Sunday, July 19, 2009

MDGOP Executive Fortitude

And so another misguided attempt by a cabal of political opportunists to pull off a GOP palace coup crashes into a smoldering and fetid heap on West Street yesterday. The fetid heaps are beginning to pile up, too. The latest episode marks the third attempt over the last two years to discredit conservative leaders in the MD GOP (once in the Spring and again in the Fall of 2007) and the smell leads straight to those named in the e-mail message I received describing the whole sordid affair.
"On Saturday the Republican Executive Committee passed a resolution of no confidence in Chairman Pelura by a vote of 20-10. However there is not any immediate impact of the resolution. Pelura told the meeting he had no intention in resigning.

"Under the by-laws, only a full vote of the entire state Central Committee at a convention can remove the Chairman, and a two-thirds vote is required. Counties representing a potential weighted vote of about 50% at a convention opposed the resolution, including Anne Arundel, Caroline, Carroll, Cecil, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George's, St. Mary's, Wicomico and Worcester. The other counties and all the officers voted except Pelura for the resolution. Pelura did not vote.

"The Committee rebuked candidate for Governor Mike Pappas on several occasions. First Pappas attempted to prevent Pelura from presiding at the meeting as Chairman. This effort was defeated. Later Pappas attempted to close off discussion, although Charles County Chairman Charles Lollar was attempting to be recognized. The Committee voted down the Pappas resolution and Lollar was given a chance to speak.

"Repeated criticism was also directed at First Vice Chairman Chris Cavey for his press comments criticizing Pelura. Some members called on him to resign if Pelura remained as Chairman."
In addition to Pappas and Cavey, I would add Sens. Nancy Jacobs and Allan Kittleman. How miserable they must be now that they have been turned out by the grown-ups of the MDGOP and sent to their room to cry. I guess we'll need a new candidate for Governor, assuming that Pappas isn't entirely shameless and does the honorable thing.

Here's a suggestion: instead of working for another six months on making yourselves look like utter buffoons (not hard work, granted) why don't all you self-promoting, disloyal, counter-productive, self-important panderers to the politically correct, just go away? Hmmm? Take a vacation. You must be exhausted. Climb a mountain. Better yet, move your operations to Chicago. You could learn a few things about how to run a real morally corrupt political show there.

For those who are not as familiar with the big picture, or for those for whom the smell test isn't quite enough, I suggest the following excellent essay on power politics in the MD GOP by Michael Swartz.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Red Maryland Politics Watch?

It is uncanny how closely the positions that two local blogs, one leftwing and one Rightwing have begun to resemble each other lately, at least when it comes to describing the MD GOP's current leadership. Oh, of course, Red Maryland bloggers will plead that they are only trying to 'save' the party, while MPW only wants to ridicule and discredit Maryland's top Republican.

Take a look at these two passages from recent posts and you tell me which is from what blog:
Pelura and some Republican elected officials may disagree on the state party’s role in setting policy. But few people would disagree on the central role of any political party apparatus: helping its candidates win elections. That means training activists, registering voters, communicating with the press, criticizing the other party’s candidates, getting out the vote and channeling activity towards critical, and winnable, races. All of the above takes money.
The Maryland Republican Party is in bad shape. ... that means there is no spending on core party functions, like voter registration...., raising money, messaging, and candidate recruitment and training. Given Pelura’s strategy rather than furthering MDGOP’s mission, money raised goes toward debt service.
Red Maryland has also jumped on every opportunity to whip the party into a feeding frenzy by publicizing and whooping up every communique from the anti-Pelura mob and refuting those from the Pelura loyalists. On Wednesday, for instance, Red Maryland published a call for Pelura's head from those GOP stalwarts Kittleman and Jacobs. No commentary, just the letter.

The next day, Del. Don Dwyer writes to address in a mature manner the rumors being giddily discussed on RedMD. Dwyer is categorically refuted on every point in a rambling commentary.

You tell me. Are the RedMD bloggers out to save the party, or are they just out for themselves? By the way, below is the letter I recent sent to Sens. Kittleman and Jacobs:
Dear Sens Jacobs and Kittleman,
I am writing in response to a recent letter you signed calling for the resignation of Chairman Pelura. Leaving aside for the moment the personal high regard in which I and many Republicans I know hold Dr. and Mrs. Pelura, your letter, which I believe was posted on the Brian Griffiths-for-MDGOP-Chair website (aka Red Maryland) was disappointing on several fronts.

