In past years I've put together end of year reviews like this one from last year, and I think that when you have a year such as the one that we just had it completely misses the point of what the one overreaching story of 2010 was here as it relates to the cause of conservatism and the Republican Party here in Maryland.
We dropped the ball.
That is the dominant theme that we leave 2010 with. Sure, we added a few seats in the House of Delegates. And the future looks promising given the "red underbelly" that we have seen develop in local and county governments. But as we have noted time and time again, the wave passed us by. While the long-term future looks bright, the short term future for us right now doesn't.
When Martin O'Malley, whose economic policies have been a catastrophic failure, wins by 15 percent of the vote, you know that you're in for a long road.
When you have fringe elements taken seriously with their tax policies that will continue to bleed money, jobs, and people out of Maryland, you know that you're in for a long haul.
When you have State Senators talking about a state level version of the DREAM Act, you know you're in for a long haul.
When you have Delegates who view disagreement as contempt, you know what you're up against.
And that says nothing of the parade of indictments against elected Democrats in this state.
All of that being said, we still managed several own goals against our side, most noticeably a party that was crippled with no money coming into this election cycle, and a lack of effective candidate recruitment leading into the year, to say nothing of the debacle of not fielding a candidate for Attorney General. Things that really added up over the course of this election cycle.
So yes, we dropped the ball, collectively, as conservatives and Republicans in this state. This one is on all of us. Now though is the time to let go. We have new leadership in the State Party. It is time to rededicate that focus to the future, which can be bright for our state and our party. Tomorrow is both a new day, and a new year. And we have 1,404 days until the next gubernatorial election. Might as well start making them count now...
More below the fold.