Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ehrlich vs Murphy

Earlier two RedMaryland contributors wrote posts in support of Brian Murphy's campaign to earn the privilege of cleaning Martin O'Malley's clock in November.

I'd like to take a couple of minutes to address their points and make my own views known.

For the record, I don't think we've done a lot of Murphy bashing on the site. We've endorsed Ehrlich because we believe, all things considered, he's the better candidate to face Governor O'Malley. We don't necessarily believe that Governor Ehrlich is more conservative that Mr. Murphy and this isn't a test of "electability." It is our considered judgment that considering the merits of both men, Governor Ehrlich is the stronger candidate and will be better able to expand the minuscule ranks of Maryland elected Republicans.

I agree the efforts by the Maryland GOP to clear the field for Governor Ehrlich was wrong. Party organizations have no business picking winners and losers amongst candidates. That is a function that should be reserved to the candidates and the voters. The party organization is there to support the party's nominee. We've seen both in Maryland and at the national level that the interference of the national party apparatus in primaries very, very rarely results in a win for the party. You only have to look at the pathetic record of the RNC, NRSC and NRCC to see what I mean.

Governor Ehrlich is an impressive candidate. He didn't need the help and perversely the help that he received may very well cost him votes amongst the GOP base which is getting increasingly torqued over this poor-man's king making.

They also make a very good point. While conservatives from which Mr. Murphy will draw most, if not all, his primary support historically close ranks and vote GOP in the general election, GOP moderates have a rather shameful history of voting democrat if they don't get their way in the primary. If Mr. Murphy pulls an upset in the primary, he has every reason to expect that Governor Ehrlich's supports, which includes the editors of the site, to give him their full support.

Personally, I think Mr. Murphy is a good candidate. I think having a strong conservative candidate in the race serves the Maryland GOP well by giving voice to a philosophy which is based on free markets and free people. Rather the antithesis of the cradle to grave nanny state we've managed to grow here in Maryland.

So I hope Mr. Murphy gives Governor Ehrlich a run for his money because the winner will be stronger and better able to retire the incumbent.


Greg Kline said...

I do not think any of the pro-Murphy sentiments have dealt directly with the issues upon which we based our editorial endorsement.

There is no evidence that Murphy is more capable of beating O'Malley than Ehrlich or even that he has the resources to beat him at all.

Second, we raised real concern about the lack of experience on Murphy's part. Governor is not like a legislative seat. It does require executive experience and a working knowledge of government, even if and perhaps especially if your plan is to reduce its size and scope. Running a bakery just doesn't cut it.

Also, the political skill needed by a GOP gov in the hostile environment of Annapolis is something Murphy has completely failed to show he has.

We conceded the cricitisms of Ehrlich by conservatives and repeat our encouragement to him to mend those fences. We acknowledge the merits of Mr. Murphy but Streiff is right that, while we will all support the GOP candidate,Ehrlich is just the better GOP candidate at the end of the day.

tpelura said...

I think the real issue with all of this is the total dismissal of Murphy as a candidate. The Post editorial actually makes fun of him for running a bakery (like any of these people have ever run any business). We keep hearing (on this blog as well) how the insider politicians are ruining this state. So here comes someone with specific ideas, intelligence, etc and everyone is pushing him to the side. My biggest issue is that if he is such a nobody; why won't Ehrlich debate him? How come no one interviews him? How come the MDGOP had to play dirty against him? Let the primary be. My take is that it's much more interesting to have a "grudge match" than actually deal with the issues. Just my two cents.

Greg Kline said...


None of your comment actually addresses why Mr. Murphy is a better candidate.

It is all complaining about the unfairness of his treatment and wreaks of exactly the "grudge match" you criticize.

tpelura said...

I thought I was discussing what the post was about not how Murphy is better then Ehrlich. I don't dislike Ehrlich, I just think Murphy's ideas are better. What I was addressing was the whole concept of the "bashing of Murphy."
The "grudge match" comment was on the fact that it seems to me that the media, bloggers, etc seem to want this to be a re-match between Ehrlich and O'Malley more then Murphy and Ehrlich/O'Malley. I guess that makes for a better story.

streiff said...

the reason why Governor Ehrlich won't debate Murphy is pretty simple.

Given Murphy's low name recognition and we anticipate lethargic fundraising he has nothing to gain by giving Murphy credibility.

Even a win for Ehrlich raises Murphy's profile.

Bill in Baltimore said...

Hello, new here and appreciate the even-handed article about the situation.

When the big endorsement from Alaska came in, I had only heard of Brian once, on WCBM I think, several weeks ago, and not once since.

I thought the endorsement was silly and Brian had no chance this side of Hades to win.

Then I looked at Brian and liked what I saw, then did the same with Ehrlich and didn't like what I found out.

So while Maryland has a long history and deep roots in liberalism, Ehrlich falls into the category of "not difference in kind, but degree".

So while he's an ok guy and such, he's a political animal, as evidenced by uninformed statements about Sarah Palin, and even in his first statement where he indicated "this will help him with moderates". Maybe so - but ugh.

And maybe why Maryland is so entrenched in liberal ways is because Republicans like Ehrlich feel the way to succeed is to be Dem-lite, roughly along the ways of John McCain.

Conservatism will succeed - anywhere - when those who purport to be so act so.

first time here, so appreciate your the work here.

Americangirl2 said...

You may be new here (so am I), but you are right on target with your comments!
"And maybe why Maryland is so entrenched in liberal ways is because Republicans like Ehrlich feel the way to succeed is to be Dem-lite, roughly along the ways of John McCain.

Conservatism will succeed - anywhere - when those who purport to be so act so."

I had heard of Murphy and thought him to be of good character, but until I checked their websites and spoke w/those who have met BOTH candidates, it was only then that I learned that Ehrlich is possibly just that,a "moderate conservative" who is simply a "lesser evil" than the "real Democrat liberal" he is running against, O'Malley. Maryland should recruit and vote for a man they can truly support, not simply someone who thinks he can win the liberal vote as well. As for Murphy's experience,and qualifications.. you gain Executive experience and working knowledge on the job.
Running a successful bakery is excellent experience in business and proves his understanding what a profitable and "decent" resource for your community and family can be. Maryland - get off the fence and vote for someone with values and morals that won't change as votes are needed. Maryland- get a back bone, just as you are hoping the entire country will do!