Why They Call Him Mr. Reason

Ron Smith on why he doesn’t like Martin O’Malley

People ask me all the time why I seem to dislike Maryland’s current governor so much. Is it because he defeated my friend, Bob Ehrlich, last year? Uh, no.

Is it because Martin O’Malley is a crazed tax-grabber who seems to think the public goose can be further plucked without too much hissing taking place? Well, that’s some of it.

There are those who swoon over MOM because of his good looks and bulging biceps, and they are certainly entitled to admire whomever they choose, and I have nothing against good looks or muscularity in a man. So, that’s not it.

Examining my visceral aversion to O’Malley and his political style – which I dislike even more than his leftwing substance – 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. (This has always seemed to me to be a disproportionate penalty to pay for being skeptical of some dogma, but maybe that’s just me).

Of course, as we know, a lot of preachers and priests and rabbis fall prey to behaving in ways contrary to their professed piety and god-kissed personas. The same is true in spades for political office holders. Talking about God doesn’t make one godly, and talking about compassion doesn’t make one compassionate.

So when the governor takes off on one of his flowery little lectures about fairness and working families and how Maryland has to do more – fork over more dollars to the rulers – because it’s such a rich state, and makes dismissive comments about “aberrant” Republicans who aren’t in synch with his tax grab, well, I just get shivers up and down my spine.

We know what power is all about. We know what rulers do. And when the game at hand is disguised as something noble and selfless, we are just amazed that great numbers of the public seem unable to see through it all.

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