If you take the broad view of what Maryland Democrats have been doing during this General Assembly session, you’ll notice one common trend;
- Democrats have pushed the Protect Our Schools Act, a bill that does nothing to help students get a better education, but does give a number of concessions to the Democrats preferred interest group, the Maryland State Education Association;
- As a part of the Capital Budget the General Assembly has moved to strip power away from the Board of Public Works, taking away the Board’s ability to review the school construction plan approved by the Interagency Committee on School Construction
- Democrats have worked to take discretionary authority away from the Governor when it comes to the approval of suits against the federal government, setting up the office of Attorney General Brian Frosh as an unconstitutional fourth branch of government that can sue for slights both real and imagined at his discretion;
- Democrats and interests groups have pushed a radical plan to give the Attorney General the authority to regulate the costs of generic prescription drugs, a move towards the Democrats dream of enacting Medicaid for all.
- After 30 years of debate, Democrats in the Anne Arundel County delegation have relented and are supporting an elected Board of Education that will se all members elected by the people of the county instead of appointed by the Governor.
These are just some of a number of bills that Democrats have pushed that seeks Democratic pet projects, reward Democratic interest groups and hangers on, and remove authority from the Office of the Governor.
The unspoken meaning of all of this is that the Democrats are waving the white flag of surrender on the 2018 General Election. How so? Democrats would not be racing to take away power from the Governor, empowering the Attorney General if they truly believed that a Democrat would be sitting on the 2nd floor in 2019. The only times that the Democrats are ever interested in transferring power away the Governor is at times when the Governor is a popular Republican.
This is not the first time that we have noted that the Democrats know they have their backs against the wall in the 2018 election. Governor Hogan remains wildly popular with voters when running against “generic Democrat.” The House of Delegates have thrown up their hands and said that finding an opponent for the Governor was not their problem. And every week it seems like another pretender with no natural constituency within the Maryland Democratic party are publicly musing about seeking the Democratic nomination including Rushern Baker III.
None of this is a sign of strength for a party that has a nearly 3-1 voter registration advantage over Republicans.
The General Assembly session has been, as a whole, a disaster for the people of this state. But the political silver lining is there. Democrats know that the gig is up. They expect to lose to Governor Larry Hogan next year. And this entire session has been a very expensive and annoying exercise that has allowed the Democrats to throw in the towel on next year’s election.