Kratovil handled both crowds with ease. He understands his District very well and is clearly in the political mainstream on almost every issue. Obama lost the 1st District by large margin while Kratovil won the same year!
Kratovil is both moderate and extremely personable. Charisma is a frequently over-used term in politics but Kratovil has it. The guy is reasonable, patriotic and caring. Although I wish he was a little more reliably Democratic in his voting record, I know his views are closer to the District's majority than are mine. The man is smart, young and wise. He is also very patient man.
The tone and attitude of the vocal leadership of the "tea-baggers, Obama birthers and Healthcare Town Hall Disrupters" made it clear they were there to disrupt. A couple of the signs at the second event were especially insulting. One sign read "I was once afraid of terrorists but now am afraid of our government." The other read "Save America, Impeach Obama." After reading them, I realized this people were far, far, far outside mainstream political thought.
The leadership was intentionally insulting, aggressive and angry. They disrupted answers over and over again. For some reason, about 50% of the crowd was holding identical copies of the same talking points and style directions- same font, some colors and same text! The guy clearing in charge at the first event told a staffer that he was from Howard County which is not part of the 1st Congressional District.
I only recognized a single person from Cecil County. He is a local Republican officeholder. It seems the vast majority of people in the crowd from Cecil County were supporters of Frank Kratovil which is not surprising. Kratovil did receive the endorsement of the previous moderate-conservative Republican Congressman in 2008! There is a huge and growing Republicans for Kratovil movement.
The trick for keeping this Congressional District is the nature of the extremist opponent State Senator Andy Harris. Harris is the most Far Right state legislator in Maryland. To be any worse, Harris would have to become the Maryland version of David Duke. Harris is not quite there. Even the majority of the "tea-baggers, Obama birthers and Healthcare Town Hall Disrupters" are not quite there. A few seem to have made it there.
Kratovil certainly is catching a clear break from the nature and high visibility of wing-nut opponents! Having "tea-baggers, Obama birthers and Healthcare Town Hall Disrupters" running around this very traditional district is keeping the Republicans for Kratovil from returning to the Republican column. Mainstream Republicans remain highly wary of "tea-baggers, Obama birthers and Healthcare Town Hall Disrupters."
Kratovil is clearly a fiscal conservative. Whatever internal Democratic opposition that might have normally arisen from the left over policy or votes has been muted because of the visibility of the "tea-baggers, Obama birthers and Healthcare Town Hall Disrupters." Even if Kratovil is not always a reliable Democratic vote, he certainly has the right enemies in the "tea-baggers, Obama birthers and Healthcare Town Hall Disrupters."
That crowd is closely identified with State Senator Harris. They are a scary bunch of wing-nuts. They do not help Harris but Harris still needs them. Without them Harris has almost no base.
After today, I am still not afraid of my government! Why? Because the "tea-baggers, Obama birthers and Healthcare Town Hall Disrupters" are not running the government, I am not afraid. Because the "tea-baggers, Obama birthers and Healthcare Town Hall Disrupters" are who they are, I believe they will never be running our government. I trust the voters!
Written by Stephen Crockett (Cecil County resident, host of Democratic Talk Radio http://www.DemocraticTalkRadio.com and Editor of Mid-Atlantic Labor.com http://www.midatlanticlabor.com ). Mail: P.O. Box 283, Earleville, Maryland 21919. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Phone: 443-907-2367.