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Tea Parties Richard Falknor on 18 Dec 2011 03:49 pm

Are Maryland Tea Parties A Going Concern Today?

“’For the Conservative, the challenge is daunting and the road will be long and hard,’ Levin sums up. ‘But it took the Statist nearly eighty years to get here, and it will take the Conservative at least as long to change the nation’s direction. Still, there is no time to waste. The Conservative must act now.’” (Underscoring Forum’s.)Mark Levin

Today Doug Mainwaring, a Tea Party leader in the national capital area, declared (Baltimore Sun)  —

“Much of what the tea party is now up to is local and goes on unnoticed.”

In his “Still brewing: The tea party hasn’t gone away: In Maryland, conservative activists are branching out and making a difference”, Mainwaring celebrates several achievements this year.

He points to a GOP recrudescence in his own Montgomery County –

“Montgomery County’s Republican Legislative District 15 [foregoing link added by Forum]is a great case in point. After years of neglect, the district has become highly organized and active, exercising the initiative to create an email database (which the state and local party has failed to do). Precinct heads remain in frequent contact with Republican voters through the District 15 newsletter, emails, phone contacts and social events. After a decade or more of being abandoned, the district is now run with military precision.”

Much to be commended. And there are larger conservative undertakings in play as Mainwaring notes.

The most salient example is the petitioning of the Maryland iteration of the Dream Act – SB167 — to ballot, with substantial support from Democrats and  independents.

The motive and organizing force for this achievement came from western Maryland  (Washington County) freshman delegate Neil Parrott.  Veteran Baltimore County delegate Pat McDonough had laid the groundwork over several years with his own radio show and grass-roots following.

Parrot lit the match and led the torchlight parade!

Activist Mainwaring does not, however, address the culture divide separating Montgomery County from those Maryland jurisdictions with more traditional values. Here, for example, is a comparison of Montgomery County support for this petition to referendum with other counties.

We have written about this disconnect  in our Maryland Petition: The Clergy, the Laity, the Victory, Montgomery County, MD: “An Illegal Alien’s Guide. . . .”, Montgomery County Values| U.S. History, and Montgomery County: Goons, Cops, Tongue-Tied Pols.

This burden of Cultural Marxism (Political Correctness) throughout the Montgomery County polity makes the good work of Montgomery County Tea Partiers even more of an achievement.

Let’s not forget that Brian Murphy’s hard-fought challenge (that included Sarah Palin’s endorsement of Murphy) to Bob Ehrlich in last year’s GOP gubernatorial primary left, as we have noted, an important Legacy to Maryland Conservatives.

Without this legacy and the many conservative activists Murphy brought together, there would likely have not been a Maryland Conservative Action Network — which in turn put together the top-flight Turning the Tides Conference of last October, which Mr. Mainwaring properly cites.

There is, however, another disconnect for Maryland conservatives:  between the goals of grass-roots conservatives and the operational priorities of the GOP members of the General Assembly. As we wrote — Turning the Tides”: Opportunity Lost for Many GOP Solons?

The other major conservative grass-roots effort in Maryland is that of Richard Rothschild from Carroll County.

First-term County Commissioner Rothschild put together a world-class conference here deconstructing the collectivist land-use scheme  PlanMaryland. Rothschild had already been speaking in Virginia and California about the related dangers of Agenda 21 and the faulty premises of so-called Smart Growth.

From an organizing perspective for conservatives, the SB 167 petition to referendum is more important – and from a policy perspective it signals a possible slowdown in Maryland’s role as a “sanctuary state” for illegals.

In the longer run, we suggest, the freedom of more Marylanders will be diminished by PlanMaryland and whatever associated Green Marxist programs it brings into play.

Doug Mainwaring’s post today is well worth reading.

We look forward to his recommendations on how to bring the Republican stalwarts in the Maryland General Assembly to an informed, consistent, and active conservative posture. As David Frum warned last year — “GOP to Tea Party — Your Votes, Not Your Ideas.”

As part of such a discussion, faithful readers will want to revisit our Are Your GOP Politicians Ruling Class? Or Country Class? about Angelo Codevilla’s magisterial America’s Ruling Class — And the Perils of Revolution in the American Spectator.

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