Saturday, May 30, 2009

Newt and the MD GOP

Next Friday, the MD GOP will host the 19th annual Red, White & Blue Dinner. The keynote speaker is none other than Newt Gingrich. That the MD GOP would so honor a man who supported Wayne Gilchrest in his re-election bid is an indication of how the party has lost touch with its conservative base and with any sense of its own relevance.

Wayne Gilchrest. A man whose contempt for the Republican party was legendary. In comments for the press after each vote for the Democrats, Gilchrest insisted that he was not one of the sheep, meaning Republicans, and that he voted his conscience. His conscience was, 90 percent of the time, Nancy Pelosi's conscience.

Newt Gingrich. Mr. Republican. Leader of the 1994 GOP take-over of Congress. Lectures the Republicans on why they should support the conservative initiatives that Gilchrest had (and would have) voted against. Gingrich says he supported Gilchrest over Andy Harris, because Gilchrest was a friend of the environment. Gingrich urges Congress to Drill Here and Drill Now! to secure America's energy supply. But surely he knew his environmental buddy would vote against any such legislation.

I'll never forgive Gingrich (or Boehner or Steele) for making it that much harder to defeat this liberal Republican. And no one has asked the great Newt Gingrich to explain himself. And I doubt seriously that anyone will have the spine to ask him to apologize to Andy Harris and the loyal Republicans who worked hard to secure his victory in the Primary. I doubt he will even acknowledge the presence of Dr. Harris at the dinner.

For me the campaign was over and successful because Harris defeated Gilchrest. Either way the General went, the party affiliation no longer had to be reconciled with the vote. If the Democrat won, then the change would be hardly detectable.

But the convergence of Newt and MD GOP illustrates in sickeningly vivid color and depth that the GOP has not taken any lessons from their drubbings in '04, '06 and '08. And that while I was, for a moment, optimistic for our chances in 2010, I suddenly realized that the party amnesia has run deeper than I hoped.

But forget about Newt for a moment. How does the MD GOP explain itself for inviting the backstabber? Who's next? Arlen Specter? I could think of a thousand different people to address the party faithful and inspire them to win in 2010. A thousand!

Monday, May 11, 2009

How Do You Do Efficiency?

To the Editor,
I rarely comment on idiotic letters to the editor published by the Annapolis Kapital paper (because I am too busy writing them?), but the one last night by tree-hugger Holly Gorman was bursting with enough eco-green renewable efficiency to make Al Gore blush. But give Miz Gorman credit for not pretending that nuclear power doesn't exist, unlike our cowering politicians and "business leaders."

No, she boldly declares that she's sick of hearing how nuclear energy is soooooo eco-friendly just because it emits zero ounces of noxious carbon dioxide and how widespread use of nuclear power will reduce the demand for dirty carbon energy. Big deal! These are all the wrong reasons for supporting the expansion of nuclear capacity at Calvert Cliffs.

It is precisely because providing the people of Maryland with clean energy for generations to come that we should vigorously oppose all efforts to expand the use of nuclear power in this country! See, if we have cheap, abundant, clean (and recyclable!) nuclear energy, then we won't want to conserve energy by freezing in the winter and boiling in the summer. We won't want to sacrifice safety on the roads in order to save a few bucks (and the planet!).

Finally, one of the eco-freaks went out without her talking points and just told it like it is. It doesn't matter how much energy we have or how cheap and clean it is. It never will matter. Miz "Al" Gorman suddenly saw the handwriting on the wall: The rise of nuclear energy comes at the expense of the power and influence of groups like...hers, and people like her, who produce nothing. Suddenly she faces the very real prospect of having to develop a skill and getting a real job.

Mike Netherland
Severna Park