Wordbones recently wrote this post about a recent discussion of all things HoCo political. Or at least, many things HoCo political.
The most stunning thing to me in this post was something that I had actually not heard before. Which is, news of a division within Howard's Republican Party. This would manifest itself in some local GOP activist or elected official mounting a challenge from the right against State Senator Allan Kittleman in the Republican County Executive primary.
What a fantastically horrible idea this is.
Let me take you back to the yesteryear of Howard County politics.... 1998. There were a number of fantastic first-time candidates for public office in that year; among them, Allan Kittleman, Chris Merdon, and yours truly. Two of the three were elected, of course : ) but the experience, besides being the best thing I felt like I had ever done in my life to that point, gave me a great opportunity to see what "the other side" thinks and how they tick.
Although running an uphill, underdog race in a conservative district (the old District 14B Delegate district, against then-Delegates Bob Kittleman and Bob Flanagan) I felt that overall, although the District 14 Republicans were quite dogmatic, that there were some good people there who were committed to their conservative beliefs. Who were in fact, quite pure in their conservatism, but without malice as some of the dogmatists (is that a word?) were. Allan Kittleman was one of those people, and there has been little he has done in the time since his first election to the County Council in 1998 to convince me of otherwise. He is quite a good conservative... but also, quite a good guy.
It is therefore stunning, and perhaps telling, if local Republicans think that possibly he is not "Republican enough". Oh, I get the whole Tea Party thing. Away with the argument of how much government guides the private sector and people's lives, let's have the argument of IF government has these roles at all. I definitely get it, I just basically think it's specious and maybe even a little stupid.
And I suppose that these whispers/threats/schemes are a result of Senator Kittleman's backing same sex marriage in Maryland. I suppose the upcoming Supreme Court rulings on California's Proposition 8 may obviate this argument, but same sex marriage is becoming the reality in more and more states and I truly feel that within my lifetime, I will see it be the law of the land. These local Republicans are clearly on the wrong side of history (look at any civil rights movement in America ever and you'll see what I mean) but if they're too dopey to get it, who am I to convince them?
I would strongly suggest to local Republicans that over the past 25 years or so, you have had perhaps no stronger friend and better supporter than Senator Allan Kittleman. While challenging him in the Republican County Executive primary is your right, it also shows your ignorance and lack of recognition for not only his contribution, but those of his entire family to your cause. Should you pose this challenge, you should all be ashamed of yourselves.