Every few years, United States voters alternate their dissatisfaction with both Democrats and Republicans. Every time either party seems headed toward extinction, the public grows tired of the one's in charge. Meanwhile in Maryland, the electorate just tends to hand the reigns from one Democrat to another. Well, for the second time in twelve years, they decided to select a Republican over a weak Democratic gubernatorial candidate. In doing so, the public has granted their approval for Governor-elect Hogan to pursue the ideas he presented on the campaign trail.
When Bob Ehrlich got elected in 2002, he epitomized the term of Republican in name only (RINO). For example, he raised fees, increased government spending and appointed liberal-leaning judges. In other words, he acted like a Democrat. And while that earned him an approval rating of almost 60%, the voters decided to go back to their comfort zone by selecting Democrat Martin O’Malley over him four years later. Ironically, eventual disgust with O'Malley caused Democrats help elect Hogan.
No doubt, Mike Miller and Mike Busch will act like clowns in hopes of destroying Hogan over the next four years. Like it or not, they would rather put the wishes of the Democratic Party over the best interest of Maryland families. Still, Hogan must overcome this and take his message back to the people who elected him to do the job. Regardless, the majority of Democratic legislators will not approve his plan to rollback any taxes. So, what can Hogan do to combat this?
In Maryland, the Governor submits the budget and the General Assembly cannot add any new spending to it. Sure, they can technically reduce the size of the budget, but who really envisions the majority of Maryland Democrats agreeing to that? Therefore, Hogan can present a budget that doesn't rely on the revenue created by any of the O'Malley tax increases. Employing such a tactic would create a surplus and potentially put Democrats on the defensive on why they won't return money to the people. Either way, it's a win-win for Hogan.
Going forward, Hogan has two choices: go along with the Democratic agenda or force the Mikes to react to his. Bob Ehrlich chose the former and it led to his demise. Thus, Hogan should probably avoid that path. The voters have spoken; now it's time for Hogan to put his ideas into action.