What Brown Can Do to You (and what it says about the Lt. Governor)
What the Democrats are doing to Doug Gansler right now is something that few of us have ever seen before in Maryland intraparty Democratic politics. As Richard Cross said in a Facebook post:
Never before, in all the years I’ve lived in Maryland and followed/participated politics, have I witnessed such nasty Dem on Dem violence. This is a far cry from Don Schaefer humiliating Mickey Steinberg, or American Joe tweaking Parris Glendening in a primary. This is real scorched earth stuff.
And it has been extremely vicious between the Brown camp and the Gansler camp. And it has been sustained, from the original story about Gansler’s State Police Drivers, to the speeding ticket that became an issue earlier this week, and now on to the Beach House Party story that broke late last night. The sustained assault on Doug Gansler and his character really is a new low for Anthony Brown, Martin O’Malley, and Maryland’s Democratic establishment. When the O’Malley Administration cavalierly allows the Maryland Public Information Act to be used and abused to try to take out a fellow elected statewide Democrat, you know that we’re breaking new ground.
The sad part is, that there have been many lows that have come before this. We, as Republicans who are often raging against the Democratic machine, are much more prepared and used to dealing with these kind of gloves-off tactics coming from Maryland’s Democratic elite. One need only to look back at the accusations of racism that flew at Ellen Sauerbrey during her two runs for Governor, or the Oreo-incident with Michael Steele during the 2002 campaign to recognize that the Democrats in this state often will lower themselves to the tactics of heinous personal attacks. Anything to avoid talking about issues that matter to Marylanders and issues where Democrats have found themselves incapable of leadership.
We’ve just never seen the Democrats turn on one of their own like. Not like this.
Here’s the funny thing about the O’Malley/Brown/Ulman/Maryland Democratic Party assault on the character of Doug Gansler: it makes me question the integrity and capability to lead not of Doug Gansler, but of Anthony Brown. Why is Anthony Brown so worried right now that he is allowing his campaign and his surrogates to napalm Doug Gansler’s reputation? Why is Brown, who allegedly has a lead of at least 20 points in the Democratic primary, content to sit back and let a fellow Democrat be abused in this way? Why has Brown said virtually nothing about these “scandals” since they have seen the light of day? Is this how Anthony Brown will run a potential administration, give respect and work only with those who are fully obsequious to Brown while viciously attacking any and all who step out of line?
And it leads me to one other obvious question: what does Anthony Brown have to hide? Because the tenacity of the attacks by the Brown camp ultimately lead me to wonder if they are playing offense because they know sooner rather than later that they are going to have to play defense.
Critiques of Doug Gansler’s relationship with his State Police security detail are certainly relevant to his job performance and his use of government resources. Attacks on his handling of underage drinking at a party are incredibly obtuse and certainly not something that needs to be dragged out into the public eye short of additional evidence of any involvement Gansler may or may not have had. But the intensity and the zeal of those Brown surrogates who are attacking Gansler is far beyond the pale of what should be acceptable in competitive politics, and it tells me that the Brown camp really and truly is concerned that their milquetoast, pedestrian candidate is in danger of becoming KKT 2.0. You can smell the fear.
And my fellow Republicans, don’t revel in the misfortunes of Gansler, Brown, and the open warfare occurring in the Democratic primary. On June 25th, after the primary and regardless of who wins, they will set their sights on us. Just wait for it….