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Linville: How Maryland's legislative session went depends on perspective

Perspective is everything. We all know the story of the blind people at different parts of the elephant — they each have a wildly different perspective of what they are touching.

It's a good lesson about how each of us can have a different interpretation based on the information we have, and our personal inclinations of interpretation. And even more important, the story emphasizes the importance of seeing the “big picture.” All the blind elephant gropers have no clue about what they really have in front of them I don't blame or criticize the elephant huggers, they are just doing the best they can with the information they have. However, I do not forgive those that do see the big picture and exploit the elephant handlers’ ignorance.

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(Warning: Now entering the Sarcasm Zone.)

Times columnist Chris Tomlinson, on April 15, wrote a marvelous perspective piece on the extraordinary single-handed accomplishments of the Carroll County Republicans in the Democrat-infested Maryland legislature. There are tales of bravery and overcoming long odds against the heathen Democrats; of stopping bad legislation, and passing great legislation.

Except, you see (pun intended), Mr. Tomlinson has a slight perception problem, or is it maybe intentional manipulation of perception? First a recap of Mr. Tomlinson's perceived tales of Carroll Republican achievements.

1. He tells of the traumatic defeats they had to endure by the bully Dems. 2. He tells of stopping the evil gun legislation that would have prevented people from privately selling guns to bad people, and stopping laws to prevent our well regulated militias from having military-style firearms. 3. The truly amazing story of passing a budget that did not single out Carroll County for retribution and funding cuts. 4. The inspiring effort to ensure the continued criminalization of dying with dignity (continuing to put hospice workers at risk for supporting their patients desires and needs). 5. And how the proud band of the few Republicans were able to overcome the odds to pass Laura’s and Reid’s law.

Wow, truly conservative-inspiring.

Now, for something that is a completely different perspective. Did you know that the the MD House is 65% Democrat, and the Senate is 69% Democrat? These are veto-proof numbers, meaning united Democratss have complete legislative control. So, just mathematically and logically, did Tomlinson’s Carroll Crusaders win great victories, or just join the majority? Or, to give credit, did they make some convincing logical arguments?

Let's further explore the exploits of Tomlinson’s purely Republican triumphs. The gun bills were not stopped, they were delayed for reconciliation of Senate amendments. The votes in both the houses support the bill more than 60% (ie, not dead). The Carroll County-friendly state budget passed with more than 80% legislative support, with our fellow state Republican teammates being the only votes not to support Carroll. And lastly, the intrepid outnumbered Republicans were able to overcome 100% Democratic support for the Laura’s and Reid’s bill, and pass it anyway. It is truly amazing how (according to Mr. Tomlinson) the Carroll Republicans were able to overcome all the support of the vast majority of Dems! We are so fortunate to have someone that is able to see the big picture and give credit where it is due.

I do applaud our delegates that are professionally working with a Democratic majority to accomplish good things for both Maryland and Carroll. I do take great exception to any false and/or disingenuous efforts to further the political and social divide in the county or the country. I do hold local politicians and pundits more accountable than national mis-leaders, because I believe this has to be solved and resolved at the grass-roots level.

Want to be a leader? Stop the demonization and distortions. This is not a national talk show, this is our community. Try, just a little harder, to present fair, comprehensive perspectives.

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