Monday, March 12, 2012

Party Sustainability (Monday LINKS)

Watching the Sunday Talk Shows, it seemed clear to me that the GOP is calling a full scale retreat from the battleground of "family values."  It was almost as if they had read the exact same memo:

"I'm not here to talk about that, I'm here to talk about the economy and the failed economic policies of this President."

If there was a memo, it shows two things:
1) The Republican Party is showing a level of organization and unity that we have not seen in some time;
2) They have pollsters.

As the Pew Research Center has found, the positions of the GOP on issues like gay marriage will not be sustainable over the long term.  The same goes for a hard line on abortion.

What the Republican Party seems to be doing is trying to figure out what sticks in 2012.  The public sentiment on social issues seems to be more murky now than any time in recent memory.  As our poll-watcher Governor has shown, the tides are shifting.  But as I've also noted, social issues can bring rabid supporters willing to overlook the remaining planks.

"I don't care if you vote for tax breaks for the top .001%, so long as you protect the sanctity of marriage."

The trouble for the GOP is that this knife cuts both ways.  Personally, I will almost certainly not vote for any politician that would oppose same-sex marriage.  I've outlined that in previous posts and don't need to go back into my reasons today.  This isn't a litmus test for me as much as it is an introspection into how certain politicians see their role in government.  There is a very good chance that if you oppose same-sex marriage, you see yourself in a position to interject selective religious mandates into government in a way that disadvantages those who have different beliefs...or are just obedient to a base that I don't care to be a part of.  It's nothing personal.  I just don't like the way you do your job.

Reflecting back on the bubble of Maryland, I wonder how social issues play out with independents in the swing states.  As of last week, President Obama was not faring too well.  And that's with everybody in the GOP running to the right.


A student at the University of Maryland from Fulton threatened to go on a "shooting rampage" at College Park on Sunday.  The student has been taken to the hospital for emergency psychiatric evaluation and it does not appear that he had access to weapons.

Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold is hoping that his history of strong constituent services helps him through the indictment and allegations of misconduct in office that threaten his career.  There is no doubt that Leopold has had a fascinating life, but it is now marred by what appear to be excesses paired with significant lapses in judgment.  I have no sympathy for these folks.  If this was an employee of a company, they would have been fired for cause without the prospect of unemployment.

After Frederick County made English the official language of county business, similar initiatives are being sought in Queen Anne's and Anne Arundel County.  Regardless of your views, this is an exercise in futility.  Whatever ends these laws seek, they will not be met.  It simply provides a platform for red-meat Republicans to say "We speak 'merican in America."  Meanwhile, the line for marriage licenses and building permits is just going to move about 5 times slower.

Featured Blog Post of the Day: My dear friend WB is back in the States and is catching up on local political news.  I can't say he missed too much.

In closing, nomination petitions are due (or past due) for most Village Elections.  I would like to personally request that you consider volunteering your time and effort to Columbia.  This town was built off of the idea that it would be run by people.  Not "the same people."  We need new decision-makers in this community with new ideas.  That means you.

Have a great Monday doing what you love!