Concerns about Congress

So far, things are looking really good for Republicans in 2010. Political watchers even think things look rosy here in our Congressional district where they have moved Patrick Murphy’s seat from Solid Dem to Likely Dem to only Lean Dem. I assume that’s because they believe a former Congressman who Murphy narrowly beat will put up a good campaign. At this point, one could only wish.

I’ve had my concerns about Mike Fitzpatrick ever since I heard he was entering the race. Bucks Right hits the nail on the head with what’s bothering me at the moment:

Mike Fitzpatrick, presumptive Republican nominee in his own mind for the US House Seat representing Pennsylvania’s 8th district, appears to be employing the little seen “gimmick a day” political strategy in his run to regain the seat he lost nearly 4 years ago to Patlosi Murphy.

Sweet Jesus. To anyone remotely associated with the campaign who may read this: While you weren’t paying attention, Patlosi turned himself into kind of a big deal to the far-left wing of his party. If you think running a rinky-dink, misspelled, incoherent, gimmicky campaign against the well-oiled Rahm Emanuel digital age machine is going to take Murphy out, you’re wrong. You’re killing me here. Do you need a consultant? How about a proofreader?


The fact is that Fitzpatrick already lost when Murphy was a no-name upstart. While I’m open to the idea he may be the best candidate to take on Murphy, that doesn’t mean he’s a good one. The weird gimmicks he’s been touting only go to confirm that.

As Bucks Right points out, Fitzpatrick asked for a spending freeze of $1 million in the campaign.

  1. Murphy is a talented fundraiser. Why would he do that since he can far out-raise Fitzpatrick?
  2. Murphy has the media adoration that will land him endorsements and free coverage. A spending freeze would only hurt Fitzpatrick who can’t counter the coverage.
  3. There are higher priority races for the GOP this year, so Fitzpatrick can’t rely upon outside groups to come in and save him. If Murphy did agree to freeze spending, there are a number of groups that will come in and save him with additional funds because of his leadership on some issues like “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the fact that he picked up the tab for the street money for Obama in Philly in 2008.

Fitzpatrick’s “spending freeze” gimmick will only hurt Fitzpatrick. Did no one think that one through? Or are they just hoping that Murphy doesn’t take them up on the offer?

The latest gimmick was the announcement that he’ll honor term limits by not serving more than three additional terms. Great. That means even if Fitzpatrick does win, we will have to go back and fight another uphill battle in six years. If he’s not even going to stick around even if we can manage to elect him, then why should I invest my votes, dollars, and time with Fitzpatrick? At that point, I suspect that my resources are better spent on a candidate like Jeff McGeary or Ira Hoffman. I don’t quite think they are to the point of being able to take on Murphy, but if this gets them started on a path toward name recognition that could serve them well in another run for another office, my investment would still pay off.

Fitzpatrick made the case to that he would be the best candidate because of a serious lead on a campaign infrastructure and experience. If this is the kind of goofy & sloppy campaign we can expect with all of that experience on board, then Fitzpatrick has moved this race closer to the Solid Dem category.