Saturday, November 21, 2009

Have We Learned Nothing?

Recently I have become aware of certain activities of Republicans in Maryland who seem to have been in a coma for the past six months or so and are blissfully ignorant of the events leading up to and the conclusion of recent elections in Virginia, New Jersey and New York.

Let's start with MD's state District 3b currently represented by Del. Richard Weldon, who after being abandoned by the GOP (a la Arlen Specter and Olympia Snowe) changed his party affiliation and is now an Independent. Del. Weldon is rumored to be retiring before the end of his term presenting the Frederick County Republican Central Committee with the opportunity to replace him with someone who doesn't feel abandoned by the GOP.

(Why does the GOP get to fill the looming vacancy when the seat was held by an Independent? Perhaps one my MD GOP political savants can comment.)

And who do the Frederick County Republican party pooh-bahs seem to be favoring? The Liberal, of course. Now, liberal and conservative are relative terms. That's what we were told by Dede Scozzafava's Stupid Party supporters this Fall during the campaign in New York's 23rd Congressional District. We shouldn't judge her unfit just because she was less conservative than Barry Goldwater, we were told. When we found out that she was actually less liberal than Maureen Dowd, it was too late.

The "liberal" being favored by the GOP in Frederick County, according to my sources, is Katherine Nash. She has been involved in GOP politics since 2006, as near as as I can tell. There's not much I can find on her that is a matter of recent public record, but she was according, to her posts on theTentacle blog an early critic of Gov. O'Malley and his tax-hiking Democrats. In her blog posts she comes across as more of a political operative than a passionate ideologue. But she is still young ("20-something" according to her theTentacle bio) and may therefore be a member of "the generation that gets it," as Margaret Hoover would describe those young Republicans for whom same-sex marriage is not only inevitable but a natural and inalienable right protected by the Constitution.

The "conservative" candidate, apparently not being considered by the FCRCC is Michael Hough (huff), also a member of the FCRCC and previous candidate for the District 3b seat. Hough, as you can see on his website, has taken clearly conservative positions on a number of issues and has the backing of many conservative Republicans in Maryland.

While I don't want to unfairly associate someone with Margaret Hoover or Mrs. Scozzafava, I do want to implore the Frederick County GOP not to make the same mistake that the NY-23 GOP made. I don't know whether Nash is a liberal. I assume that the FCRCC and local GOP leaders do know, however, and if they, with eyes wide open, pick a liberal over the conservative then that would be a real tragedy.


Kevin Waterman said...

Perhaps I'm misreading something here, but do you actually have any evidence for the assertion:

And who do the Frederick County Republican party pooh-bahs seem to be favoring? The Liberal, of course.

Reading through the post I see nothing to suggest that Nash. You even say as much yourself, noting that:

I don't know whether Nash is a liberal

Maybe I'm being overly critical here, but I fail to see the point of this post, other than to make the vague insinuation that young Republicans are bad because they don't agree with your particular set of social values.

Mike Netherland said...

The point of the post is to preclude a repeat of the NY-23 debacle wherein the party elite du jour appoint a liberal to an elective office. At least in the case of NY-23 the pooh-bahs were limited to subverting only the Primary process leaving their pick to face a General election.

In this case of MD-3b both the Primary and the General are avoided and their appointee is installed directly to office.

My evidence is based on usually very reliable sources, as I stated. I agaonized over this post, not because I feared being proven wrong, in fact I sincerely hope that I am wrong. But because I didn't want to unfairly tag someone as being liberal.

But Dede and the NY-23 pooh-bahs nearly got away with it but for the light shined on them by the bloggers. So I decided to post what I had and give Nash and the FCRCC the benefit of the doubt.

Now, I see no refutation in your comment. You make no assertion to the contrary either. Are you saying that the FCRCC is not favoring Nash or that Nash is not a liberal?

As to your last point, I will remove all doubt and be very clear: Republicans that don't agree with my "particular set of social values" are bad indeed, whether they are young or old or in-between. I don't want to be vague on this point at all and I think all of my postings here and elsewhere are consistent.

And I want to thank you for taking the time to read and comment. I hope others will come forward as well.

Kevin Waterman said...

Mostly my refutation was on the fact that the post opened by definitively stating that the FCRCC was favoring a liberal for filling the seat, yet by the end of it you had acknowledged you didn't know if she was liberal and there was no evidence to suggest she was.

Apart from that, I'm a little bit skeptical of the lesson you're drawing from NY-23 and I think it dovetails with the question of social issues.

I'm not supporting Scozzafava here, but the fact is that Hoffman ended up losing. When you consider that in light of the wins for Christie and Bob McDonnell, something jumps out, at least to me. Both of them minimized the role of social issues in their campaign while Hoffman made them a key focus of his.

That certainly suggests that there is a growing swing in American politics, towards the right generally, but simultaneously away from social conservatism. Or, to put it in simpler terms, a libertarian direction.

In all honesty, a discussion on that point is of much more interest to me. I don't live in Frederick County, and what they do with their own offices is really their own concern, at least as far as I'm concerned. On the other hand, the philosophic direction of the Republican party is something of much broader scope and consequence and something I suspect we have some fundamental differences of opinion on, based off of your previous postings.