As you may know, Maryland is a blue state. It’s not all blue – the farther away you get from our cities the redder it gets. But even our reddest parts are more liberal than the deepest south. I’m not going to hypothesize about whether or not this is due to education, or proximity to other viewpoints, or a northeast work ethic. Especially since Maryland is below the Mason-Dixon line. But what we do know is that Maryland Republicans have to run to the left in order to win.
Now Michael Steele, the GOP candidate for Maryland’s open senate seat, is taking it even further. He just put out his first commercial, and it doesn’t even mention that he’s a Republican.
That’s how Maryland’s current Republican Governor Bob Ehrlich got elected. He ran as a moderate, and he ran a better financed, better conceived campaign than Democratic psuedo-incumbant, Kathleen Kennedy-Townsend. Residents will remember the myriad “Another Democrat for Ehrlich” bumper stickers that they saw all over the state. Ehrlich’s campaign wisely understood that to win Maryland, you have to convince Democrats that it’s ok to vote for a Republican. Especially a supposedly moderate one like Bob Ehrlich.
Running Away from the GOP
Steele is a self-described “radical Republican” about as rabid as Alan Keyes, but he’s smart enough to hide it when the cameras are running. He’s the Republican who was quoted by a Washington Reporter about hoping Bush wouldn’t openly campaign for him. And if the Democrats let him get away with this kind of hoax, they deserve to lose.
Voters deserve to know what kind of things the candidates support. They have a right to know that Steele compared stem-cell research to The Holocaust. They have a right to know that he opposes abortion even in cases of rape and incest. They have a right to know that he supports the privitization of Social Security. And they have a right to know that he has been in full support of the Bush administration and all their policies, and that he represents the GOP in this election.
This guy supports Bush, and everything Bush stands for, and Democrats are going to let him talk about how “Washington doesn’t understand you?”
If GOP candidates are afraid to run as members of their own party, maybe they should rethink their policy positions rather than how to disguise their affiliation from the voters.