A highlight of what has been maybe the 133rd straight volatile week in American politics happened when former Vice President Joe Biden was interviewed by Chris Cuomo of CNN earlier this week. Biden was asked about President Trump's comments made at a rally in Ohio last work, where he supported an attendee's bellow that Democrats not clapping for the President at the State of the Union address the week before was "treasonous". Biden pointed out, appropriately so, that the word "treason" is never one that should be used casually. When Cuomo presented Biden with the information that the President's supporters said not to take Trump seriously, that it was "just a joke", Biden deadpanned, "Oh. He's a joke."
Indeed. And the joke is on us. The tone of the current national administration has been mentioned often in this blog and on thousands of other places all over the Internet. It doesn't need to be rehashed here tonight.
Rather, my focus is on Maryland and Howard County Republicans, who love to wave their hands at what's going on in Washington and say, "Thank God, our leaders aren't like that!" Ehhhh, not so fast. Maryland and Howard County Republicans aren't running away from Trump so far as they're preserving their brand, which is to say one thing, do another, and then to accuse their opponents of being the thing that they themselves, in actuality, are. Which is a cadre of dangerous idealogues whose affable heads disguise an especially disturbing inability to lead. To wit:
Exhibit A of the "moderate Republican who stands up to Trump" in Maryland is Governor Larry Hogan. So I can recall twice when Hogan issued statements urging President Trump-- both before Trump was elected-- to stop his nonsense. And while since the election, he hasn't exactly been a Trump cheerleader, he's been far from a Trump critic. And for those of you who are going to point out that hogan is making sure Marylanders can still get all their tax breaks that they enjoyed before the Trump tax plan passed-- anyone want to show me the legislation or even outline of what that looks like? Because I can't find it.
Last week I went to a meet and greet with Gubernatorial candidate Alec Ross, sponsored by the Indian Origin Network of Howard County. (Full disclosure: I am supporting Ross in the 2018 Democratic primary.) Ross drew, in my opinion, a perfect analogy to Governor Hogan: former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (Ironically, and not coincidentally, a very early supporter of Hogan.) Both, Ross said, originally have been characterized as "tell it like it is", candid types who can connect with the "average" resident of their respective state. And who enjoyed great popularity in their home states in their first terms. But, cautioned Ross, Christie's second term saw his true colors come out. In his case, his campaign for President, his alliance with Trump, and "Bridgegate" and "Beachgate" back home in New Jersey. As a result, Christie leaves the Governor's Mansion in New Jersey a hated man. Would such a fate befall Hogan? Let's hope we don't have the chance to find out.
And who is one of Larry Hogan's best buds on Earth? Why, none other than Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman. Don't forget the campaign commercials and literature. He is a principled, independent leader. He is a servant leader.
Well, the Kittleman parrots on the Howard County Republican Central Committee outdid themselves with their recent criticism over Councilman Calvin Ball's latest campaign finance report, because it had to be amended. What is Calvin Ball hiding? They worried. If he can't even file a simple campaign finance report, how can he possibly run all of Howard County? They harumphed.
Oh, my. Lest the Genius Bar at the HoCoGOP remember, that Allan Kittleman's campaign committee has had to filed amended reports, the last three times it filed reports! And that in this latest reporting period, Senator Gail Bates and Delegate Trent Kittleman (stepmother of Allan) listed PAC contributions with their individual contributions. Which is of course, wrong. PACs are not people. But, on the other hand, no wonder the fine Americans in District 9 claim they don't get any money from PACs. After all, if the column isn't filled out, it didn't happen, right?
If that's not a ham and egging move by the HoCoGOP, I don't know what is. Another local blog suggested the local GOP was maybe being desperate or scared by making something out of the amended report nothing. I don't even give them that much credit. It was just stupid.
But it was also indicative of the Kittleman trademark I have mentioned within these pages before. The process of: do the thing, forcefully accuse the other candidate of being the thing, and in so doing, put the opponent on defense, nicely concealing the fact that the Kittleman in question is the one guilty of doing the thing.
All of this stuff coming from what the politically lazy call "the right"-- it's tiresome as much as it's ridiculous. But, on the other hand, I don't think Republicans locally or statewide get the fact that so many thousands more people now are tired of their nonsense. And that probably 90% of the people who are now paying attention and educating their friends and neighbors on politics are on the blue side of the fence, not the red.
That's OK, GOP, stay asleep on that one. Get your rest. It'll be over soon enough. Then the joke will REALLY be on you!
Let's be careful out there.
#hocopolitics #mdpolitics #POTUS #hoganweak #PoorYumi #CalvinBallTeam #kittleman