Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Word About Bomb Throwers

So, I have gotten word from several sources that my use of the term "bomb thrower" to describe Baltimore County GOP Chairman candidate Tom Henry was regarded as controversial in some circles, and may have resulted in some bruised feelings on Mr. Henry's part.

Allow me to respond to this by clarifying two points.

1) The term "bomb thrower" was used by one of the people I informally polled about the GOP chairman's race. The individual in question is a veteran of the county's GOP Central Committee and a longtime observer of county politics. Another activist I spoke with made similar observations about Mr. Henry's activist style, but did not use the same term.

2) I made this point explicitly in my first posting, and reemphasize it here: I did NOT mean "bomb thrower" as an epithet or in any pejorative context. I meant it, and the terms I use to describe the other candidates, to indicate different styles.

Bomb throwers often play an important role in politics. One can argue that the Declaration of Independence was the biggest example of political bomb throwing in American history.

I take the term to refer to individuals who use occasional shock tactics to make a point, or to engage an entrenched political establishment.

As some of you might have noticed, I myself am no stranger to occasional bomb throwing. And, I actually has a soft spot for those who stir the pot or upend the existing political order.

So, I intended no slight to Mr. Henry whatsoever. I actually think we have three decent candidates lining up for the chairman's post. My characterizing their styles differently or suggesting a few others who I'd like to see join the race was not meant to impugn any of the respective skills of those who are running.

Like most Baltimore County GOPers (in my case, by birth rather than by current residence), I am just happy to see the party turn the page.

1 comment:

  1. I know Tom Henry, I work with him, and I respect him greatly. He's a good man, a good father, and a very passionate advocate for his beliefs and philosophy. He and I disagree...on just about everything...but the fact of our disagreement has never prevented him from both listening and arguing intelligently. I like Tom.

    That said, I think what the activist in question--and I certainly have no information on the discussion you had--might be mistaking Tom's willingness to take a contrary view, to challenge the status quo, as perhaps something more akin to being controversial. I would only caution that one has to be very careful describing a party activist in ways that imply either instability or lack of critical thought--the term "bomb thrower" implies just that, so I can see where Tom might have been a bit concerned at the appellation.

    Thanks for this discussion! I love your blog; it's obvious you put quite a lot of time and care into your posts.