Wednesday, February 13, 2008



Radical wingnut beats Gilchrest

Last night everyone was watching Donna Edwards vanquish corrupt corporate shill Al Wynn in MD-04. East on her district there was another drama going on resulting in a stunning loss to mainstream Republican incumbent Wayne Gilchrest to far right extremist Andy Harris. Harris was surrepticiously supported by former Governor Bob Ehrlich, currently a local hate talk radio host, and openly backed by the whole fringe coalition of nuts and loons that have captured control of the GOP in recent years.

MD-01 is an interesting district. It includes the 9 quiet counties on the Eastern Shore but the Democratic legislature has gerrymandered the area so as to dump as many Republicans into the district as possible and many of Baltimore's wealthiest-- and reddest-- suburbs are also part of the district. Basically, though, MD-01 is a moderate Republican district. Bush won it against Kerry with 62%. Now the voters there will have to decide if they want to emphasize the "moderate" or the "Republican."

They can't have both. Gilchrest's voting record was what would have once been termed "mainstream conservative." By current GOP standards, set by loons like Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh and Tom DeLay, Gilchrest was a moderate. The Democrat who won tonight is Frank Kratovil and, oddly, his moderate stands on substantive issues, like the environment, have much more in common with Gilchrest's than Harris' do. Almost identical numbers of Democrats and Republicans voted tonight which is astounding for this overwhelmingly Republican district (R+10).

Republicans don't always win here. In the past I've written quite a bit about a radical right Republican congressman from MD-01, Bob Bauman who was arrested in 1980 for soliciting sex from a 16 year old boy and wound up losing his seat. At the time he was one of the most outspoken right-wing leaders in the country, a founder of the Young Americans For Freedom (still an organization filled with closet cases) and was chairman of the American Conservative Union. After the whole denial stage Republicans always try when they get caught red-handed, Bauman evetually came to terms with his alcoholism and his homosexuality and wrote a really excellent book, The Gentleman From Maryland-- The Conscience of a Gay Conservative. In his wake MD-01 elected a Democrat who was eventually defeated by Gilchrest (on the second try). Gilchrest's defeat by an extremist whose hard right views are entirely out of touch with suburban moderates, will make it possible for another Democratic victory in this district.

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At 8:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not likely. MD-01 will probably remain in Republican hands. The Democrat Party can't have a monopoly on EVERYTHING in Maryland (and of course, the good citizens are now paying the price...literally...with all of the tax increases that have been put into place).

At 8:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Donna Edwards vanquish corrupt corporate shill Al Wynn"

Goodie, goodie!

I wasn't all that thrilled with her, but she's far, far better than that treasonous bastard Wynn.


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