An online journal of politics, policy, and society with a special focus on Maryland -- Contact: on_background at yahoo.com.

Friday, May 06, 2005

There is a Way

As Republicans dream of a sea change that will bring them to power, prompted by the recent visit of Ken Mehlman, one is tempted to point out that the opportunities for change in control in the US generally, and Maryland specifically, are myriad.

While a full switch in power in the legislature in 2006 is so unlikely as to be not worth talking about, there are a lot of weaknesses in local and state parties. Frankly, once you get up close and personal with local and state politics it becomes clear that there is plenty of room for change almost everywhere, if only the will exists.

Grassroots mobilization is weak, many elected office holders are distant from their constituents, and parties seems to be hanging on mostly because of unchallenged inertia. If the parties out of power become really willing to work, outside organizations decide to give real money, an effective organization can be built, and the party in power stumbles even a bit, significant gains are possible.

But the real question is whether any of that will happen.