For Democrats, Winter is Coming

Democrats are trying to put a positive spin on Ben Jealous becoming the Democratic nominee. They really have. But realistically this is the worst of all possible outcomes for the Democrats.

For years, Democrats have not gone through the changes that other southern Democratic Parties have. As Todd Eberly said in the Sun:

Eberly said that Maryland was left out of the major political realignment of the 1960s, when many white Democrats in southern states joined the Republican Party. In Maryland, he said, conservative Democrats stayed in the party, though their numbers have been dwindling as those moderates become independents.

Maryland Democrats have maintained an uneasy coalition between moderate Democrats and the radical progressive wing that we have seen gradually take over the General Assembly over the course of the last ten years. But that radical progressive wing primarily comes from the heavily Democratic districts in Baltimore City, Montgomery County, and Prince George’s County. They are products of gerrymandering is much as anything else, Democrats who ran as far as possible to the left in order to appease the Democratic electorate without the concerns of having to appeal to Republicans, moderates, or independents.

Trending: Thank You

Ben Jealous ran that kind of campaign in the Democratic primary, running on a socialist platform. He secured less than 40% of the vote among Democrats.

Democrats are already abandoning ship in droves, endorsing Governor Larry Hogan for re-election:

That’s not a list of shrinking violets either. While some are dismissing the list as a group of has-beens, this list includes a retired federal judge, a former Maryland Democratic Party Chairman, a former Baltimore City Councilwoman, and a sitting county commissioner in Kent Counter. And this is not exactly the conservative wing of the party either: Rikki Spector has never been confused for somebody who is anything but a liberal Democrat.

Meanwhile, Comptroller Peter Franchot is also taking a pass on endorsing the Ben Jealous, too. And it isn’t out of the realm of possibility that other Democrats, both already in elected office and seeking elected office, either avoid talking about Ben Jealous or actively support Governor Hogan’s re-election.

You can’t really blame them, either. Not only is Jealous a socialist who does not have the interest of Marylanders at heart, he’s also trying to pull stunts like this:

Abortion — an issue that has been muted in Maryland politics — resurfaced Tuesday when Democrat Ben Jealous questioned Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s commitment to women’s reproductive rights as President Donald J. Trump prepares to nominate a Supreme Court justice who could threaten Roe v. Wade.

The Democratic gubernatorial nominee challenging Hogan in the November election issued a statement criticizing the Republican’s record on abortion after the governor declined to take a position on the looming Supreme Court struggle during an interview with Washington’s WTOP radio.

Hogan said he wants to wait and see whom Trump nominates before commenting on the president’s choice.

“We don’t need to wait and see as Larry Hogan suggests, we need him to reassure Marylanders that despite his own troubling past on women’s reproductive health, he will have the courage to protect Maryland’s values,” Jealous said in the statement.

If Jealous wants to run a campaign based on Supreme Court nominations and President Trump, he should have run for the U.S. Senate. Instead he is trying to use the same failed playbook the Maryland Democratic Party has used for the last eighteen months that has caused Larry Hogan’s poll numbers to go up consistently time, and time again. Instead of making the point he wants to make, it looks like Ben Jealous doesn’t understand the job that he wants voters to give him.

The Democrats are living their nightmare scenario. They have been preparing for this election for three years, trying to deny Larry Hogan his agenda, trying to put him in a position where he is on the defensive, and put him in a position where he has a legitimate challenger this fall. Instead, they have nominated the most radically left-wing candidate in the history of the Democratic Party, a candidate who could not get financial or institutional support from mainstream Maryland Democrats. The nomination of Jealous not only cedes conservative Democrats to Governor Hogan, it also cedes the entirety of the middle as well.

Democrats have managed to give voters a choice between out-of-touch anti-worker socialism dependent on money and support from Hollywood and common sense pragmatism that’s supported by people who actually live and work in Maryland. That’s hardly a recipe for general election success.

What ultimately is this going to mean for the General Election?

  • It means that Governor Larry Hogan is an overwhelming favorite for re-election;
  • It means that Democrats are going to have to answer for the socialism of the titular head of their party;
  • It means that more attention can be paid to electing five more State Senators;

But the impact of this election is going to have long-term consequences for Maryland Democrats. Governor Hogan’s re-election will mean that for the first time since 1951 the Maryland Democratic establishment will not wind up being in charge of redistricting our state. This will have a number of important and positive long-term consequences for our state. While people who pay more attention to national politics will be excitable about how more Republicans might be elected to Congress, the real sea change will be in our General Assembly redistricting.

For far too long, Maryland has been heinously gerrymandered to maximize the number of Democrats elected to the State Senate and the General Assembly. This is how the General Assembly has become radicalized over the years, it’s why longtime Democratic stalwarts like Mac Middleton and Joe Vallario were kicked to the curb to be replaced with even more radicalized and left-wing candidates. These radical leftists are only electable and are only elected because Democrats have made it impossible for Republicans in many districts to compete, giving the Democrat virtually a free pass into the General Election.

Ben Jealous’s nomination makes it more likely that this era will be coming to an end. It will be the end of an era where Democratic majorities in the General Assembly are baked into the legislative districts, it will be the end of an era where radical leftists from three counties attempt to drag the state in their unwanted and unsustainable direction, and it will be the end of an era where the Democrats in the General Assembly will have as their sole purpose pushing through radical legislation to keep special interest groups happy.

For Democrats, Winter is Coming. Most Democrats understand that Ben Jealous is not the candidate that they need in order to reclaim the Governor’s mansion, and they know that Ben Jealous puts Democratic hegemony over the General Assembly at risk. But many Democrats probably also know that a Ben Jealous loss, and a new era of redistricting, will probably save the Democrats from themselves and their radical shift towards the left.

Send this to a friend