The Runback: S.O.S.

History Doesn't Repeat. But it Rhymes.

Welcome to another week of The Runback. Have you been enjoying The Duckpin? Do you have comments or suggestions? Do you want to write for us? Let me know at And please be sure to follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube. Thanks in advance.


I appeared on WBAL Radio last Monday with C4 and Dan Joseph to discuss legislative redistricting in Maryland, and his piece in The Capital and the Carroll County Times regarding how the Democrats Legislative Redistricting Commission is just more of the same support from Democrats for continued partisan gerrymandering.

News and Politics


The Monday Thought

S.O.S. It has many meanings

It is a distress signal in Morse code.

It’s a reusable steel wool pad.

It’s also this tasty breakfast treat. Ask your Army friends.

It also has another meaning. Same old s***. And this is something I’ve been thinking about recently after I saw this tweet from Tim Carney.

This all ties together with a trend that we’ve seen the last ten years or so.

In 2010, Brian Murphy announced that he was going to run for Governor of Maryland. Former Governor Bob Ehrlich. Murphy was a young businessman from Montgomery County who decided that he was going to run because he was agitated with then Governor Martin O’Malley. The campaign got pretty negative against Ehrlich, despite Murphy’s stated intention that he was motivated to run against O’Malley and not Ehrlich. Despite an endorsement from Sarah Palin, Murphy’s campaign was plagued by poor strategy and weak campaign management. Murphy got 24% of the vote in the Republican primary.

(Murphy, incidentally, would have been a much better candidate in a different election cycle and with better political advice. He’s still young and would have plenty to offer if he chooses to make a comeback)

Murphy attracted a certain type of Republican to his campaign, those who claimed to be “truuuuuuuee conservatives” who alone were the arbiters of who was and was not a conservative. A lot of the same folks involved in that campaign become key players in this continuing story.

In 2014, Charles Lollar ran for Governor in the Republican primary. The total and complete failure of his candidacy was well documented, starting with his failed attempt to run in 2009 when he was ineligible to run, going all the way through the draft campaign that he himself was in charge of, and all the way until his dismal finish.

Touted by his supporters as “the only candidate who can win”, Lollar finished a distant third (15.5%) in the Republican primary behind Larry Hogan, who as we learned was actually the only candidate who won.

The Lollar Campaign was, bluntly, an unserious campaign run by unserious people.

Lollar was virtually laughed out of the state and was last seen reinventing himself as a left-wing candidate for Congress in Georgia who failed to make the ballot as an independent.

Lollar attracted a certain type of Republican to his campaign, those who claimed to be “truuuuuuuee conservatives” who alone were the arbiters of who was and was not a conservative.

Now we get Dan Cox who is running for Governor in 2022. The Delegate from QAnon has already gotten off to quite an…, interesting start to his campaign. Cox, who had already started on the wrong foot, continued to get it wrong by kicking the media out of his campaign kickoff, probably as part of a grand strategy to later complain about how the media doesn’t cover his campaign.

So far the Cox Campaign is, bluntly, an unserious campaign run by unserious people in support of an unserious candidate.

So far, Cox attracted a certain type of Republican to his campaign, those who claimed to be “truuuuuuuee conservatives” who alone were the arbiters of who was and was not a conservative.

This is what’s called a pattern. The same people are doing the same old s*** year after year and wondering why they never seem to accomplish anything in the political space.

Many of these certain types of Republicans these fringe candidates attract are the people who are disaffected from the “establishment” GOP and they are trying to take power back “for the people.” The problem with that narrative is the fact that the people have seen the candidates they support, the campaigns they run, and the attitude they present themselves with and say “no thanks.” Again, nobody will serious support a group of chowderheads banging pots and pans at 8:30 on a Saturday morning during Thanksgiving weekend.

As I said before: No Hugging, No Learning.

Case it point: let’s look at Jim Pelura. You may remember Jim Pelura as the former Chairman of the Maryland Republican Party who was virtually forced from the Chairmanship due to incompetence. Pelura ultimately backed Murphy in the 2010 primary against Ehrlich and was one of the leading champions of Charles Lollar’s entire political career.

Jim Pelura has been politically irrelevant since the day he left the Chairmanship but like a cicada he has re-emerged as a champion of Dan Cox, defending him in the media and hosting his annual tent event as a Cox fundraiser.

Pelura is a high-profile example of this, but there are “truuue conservatives” across Maryland who flocked to Murphy, flocked to Lollar, and are now flocking to Cox. The problem, as always, is the lack of self-reflection on their part.

The first problem is math. The Murphy run in 2010 showed what the ceiling is for an “insurgent” type candidate: 25%. The Lollar campaign showed that in a four-candidate race, the ceiling is even lower. The Murphy-Lollar-Cox people are drastically outnumbered, no matter how much they protest the point.

The second problem, of course, is attitude. As I said previously, anybody who disagrees with their worldview on anything, particularly on their candidate and their tactics, isn’t a “truuuuue conservative.” I’m practically the antichrist for these people because, despite being a pro-life, pro-gun, low tax, small government deficit hawk, I point out inconvenient facts that happen to be true. Mind you, my conservative bona fides far exceed theirs, but instead of trying to persuade they just yell and whine.

History Doesn't Rhyme. But it Repeats. And in that respect, the Cox gubernatorial campaign is the same old s*** that’s failed before.