O’Malley Fails on Politics of Gay Marriage
It should surprise absolutely nobody that Governor Martin O’Malley has announced that passing a gay marriage bill will be one of his legislative priorities during the 2012 General Assembly session. While I’m one of the biggest cheerleaders on the Republican side in support of legalizing gay marriage, O’Malley’s sudden embrace of the idea as a cornerstone of his legislative agenda has almost nothing to do with his support of the idea and just about everything to do with his personal ambition.
Let us take you back to the 2011 General Assembly session just a few short months ago. To the surprise of many, myself included, the gay marriage bill squeaked its way out of the Senate and went over to the House of Delegates. Furthermore, to the surprise of many the bill failed to make its way out of the House, with Democrats in the House torpedoing the effort (something that the situational ethics of the Maryland Democratic Party will refuse to allow them to publicly acknowledge). During the buildup to the vote in the House, however, Governor O’Malley did not publicly engage on the issue. He did not make a statement saying that he would support it. He did not use the bully pulpit of the Governor’s office to make a policy announcement. He did not utilize his policy shop to twist arms on the issue.
To be frank, Martin O’Malley helped kill gay marriage in Maryland in 2011.
But what we must remember about O’Malley is the fact that his entire life has been predicated on doing what’s politically relevant instead of what’s just or right. As you may remember, New York adopted gay marriage on June 24th, and the bill was signed into law by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Instantly, Cuomo became a hero to the gay rights and liberal wings of the Democratic Party.
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And all of this became a problem for Martin O’Malley. Because Andrew Cuomo is running for President in 2016. And so is Martin O’Malley. Now all of a sudden, Martin O’Malley is out in front trying to be a champion for gay marriage here in Maryland. Not because he believes that strongly in the issue, but because he is playing catchup to a potential rival he won’t actually be running against for four or five years.
What’s worse about the gay marriage issue is the potential impact that it could have on ten years worth of make-up of the Maryland General Assembly. We here at Red Maryland have long been critics of the Democrats complete abuse of power when it comes to redistricting. Well, take a wild guess as to what stick O’Malley went out of his way to claim he won’t hold over the head of legislators who oppose gay marriage as he works to
further his Presidential ambitions support marriage equality. From the Sun article:
This year, the governor has a powerful means of persuasion: He is leading redistricting, the process by which the state draws new districts for lawmakers. But O’Malley said he would not use that as a threat to strong-arm wavering delegates.
When it comes down to it yes I believe Martin O’Malley is willing to sacrifice Democratic legislators who are representing the people of their districts for the mere reason of voting their conscience on a very sticky legal, moral, and religious issue.
Whether or not you support the issue of gay marriage or not does not change the fact that Martin O’Malley’s reason for making this a legislative priority have nothing to do with fairness or marriage equality and everything to do with a Presidential campaign that he has been planning for years. Once again, O’Malley is more than willing to sacrifice the people of Maryland in an effort to look good for the national activists and donors he thinks can propel him to the White House (one only need to look at his activities as Chairman of the National Governor’s Association to see how much he is paying to national politics, and how little he is paying attention to the problems we have here at home with job creation and unemployment).
Just because I am a supporting of gay marriage doesn’t mean that I appreciate Martin O’Malley’s cynical reasons for supporting an important issue. I think Marylanders and Democratic activists everywhere will be able to see his true colors from this cynical ploy…