First-term Democrats in Annapolis are trying to move the Democratic caucus further to the left. The Washington Post seems to be cheering them on:
But it highlights the slow pace of progress for Maryland’s newest progressive lawmakers, an assertive and largely young group of legislators who are trying to nudge their party leftward.
“A lot of us came to Annapolis to make change,” said freshman Del. Jimmy Tarlau (D-Prince George’s), who helped organize an unofficial caucus of new legislators that met weekly during this year’s General Assembly session. “With the Republican victory in 2014, a lot of us thought maybe something was missing, and that we could strengthen the Democratic message moving forward.”
At times, the newest Democratic House members have put themselves at odds with more-centrist colleagues and Democratic leaders as they try to define the soul of the state party with liberal bills and votes. But progressives in the chamber, where Democrats hold 91 of 141 seats, are cheering them on.
There are so many things that this article identifies for the rest of us here in the state of Maryland;
- Freshman Can’t Read Polls: The Freshman caucus, as the article notes, wants to take the Democratic Party farther and farther to the left, consequences be damned. However, they seem to not realize that long-term damage that this does to their cause. What political benefit is there to moving farther away politically from an electorate that is giving Governor Larry Hogan a 70+% approval rating? The same electorate that rejected their party and “progressivism” not two years ago. Do they not realize that by continuing to try to move their party farther away from the voters at breakneck speed that it makes it more likely that Governor Hogan will be re-elected and that it makes the case for swing districts to vote Republican that much easier? Do they not recognize that this imperils their own agenda?
- The Democrats are Still in Disarray: Nobody has really been in charge of the Democratic Party since Anthony Brown’s gubernatorial campaign went down in flames in 2014. Nobody seems to be able to get this party back on track. The article makes it seem like Speaker Mike Busch, instead of leading his caucus, is allowing the freshmen the capability to drive the train down the leftward leaning track. While allowing freshman legislators the opportunity to move some key issues makes sense, it seems that Busch is virtually ceding control of the House to these out-of-touch left-wingers. And there seems to be nobody either interested or capable of making Busch understand that he’s lost control of his own House.
- The Freshmen Don’t Understand Maryland: The article notes that these freshmen believe that Maryland should follow the lead of failed states like California and New York and move even farther to the left. Delegate Eric Bromwell, a traditional liberal Democrat, notes that Maryland has very good reason in the AAA bond rating to not be like those states. Are these legislators unaware about the damage that these policies they wish to pursue have done to California and New York? Or do they just not care about our bond rating, our balanced budget requirement, or the need to keep Maryland an affordable place to live for middle and working-class families?
- Democratic Gerrymandering Sucks: The reason that all of these radical left-wingers are in office in the first place is the fact that successive generations of Democratic gerrymandering have created Democratic districts that give no chance to Republican or other candidates. These districts then see radical voters choose radical left-wingers in the primary knowing that these candidates do not need to acknowledge reality or defend their programs to mainstream voters. These candidates then get elected, go to Annapolis, and have to move on every radically left-wing idea that pops into their head lest they be branded as traitors to the “progressive” cause and defeated in a primary by somebody even more radical than they are. This vicious cycle has been brought to you by Mike Miller, Mike Busch, Martin O’Malley, and the Democrats who refuse to believe in fair redistricting and oppose Governor Hogan’s redistricting reforms.
To a certain extent, I like the fact that the Democratic caucus is moving so far to the left. It allows voters to see the Maryland Democratic Party for the radical, out-of-touch band that they are, looking to squeeze every tax dollar they can out of Maryland’s middle and working-class families so that they can spend it to line the pockets of their interest group buddies and grow the size of government. It makes Democrats easier to defeat in 2018. But it also has the capability of doing serious damage to the state as well. These Democratic proposals, if passed by a General Assembly that would uphold a gubernatorial veto, has the chance of doing significant damage to our economy, our business climate, and to the good work that Governor Hogan is doing in order to turn this ship around. The radical leftism of these Democrats is good for politics, but its bad for government and bad for taxpayers.
The freshman Democrats who keep wanting to move the Democratic Party further to the left are behind the times. Let’s leave them there.