First, I don't think Ronald Reagan himself could do any more to snap Maryland Republican voters and institutions out of their political comas and infuse them with the fanatic sense of purpose that seems to animate the Democrats (the last MD Republican who showed such spirit and enthusiasm has been publicly shunned and humiliated by fine folks just like you two).

Short of raising the dead, though, I see Jim Pelura as having the personality and temperament, as well as the Right frame of mind, to keep the Party apparatus progressing, albeit slowly, through these hard times.

Second, Jim has a unique quality among party leaders here and across the country: He cannot remove his spine and collapse of his own weight into a quivering mass political correctness. For too many, this is an easy and well-practiced maneuver. You two may consider this a liability or a handicap in modern-day politics.

While it may be asking too much, I think you can redeem yourselves and reclaim a shred of decency and honor by publicly retracting this letter.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Liberals and the Blues

It's so touching when liberals give advice to the Republican Party. But I have to hand it to one of the loons writing for Maryland Politics Watch. He really does sound sincere in presenting the bad financial situation the state GOP finds itself in these days and in pointing out what the party really needs to do. Jim Pelura ought to hire him and all our problems would be solved!

Here is what the loon says we need: Money. Wow! If only we had thought about that sooner! What a shrewd political genius. Yep... it's always the simple solutions that elude man. Doesn't this idiot realize that by giving us (for free!) this secret to perpetual political power, that his party, the Loons, will instantly begin losing elections and with it the power and influence they have over nearly every major institution of government in Maryland?

See, the Loon Party has Money. Plenty of it. I wonder where they get it all? It reminds me of the TV evangelists. Where do they get it all? Well, according to the lampooned image of the televangelist made popular by the liberal media, they get their riches from gullible and feeble-minded followers who donate their family fortunes to help the church bring a little hope and change to the suffering. In return they hope for a little redemption and salvation for themselves.

So, Mike, are you insinuating that the Democ...the Loon Party is made up of the gullible and feeble minded? Just because they continue to give time and money to keep the Loons in power generation after generation? Just because that after generations of controlling the levers of power in Maryland, they continue to believe it when the Loon party pooh bahs tell them that it is the Republicans' fault for whatever problems plague us at the moment?

Well, if the Loons are gullible, then certainly the Republicans have their own special disadvantages. Money is the least of these. Republicans are, after all, the rich, the oppressors, the exploiters of the people and the planet. We are the ones who finance social welfare programs and who cave in to union demands. What we need is to realize that there is no union or government institution that will represent us; that we cannot win the advantage from the Loons by making sacrifices to the gods of political correctness; that there is no one to whom we must bring the bacon home.

This is what the Republicans need. To wake up and smell the coffee. When this happens, when we forcefully reject the politically correct in favor of principle, when we reject the politically expedient in favor of good public policy; when we are not afraid of admitting that we are Republicans and damned proud of it and can articulate with excruciating specificity why, then the money will flow like honey.

Jim Pelura is the best Chairman we have had in a long time and are likely to have in the near future. But he is, as will be his successor, merely the caretaker of a political party whose adherents just don't get it, ... yet.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

The GOP on the Fourth in Anne Arundel!

I was pleasantly surprised by what I heard while marching with the Andy Harris contingent in Severna Park's Fourth of July Parade. Frankly I didn't know what to expect when I arrived at the staging area behind St Martin's in the Field Church on Benfield Road. After the Thomann affair seemed to divide Republicans last week and this, I wasn't sure what I would find there.

But nearly everyone I talked to made a point of saying how they supported Joyce Thomann and what a raw deal she was getting from both the liberals and from a few Republicans. We can look forward to seeing more supportive letters in the Kapital. In fact I'll go so far as to say that the only people who don't support Joyce are:

1. Liberals
2. Democrats
3. Brian Griffiths
4. Greg Kline
5. Scott Bowling
6. Greg Stiverson

Wonderful company, eh gentlemen?

