For months now, Maryland Democrats have been trying to find a way to attack Governor Hogan in an effort to bring down his record high approval ratings. The state’s failing Democratic machine is desperate as they understand that Hogan’s reelection in 2018 would be mortal blow to their monopoly on power. Their attacks on his education policy, transportation policy and even environmental policy have fallen flat.
Another line of attack has been to force Governor Hogan to endorse presumptive GOP Presidential candidate Donald J. Trump. Even by acknowledging that Donald J. Trump is the presumptive nominee of the Governor’s party, Maryland Democrats would tie every statement and policy proposal made by Mr. Trump to Governor Hogan. Similar tactics are already being employed around the country to defeat Republican candidates who have done nothing more than say they would support the nominee of their party for President. Governor Hogan has thwarted these efforts by repeatedly and unflinchingly saying that he does not support Mr. Trump and that he has no interest in the Presidential race.
While the original plan of Maryland’s Democratic machine would seem to have failed, thanks to their willing accomplices in the media, among others, it seems this repeated line of attack has yielded two unintended results.
First, the constant reporting of Hogan’s disassociation of Trump has allowed state Democrats to avoid addressing the inconvenient facts of the successes of the Hogan administration. Maryland’s political media has practically ignored the facts that the Hogan administration has eliminated 90% of the state’s structural deficit, return over $600 million dollars to taxpayers, cut 155 fees this year alone saving Marylanders $60 million, rescinded 72 obsolete executive orders, all while spending record amounts on K-12 education, shoring up Maryland’s Open Space program, investing $2 billion in transportation improvements, shoring up the state’s Rainy Day Fund and pension liabilities and, oh yes, leading the nation by creating 64,400 new jobs. Focusing on Trump also allows Maryland Democrats to avoid answering too many questions about the costly legacy of the O’Malley administration including another gas tax increase this year and higher utility rates courtesy of a Public Service Commission still dominated by O’Malley appointees.
If you know all about Governor Hogan’s position on Donald J. Trump but don’t know all of these facts then you are a victim of the grossest journalistic cover-up. The obsessive focus on Governor Hogan’s response to everything Trump is nothing but a propagandistic distraction from what is really going on in Maryland that would have made Goebbels proud.
But worse than distracting a voting public that should be proud of the accomplishments of the Hogan administration, the forced disavowal of Trump by Hogan has given the state’s Democratic machine the added bonus of portraying a split in Hogan’s Republican base. The state’s media has had no problem finding purported Republican leaders willing to show open hostility to the most accomplished Maryland Republican leader in a century. Just this weekend, the Baltimore Sun found Maryland Republican leaders willing to fuel this false narrative and suggest that Hogan will face a serious primary challenge in 2018. It is nonsense laid bare by the Sun’s necessity of calling this purported split a “loud minority.” It is as though some of those quoted have no memory that Larry Hogan was battling the state’s Democratic machine when Donald Trump was still among Hillary Clinton’s largest and most reliable donors.
Despite the false narrative and cheap journalism of Maryland’s dominant media, most Marylanders know the positive change Governor Hogan has created and believe the state is heading on the right track. The vast majority of Maryland Republicans know this too, despite the foolish enabling of minor Republican officials who like seeing their name in the paper. Maryland Republicans who have taken the time to look at the facts know that Governor Hogan has done more to advance Maryland Republican values and a common sense conservative agenda than anyone else ever has or could.
While the cheap journalism of the Trump distraction in state politics is not likely to end anytime soon, it is destined to fail just like the other fraudulent attacks on Governor Hogan’s leadership and accomplishments in office.