Fringe Left: O’Malley now Fringe Left enough…sometimes

FreeStatePolitics now thinks that O’Malley is, in fact, fringe left enough:

Today’s Post article on the new tough-on-big-business Public Service Commission under Gov. Martin O’Malley is a good read; despite the failure of the PSC to substantially mitigate the huge rate hike for Baltimore Gas & Electric customers, they’ve been aggressive in holding utility companies to account and in trying to lower overall energy bills for consumers through energy efficiency. Gov. O’Malley has gone so far as to call on the PSC to investigate the relationship between BGE and its parent company, Constellation Energy, and “determine whether customers should receive rebates and whether Constellation should be broken up.”

Never mind the numerous errors in common sense, economics, and good government that those serious of sentences entail.

But then Isaac Smith goes on to kvetch that O’Malley is Fringe Left enough when he’s in Maryland, but not Fringe Left enough outside of it:

Trending: What Is a Hero?

All of which is fine — it’s good policy, not to mention good politics. Few people, after all, are going to come to Verizon or BGE’s defense. What’s peculiar about these populist impulses from O’Malley (think also of the living wage bill) is that, when on the national stage, he seems to go out of his way to shun any association with the progressive base of the Democratic Party. He has aligned himself with arguably the least progressive of the major presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton, and co-authored a now-infamous op-ed with the Democratic Leadership Council’s Harold Ford Jr., in which they sang the usual DLC anthem of bashing partisanship and praising centrism.

I probably don’t have to explain to readers of this blog what’s wrong with the DLC’s approach to centrism, but I do want to focus on this odd discrepency between O’Malley’s rhetoric to the national public and his actions on the local level. Now, O’Malley isn’t a true-blue progressive like, say, Eliot Spitzer or Deval Patrick — his crime control efforts in Baltimore, for example, betrayed a hostile attitude toward civil liberties — but I think it’s fair to say that he has supported quite a few progressive policies as Governor, including the living wage bill, support for education, and various environmental measures.

Of course, any rational observer can easily identify why O’Malley wears his socialist progressive hat in the state of Maryland and tries to act normal outside of it. It has something to do with the fact that:

  1. O’Malley wants to run for President;
  2. O’Malley’s brand of Maryland-based collectivist, big government, money-wasting, bureaucratically bumbling leftism probably doesn’t play well in Peoria since the Democratic base her is so far out of the political mainstream it’s talked about asa distant and exotic as an extrasolar planet;
  3. Did I mention O’Malley wants to run for President?

It’s hard to imagine that the folks at FSP are this out of it. They mostly seem like reasonable, if not politically misguided, folks who have an occasional outburst of oddities. They have to understand the real reason right?



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