Beware of Shiny Objects

While some on both sides of the aisle continue to pretend that this race isn’t close, we need look no further than Anthony Brown’s surrogates and what they are up to for confirmation that this race is neck and neck.

Yesterday the National Organization for Women, as it is wont to do, tried to hijack the debate here in the state of Maryland by demanding answers from Brown, Larry Hogan, and the Libertarian candidate Shawn Quinn on the following questions:

  • Whether the candidate would promise to appoint a state secretary of health and mental hygiene who would ensure speedy licensing and re-licensing of abortion providers.
  • Whether they would keep what NOW called “Maryland’s current balanced regulations” of abortion clinics.
  • Whether they would appoint judges and an insurance commissioner who would uphold women’s access to contraceptive coverage in health plans, as well as abortion rights.
  • Whether they would maintain current funding levels for programs providing reproductive health and contraceptive services.
  • Whether the candidates would oppose a “human life amendment” — typically defining life as beginning at conception. NOW contends such a measure would outlaw some common methods of birth control and ban fertility treatments.

Now we know why NOW is doing this; Anthony Brown’s surrogates are trying to make this issue about anything other than Anthony Brown’s incompetence and record of failure as Lt. Governor, and instead are trying to make this a single-issue campaign against abortion. Mind you, Larry Hogan’s general election campaign has nothing to do with abortion, has nothing to do with contraceptive coverage, has nothing to do with the regulation of abortion clinics or any other issue related to so-called “reproductive rights.”

Their last point, on the human life amendment, isn’t even a state level issue given that a state constitutional amendment confirming that life begins at conception would never pass federal muster until Roe v. Wade is overturned.

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(We could also talk about how NOW’s assumption that they speak for all women on issues of life is an insult to a pretty hefty percentage of women out there, but we’ll save that for another time).

NOW has given the candidates until Wednesday to respond. And we already know that the Brown campaign has nice, pre-scripted answers to these questions while the Hogan campaign is (rightfully) not going to play along with the charade.

This entire survey is a shiny object that is designed to distract the media and distract undecided voters away from the real issues of the campaign, which are taxes, regulations, and government spending. But NOW and other Brown surrogates desperately want to talk about anything but, which is why you hear things about Brown complaining about the Hogan Campaign bus, or puff pieces on Larry Hogan’s weight loss. If the focus remains on taxes, regulation, government spending and Anthony Brown’s competence, Brown will lose. So instead, the professional left is going to dangle all sorts of shiny objects in front of the camera in the form of issues designed to make Larry Hogan talking about social issues. Today it’s abortion, next week it will be guns, the week after that illegal immigration, and so on and so forth. That, and constant baseless attacks against Hogan are going to be what the Democrats try to make the next 49 days are going to be about

The Democrats will do anything at this point to not talk about Anthony Brown’s shortcomings. Voters would be wise not to take the bait.

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