Hogan for President?
The growing animosity between Gov. Larry Hogan and President Donald Trump was on full display at the Niskanen Center's conference held in Washington earlier this month.
Any true Maryland conservative would have applauded the civility notion articulated by Governor Hogan at the conference attended by center right leaning voters. Governor Hogan has said repeatedly that he ran for governor in 2014 because he was tired of politics as usual. Many conservatives gave Candidate Hogan their votes in 2014 because they were fed up also.
Now conservatives have been left scratching their heads with Hogan's “blame Donald Trump for everything” talking points over the last two years. To some this seems like #nevertrump politics as usual. According to CBS affiliate in Baltimore, Governor Hogan said to the conference that "it’s only when the partisan shouting stops that people can truly hear each other’s voices and concerns."
Any conservative would agree with Governor Hogan when he shared that statement, though he can't seem to understand that this fact was a primary reason that President Trump won his election. Republicans awarded a candidate for finally standing up to the tried and true Democrat talking points in a way that they longed for.
Then Candidate Trump hit back at a bias media saying that it was never true that conservatives wanted dirty water, dirty air, sick children, impoverished senior citizens, or women as second class citizens.
Governor Hogan seems to be under the impression that real bipartisanship means selling out your core conservative values in order to find consensus at all costs. If conservatism is an inconvenience for Governor Hogan, perhaps he may find happiness in a different field of work. Criticizing political ideas is not mean spirited, partisan politics as usual. One needs only to look at how Democrats play to win in Maryland to find out.
Bipartisanship is not choosing when and where to tailor one’s beliefs to acquire more donors. Principles are not about bad blood toward President Trump. If a pipe brakes at the governor's residence, our Attorney General wastes no time in filing a lawsuit aimed at the Trump Administration with the tacit approval from Governor Hogan himself.
Even if a partisan side is chosen, there is no honor in surrendering to the other partisan side before even taking a stand. Somewhere along the way, our governor has forgotten that he is a Republican. By that definition, he has already taken a side. One cannot say Larry Hogan is a conservative. He never ran for governor as a conservative. The title of Republican doesn't even fit well in describing his time in office.
Governor Hogan is the type of Republican that can win in Maryland. He has been masterful in dealing with a Democrat dominated Maryland General Assembly. He has been the clarion voice of common sense in Maryland government.
Rumor has it that our governor wants to challenge President Trump in the 2020 presidential primaries. I strongly urge the governor not to attempt that, not because of any Trumpian loyalty, but because our governor could face a national embarrassment on a biblical scale which could also split the Republican Party in Maryland in a way from which it may not recover. Our moderate governor would be pitted against our conservative president, who remains very popular among Maryland Republicans.
Holding candidates accountable on what they proclaim to be the truth, is every voter’s duty. Some states are quite serious when it comes to presidential primaries. Some state Republican parties are more partisan and tribal than others. This is – and should be – a factor in our governor’s calculus.
In the end Governor Hogan has funded Planned Parenthood when the federal government ended its subsidies; he extended the costly effects of Obamacare for Maryland; and he turned his back on Maryland National; Rifle Association and gun owners in his first term alone. This will be hard to recover from in the Texas primary.
Now Hogan has become a spokesperson for “Climate Change” legislation in Maryland as well as an advocate for a free community college tuition program and has yet to say how it will be funded. This would be a hard progressive past to overcome in an idealistically red Iowa caucus, or a fiscally red New Hampshire primary election.
Governor Hogan may be one of the most popular governors in the United States, and he commands immense respect in the Free State. He is the Republican Maryland needs. He may find out that Donald Trump commands some respect, too, if he tosses his hat into the ring to challenge a sitting president from his own party.
Our governor would be able to better serve our country as our next Maryland U.S. senator.