I don’t know Greg Fox that well, but he strikes this author as the lumbering embodiment of the Peter Principle. In my former career as a Very Important Republican ™, I would meet office-holders like Fox all of the time…generally hyper-parochial and somewhere on the George Babbitt spectrum of unoriginal. Entirely unremarkable…of whom little is given, less is expected. And on that measure, Fox does not disappoint.
The point of this is to say that when folks hold themselves up to a higher standard of progressive thinking, unlike Fox, they had better deliver the goods. This is where word has to match up with deed and this is where Allan Kittleman, with his promised veto of the sanctuary bill, falls short. If you want to be a different kind of Republican, now is the time to demonstrate your values by your actions. I read his statement and found a great deal of the rationale therein to be disingenuous fear-mongering. Right out of the old Newt Gingrich/Joe Gaylord playbook. I didn’t see anything that was reassuring in the least to those who might feel “othered,” Not even a nod recognizing legitimate fears, like those expressed by the woman in Tom Coale’s excellent piece today.
So I can only believe that this is the real Allan Kittleman, or that he is posturing for another office and he feels the need to align himself, on this wedge issue, closer to where the Maryland GOP base is.
On a related note, do I know what Governor Hogan’s plans are? Oddly enough, Big Lar’ doesn’t confide in me his electoral intentions. His loss. At least he had the fortitude to grab for the brass ring in ‘14. I, personally, would wager at this moment that he runs for re-election, but something closer to 60% likelihood on that, in short, not a slam dunk. His favorability numbers are quite good now, but so were George H.W. Bush’s approval ratings in early ’91. Even if he runs for re-election, I believe it will be a tough road for Hogan assuming the Democrats nominate a half-way decent candidate. Maybe he wants to focus on governance and not on campaigning? Take the James K. Polk approach perhaps. Stranger things have happened.
If he doesn’t seek re-election, the lack of anything near a deep bench means that the GOP will be looking for any Republicans who might be electable, and with Kittleman’s positioning on the sanctuary bill, he might just be palatable enough to emerge as the GOP nominee in ’18. We should know about Hogan’s plans within the next few months. Stay tuned.
In the meantime, all “Democrats for Kittleman” should remember where he stood on the sanctuary issue. Maybe it’s time to donate those T-shirts.
Next up: Thoughts on 2 and 3, probably before the end of this weekend.
Stay tuned, as more will follow.