stand for, repeatedly and without hesitation? Who has demonstrated a willingness only to speak with and listen to people who already agree with him? Who’s shown such a degree of vanity and arrogance that he tells *major local media* what questions he’s not interested in answering?

    I’m not dumb enough to believe that

    If the GOP wants to stay relevant, we need to welcome all voters, not just those who can pass the artificial loyalty test.

    I don’t want to have to embrace parts of the Communist Party platform to win over Communists. I don’t want to have to embrace mandating the burqa to win over fundamentalist Muslims.

    And besides, when the GOP panders like that, they lose.

  7. Michael on July 14th, 2014 7:56 pm

    @OJ – Well, that was a real no-brainer for you, wasn’t it?

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