Can The Republicans Win In Maryland?

Tomorrow is primary day in my former home state of Maryland.

Larry Hogan’s second term is coming to a close and the Republicans and the Democrats will be selecting their candidates to replace him.  Though I’ve disagreed with some of the things that Larry Hogan did (and agreed with even more), he’s been a good governor overall.  He was a marked improvement on Martin O’Malley and he was also one of the few Republicans to figure out how to be competitive in Maryland.  For all the activist who complain about Larry Hogan compromising too much, Maryland is a deep blue state.  Hogan had the choice of either working with the Democrats or getting nothing accomplished.  Hogan did what he had to do in order to govern and that’s one reason why this Republican in a blue state became one of the most popular governors in America.

It’s unfortunate that Hogan is probably going to ruin his legacy by running a pointless presidential campaign in 2024.  I don’t think that Hogan would be a bad president but it’s hard to see any realistic path that leads to him defeating either DeSantis or Trump for the nomination.  Even when it comes to trying to present himself as a moderate alternative, Hogan is probably going to have to compete with blowhards like Adam Kinzinger, Will Hurd, and Asa Hutchinson.  When the press compares your presidential campaign to John Kasich’s and Jon Huntsman’s, that’s an admission that you don’t have a chance of actually winning.  Hogan was elected as the anti-O’Malley so I’d hate to see him end up in the same boat as O’Malley, remembered mostly for a vanity presidential campaign.  I’d much rather see Hogan in the Senate.  While there’s no guarantee that Hogan would have beaten Van Hollen had he run this year, it also can’t be denied that he’s the only Republican in Maryland who would have had a chance to make the race competitive.

Can the GOP hold onto the governor’s office in November?  It won’t be easy but, as Hogan and Bob Ehrlich proved, a Republican can win statewide in Maryland.  It helps if it’s a Republican year.  (Ehrlich was elected in 2002, Hogan in 2014.)  It helps if you have an opponent who is viewed as being out-of-touch with the everyday concerns of Marylanders.  Ehrlich, in particular, was lucky to run against Kathleen Kennedy Townsend.  And, of course, it helps if the voters can see firsthand examples of Democrat incompetence.  Hogan benefitted from everyone being sick of Martin O’Malley.  Now, in 2022, everyone’s sick of Joe Biden.

If the Republicans are going to win in November, they’re going to need to nominate Kelly Schulz and not Dan Cox.  Schulz is Hogan’s preferred candidate while Dan Cox is endorsed by Trump.  Schulz is the type of Republican who can potentially win statewide in Maryland.  Cox is not, which explains why Democrats have been covertly promoting his campaign.  Probably the strongest thing that the Republicans have going for them is that Hogan is still a popular figure.  Schulz was previously a part of Hogan’s administration.  Cox, on the other hand, made multiple attempts to impeach him.  Would Hogan even support Cox is he won the primary?

The other thing that would help the Republicans would be if someone other than Peter Franchot won the Democratic primary.  Franchot has been around for a while, he’s popular, and, as comptroller, he frequently worked with Hogan.  (It’s easy to imagine Hogan actually endorsing Franchot in a Franchot vs Cox contest.)  However, just as Cox might benefit from Republicans who view compromise as a sin, Franchot might have the same issue when it comes to the activists who feel that he’s worked too closely with the Hogan administration.  The Democratic Primary is crowded, the polling is close, and there’s no run-off.  Kelly Schulz would have a far better chance of beating someone like Tom Perez than Peter Franchot.

(I imagine that there are a lot of Maryland Republicans who would be very happy to discover that Tom Perez had managed to win the Democratic nomination.)

Here’s hoping that Kelly Schulz pulls off a victory tomorrow.  And maybe even more importantly, here’s hoping that Matthew Foldi wins the Republican nomination to run against David Trone in the 6th District!  Even if Foldi doesn’t win the nomination, his videos in which he visits Trone’s closed district offices will do a lot to frame how the eventual winner runs against Trone in the election.

Trying Not To Laugh

I’m trying not to laugh at this Politico headline. It’s a struggle, though.

This isn’t the first time that I’ve seen an article promoting Jon Stewart for the presidency. They used to pop fairly frequently back when Stewart was still doing the Daily Show. Never mind the fact, of course, that the Very Online Left (as opposed to the Normal Left) was recently calling for Stewart’s head because he suggested there might be some validity to the Wuhan Lab Leak Theory. Stewart got into a fight with Andrew Sullivan and, for now, he’s back in their good graces. Who knows how long that will last.

Watching British Politics In America

It’s always interesting to watch American coverage of British politics, if just because there’s always this tendency to try to find parallels between what’s happening in the two country despite the fact that the two of them have very different political systems.

Whereas only one President has ever resigned from office, it’s actually a fairly common occurrence for the Prime Minister to step down as the leader of their party.  The thing that makes Boris Johnson unique is that he stepped down more due to scandal than to anger over his policies.

In the US, saying that a government has fallen leads to images of violent revolution and military-style coups.  In most parliamentary countries, saying the government has fallen just means that the Prime Minister has resigned and now, a new one has to be selected.

Occasionally, you do hear that the U.S. would be better off if it had adopted a Parliamentary system of government, one in which the party that won a majority in the House and the Senate would be responsible for selecting the head of state.  Considering what happens to leaders who can’t lead in the parliamentary system, I’m guessing that Joe Biden is thankful that we don’t have one.

Lord Buckethead For PM

I shared this on twitter yesterday and now I’m going to share it here because it just seems like Lord Buckethead is being given the consideration he deserves.

On Shinzo Abe

I’m still in shock over the assassination of Shinzo Abe.  What makes it all the more shocking is that the man who assassinated Abe was apparently not motivated by any sort of political reasoning but instead, he may not have even realized who he was shooting.  Apparently, the assassin was under the impression that he was assassinating the “head of a religious order,” and not Japan’s longest serving Prime Minister.

Most people’s natural inclination is to find a complex conspiracy or deeper meaning in these type of shocking events.  When the news first broke that Abe had been shot, there was some speculation that he was targeted because of his support of Taiwan.  But appears to have been just another random nut, trying to build himself up.

Tom Tugendhat for PM

I suspect that either Ben Wallace or Penny Mordaunt will be the next PM but, look at the poll below, I have to give my personal endorsement to Tom Tugendhat, just because he has the perfect name for a British prime minister.  If Monty Python was writing the script, the Prime Minister would undoubtedly be named Tugendhat.

One intriguing scenario that I’ve heard has Theresa May agreeing to serve as interim Prime Minister until the next general election, with the understanding that May would stand down as leader of the party afterwards.  That would depend on how quickly the Tories want to get Boris out of Downing Street.  I doubt that would happen but scenarios like that are always an enjoyable thing to consider.