Apparently, Washington Post columnist Robert McCartney is used to politicians lying on the campaign trail–so much so that he seems astounded that at least one elected official is saying he intends to keep his vow.
“If Maryland Gov.-elect Larry Hogan (R) has a secret plan to be flexible and compromise with Democrats over taxes and spending when he takes office next month, he’s doing an excellent job of hiding it,” McCartney writes.
But there’s no need for a “secret plan” or “flexibility.”
Hogan’s election stunned the political establishment–the sort of people who write columns for the Washington Post. Hogan never led in any pre-election polls but swept to victory over Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown. Hogan won because he promised to trim the size and expense of Maryland’s expansive government.
Brown was one of the few candidates who appeared alongside President Obama. That didn’t help him, even in deep blue Maryland.
“On November 4, the people of Maryland rejected massive spending increases and tax increases and a failing economy,” Hogan said at a news conference this week. “We’ll have to have the courage to say no.”
That attitude puzzles McCartney. And he’s not alone.
“Democrats in Annapolis and Washington’s Maryland suburbs are wringing their hands and cautiously expressing hope that Hogan will be more accommodating once he has to deal with the realities of governing,” he writes.
Perhaps not. There’s no reason for a man who won an election by vowing to reduce spending to be accommodating to the political establishment. And the incoming governor knows that.
“There was a monopoly where everybody agreed, and we got bad government,” Hogan told McCartney. Hogan is vowing to spend state money on useful projects, while also reducing spending. “The priorities are out of whack. Less than 10 percent of the people use mass transit. Most people in the state want the roads to be fixed,” the governor-elect points out.
“There’s going to be some natural friction, but it doesn’t have to be hostile,” Hogan concludes. Indeed not. Especially if elected officials bow to the will of state voters. What a concept that would be.