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Martin O’Malley: Scourge of the Straw Man

From my latest Examiner.com piece:

On Tuesday Governor Martin O’Malley officially kicked off his reelection bid. His signature unctuous rhetoric is sure to follow. Straw men beware.

O’Malley’s political career is littered with corpses of gimpy straw men and tartuffery.

In 2005, a sanctimonious O’Malley likened proposed budget cuts to community development programs by George W. Bush to the 9/11 attacks. O’Malley told a packed National Press Club, that the cuts were “sad,” “irresponsible,” and “dishonest.” O’Malley said, “Back on September 11, terrorists attacked our metropolitan cores, two of America’s great cities. They did that because they knew that was where they could do the most damage and weaken us the most. Years later, we are given a budget proposal by our commander in chief, the president of the United States. And with a budget ax, he is attacking America’s cities.”

At a 2004 Baltimore fundraiser for John Kerry O’Malley said that he feared the Bush administration more than Al Qaeda.

Talk about “irresponsible in a time of war,” Governor!

The George W. Bush scarecrow is one of O’Malley’s favorite straw men to ignite.

“Many of the tax policies of the Bush administration are the reasons our federal government has become enfeebled.” O’Malley told a gathering at the Center for American Progress in August 2008. “But I do give him credit… Ideologically he believed that our government should be small and weak and he’s delivered on his promises and goals.”

Of course this is true only if you believe the fallacy that the federal government contracted and weakened under Bush. It also begs the question if the federal government was so enfeebled why did O’Malley fear Al Qaeda less than the Bush administration? Or should we forget O’Malley’s lobbying to enhance that government incapacitating law called the Patriot Act?

O’Malley, a fan favorite of regulation, would also have you forget that regulation increased under the Bush administration. But pay no attention to the facts just watch O’Malley dance on the piles of straw he so ably demolishes.

Behold the Great O’Malley slayer of arguments no one made.

On the eve of his historic $1.4 billion tax increases O’Malley said, “To those of the more aberrant strain of that (the Republican) party, who believe that a government that works is bad, or that taxes and the payment of them is something dishonorable, I’m not really capable of reasoning with them, in a way that persuades them.”

I admit the sanctimony gets lost a bit in the textual translation but O’Malley’s affectation in the audio was akin to the proverbial fingernails across the chalk board. Still, no Republican or conservative couched their arguments against his tax increases in those terms.
I’ve yet to meet a Republican or conservative who believes the paying of taxes is “dishonorable” or a working government is bad.

We of the “aberrant strain” happen to believe that a government that governs or “works” best is the one that governs (taxes) the least. As in it leaves it’s citizens alone, and unlike O’Malley doesn’t view them as mere serf like cogs in the machine of “One Maryland.”

However, O’Malley is incapable of grasping those distinctions or making honest arguments against them, and like a petulant child he lashes out at what he cannot comprehend.

WBAL Radio talk show host Ron Smith aptly described this back in 2007.

I am forced to admit what bothers me more than any other thing is the sheer sanctimony of his public utterances. It’s reminiscent of preachers in their pulpits, so pious, so filled with certitude, so saturated with palpable distaste for those whose beliefs are different from their own. Either you believe what they believe or hellfire and damnation will be your lot for all eternity.

I’d almost prefer eternal damnation to four more years of O’Malley’s pecksnifferous rhetoric.






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