I have it on good authority that the Republican Women of Anne Arundel County (RWAAC) did not pull out of the Annapolis Fourth of July Parade, and are joining Marianne Pelura, RWAAC past president and now, occasional Guest Blogger, in that celebration. And that the RWAAC Board of Directors over-reacted in posting their rebuke on their web site.

No one scolded me for daring to defend Joyce and for trashing those Republicans who caved in and professed their phony outrage. It was quite the opposite!

I don't even know why I was worried. It turns out that I expressed the feelings of a majority of Republicans in Anne Arundel County while a measly handful of pols were found to be outraged and held up by the Kapital as representing the majority of AACo Republicans. I didn't have to take a poll, or read the Liberal slime blogs or watch the news to figure out how to react. I just went with my gut instinct. I suggest you four gentlemen learn to do the same the next time. And there will be a next time.

Until then I am proud to be a Republican in this county and I am sorry I ever doubted you fine folks. Thanks for restoring my faith!

Mike Netherland
Severna Park

UPDATE: Chuck Thomann marched proudly in uniform in the Annapolis parade alongside the RWACC and had this to say:
I marched, in uniform, in the Annapolis Parade and there were only two adverse comments that I know about. One guy came up to me after the parade was over and said “Nazi”. I told him that it was an American uniform and he disappeared. Someone else said something negative to another member of RWACC, but the overall parade was one of cheering, saluting, smiles and waving of flags.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Non-Partisan Politics in Annapolis

Forget bi-partisanship, the new politics of Annapolis, it seems, is non-partisanship! The slogan is: "There is no place in municipal government for partisan politics." Chris Fox, whom I'll credit with devising or least first promoting this novel approach to politics, is running as an Independent candidate for Mayor of Annapolis.

In an article for the Eye On Annapolis blog, Fox assured us that we had "valid and respectable" reasons for being Democrats and Republicans. But that our positions regarding taxes and spending, size and role of government and healthcare policies, Fox says, "are state and federal issues and have NO PLACE in our local municipality!"

Intrigued as I am by novel approaches to politics, I decided to try and draw Mr. Fox out on a few points. Politics is, after all, a base or instinctual trait exhibited by most species of primate in the way they socialize and behave in groups. The human species, overwhelmed as it is by its cavernous cranium, stuffed with grey matter, has turned politics into an art and even a science. How are we to deny our natural instincts in this regard?
"So partisanship has a place in state and national affairs, but when we serve on the City Council or as Mayor, we must shed our party affiliation.... What do we use as a guide? If not ideology, then what? Perhaps an eye for the bottom line? Moral values? Whose morals? Personal interests and patronage are probably the only true bipartisan approaches to governance."
Fox demurred when I asked him, for the record, where he stood on state and national issues, you know, where partisanship is allowed. I didn't think much more about it until the Thomann affair caused me to do some research on a few partisans. Well it turns out the Greg Stiverson, Ward 6 candidate for City Council, is squarely in the Fox camp when it comes to partisan politics in Annapolis:
"Fundamentally, I believe Annapolis needs nonpartisan elections. Every other city in Maryland, with the exception of Frederick and Baltimore, has nonpartisan municipal elections. State and national politics have virtually nothing to do with issues of local concern."
There is something about being labeled with an 'R' or a 'D' that Stiverson finds objectionable, though he'll tell you he has been a proud Republican for 41 years. But if elected, his number one priority will be to get the Council to approve nonpartisan city elections. I am not sure what that is. Can someone tell me what a nonpartisan city election is?

What is the real goal? I think it is to remove ideology from municipal governance, not party affiliation. But I don't think you can separate humans from their ideology merely by banning the 'R's and the 'D's from election ballots. And I don't think Fox and Stiverson are naive enough to think such a thing is possible. So what would "nonpartisan elections" give us? The next best thing, of course: an excuse for not taking a stand, cover for bending to the prevailing winds of political pressure and influence, without having to answer to this party or that.

So they can have "pride" in their party's ideology, privately, within backslapping range, you know, when raising money and getting key endorsements is important. I guess the only things that count in nonpartisan elections is money and power. At least in regular elections, no one is trying to hide behind some false front of purity in governance, selfless public servitude. In partisan elections, everyone knows what they are getting themselves into when they vote and they have a right to hold elected leaders to account when they buck the party line.