“Dead End”. The sign is sometimes intriguing. To my wife’s frustration I will drive down a dead-end road to see, well naturally, “why didn’t the road continue”? While I am not a big fan of backing out, newer technology has reduced my frustration. And, not infrequently, a dead-end road will lead to a good view.
But, in politics? Maryland has been led by a Republican governor for the last, almost eight years. Governor Larry Hogan in his first inaugural address, “reminded citizens of Maryland’s history as a state of middle temperament and pledged to advance the best ideas, regardless of which side of the political aisle they come from.” He delivered as a leader while reducing Marylanders taxes by billions of dollars.
In the recent primary elections to choose his successor, Democrat operatives recognized the potential of Hogan’s popularity leading to a Republican successor. Organizationally, Democrats spent millions of dollars promoting Dan Cox to be the Republican nominee. Cox, a Donald J. Trump endorsed candidate with a bended knee stature, is an election denier which is to say he disputes President Biden’s election.
Trump, of course, had to be momentarily pleased. I say momentarily because Trump is not a builder. He beat Governor Hogan’s preferred candidate and now he moves on. His interest in Maryland is derivative. Does this or that tactic help me?
Recall in the aftermath of losing Georgia in the presidential election Trump said Republicans should stay home in the runoff elections for the US Senate because they couldn’t trust elections. Many did and two Democrats were elected. Disagree with Trump and you become part of his RINO hunt.
The Democrats who promoted Cox are no better. Manipulating the vote under false pretenses breeds cynicism and we are already choking on it.
But, let me take a few seconds of your time with the Republican nominee Dan Cox and the third branch of our government. Cox has said that the 2020 elections were corrupted. He has called former Vice-President Mike Pence “a traitor”. In essence, Cox is doing everything he can to undermine our constitutional republic by slandering our Courts. Keep in mind that after the 2020 Presidential election the Trump allies at his behest filed and lost at least 63 lawsuits (Wikipedia).
Cox portrays himself a conservative. But conservatives do not take a sledgehammer to the foundation of our Republic. Cox says we cannot rely on elections and the courts. I cannot imagine a less conservative position.
I began with dead-ends. History and polling suggest Republicans will do well in November’s midterm elections. Often midterm elections turn against the Party in power, as it must bear the burden of voter’s frustrations. This year Republicans have an additional advantage; President Joe Biden is not popular.
But in Maryland, Cox’s chances have been neutered by his fealty to Trump. And, the likelihood of a dead-end road was promoted by campaign operatives who introduced Cox to appeal to the Republican’s grievance caucus while horrifying Independents who are essential to Republican victories in Maryland. Republicans minus Independents in Maryland is a dead-end without a good view.
Al Sikes is the former Chair of the Federal Communications Commission under George H.W. Bush. Al writes on themes from his book, Culture Leads Leaders Follow published by Koehler Books.