At­tack on Brochin mis­lead­ing and un­fair

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - NEWS -

I have known Sen. Jim Brochin and op­posed his po­si­tions for decades, be­gin­ning when he was a stu­dent in my class many, many years ago. He now speaks in my class, and we fight on WBAL Ra­dio. I found him then and find him now a per­son of un­ques­tioned in­tegrity, fair­ness and more con­sis­tency than I find in 95 per­cent of all politi­cians.

For­mer Mary­land Democratic Party ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Pat Mur­ray’s at­tack on Sen­a­tor Brochin’s al­leged “con­ver­sions” (“A po­lit­i­cal con­ver­sion for Jim Brochin?” Nov. 2) is po­lit­i­cal rhetoric at its worst: in­sid­i­ously mis­lead­ing, slyly and se­cretly mo­ti­vated and per­sua­sively and dis­hon­estly se­lec­tive.

Vir­tu­ally all politi­cians take po­si­tions re­spect­ing their con­stituents’ val­ues and pref­er­ences, of­ten seem­ing ei­ther con­tra­dic­tory with their over­all phi­los­o­phy and some past votes if you do not like them, or prac­ti­cal ne­ces­si­ties of po­lit­i­cal com­pro­mise if you do.

Sen­a­tor Brochin has never yielded on most of his un­pop­u­lar-with-Democrats po­si­tions: lim­ited death penalty sup­port, speed cam­era re­form or his fights with the pre-em­i­nent Bal­ti­more Sun colum­nist and oth­ers. As I wrote in a Sun col­umn sev­eral years ago, some­times changes in po­si­tion are “sim­ply … an evo­lu­tion of thought.”

Re­gard­less, the ugly rhetoric of Mr. Mur­ray is an­other ex­am­ple of the eclipse of fair and se­ri­ous po­lit­i­cal ex­change in to­day’s Amer­ica and cer­tainly in to­day’s Mary­land.

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