Conservative explains why Maryland Republicans have committed 'mass suicide'
Maryland’s Larry Hogan is a conservative non-MAGA Republican governor in a blue state who has received a lot of Democratic votes — especially in the 2018 midterms, when he ran for reelection and defeated Democratic nominee Ben Jealous by 12 percent. 2018 was generally a good year for Democrats, who enjoyed a major blue wave in the U.S. House of Representatives that year. Yet Republican Hogan enjoyed a double-digit reelection victory in a blue state.
Because Maryland has gubernatorial term limits, Hogan cannot seek a third term — and in Maryland’s 2022 Republican gubernatorial primary, he endorsed former Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly M. Schulz. But former President Donald Trump endorsed Schulz’s far-right, ultra-MAGA primary opponent Dan Cox, who defeated Schulz when the primary election was held on Tuesday, July 19.
Never Trump conservative Jim Swift, in an article published by The Bulwark on July 20, argues that Maryland Republicans have screwed up badly by nominating an extremist “kook” over the more moderate, Hogan-endorsed Schulz.
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“Back in April,” Swift explains, “I introduced readers to Dan Cox, a far-right kook and Maryland state legislator running for governor. The Democratic Governors Association had, a few weeks earlier, run a poll suggesting that Cox would defeat Kelly Schulz, the hand-picked successor of moderate Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, by 8 points. That surprised me, since Schulz is a typical Hogan Republican, Hogan is quite popular, and Dan Cox is, well, nuts.”
No one will mistake Cox for a traditional conservative or a moderate. He has participated in QAnon events, promoted the Big Lie, slammed former Vice President Mike Pence as a “traitor” for honoring the 2020 presidential election results, and promoted hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin as treatments for COVID-19.
When the Associated Press called Maryland’s 2022 GOP gubernatorial primary for Cox, the Democratic gubernatorial primary was still too close to call. But whoever is nominated on the Democratic side, some of Schulz’s supporters are slamming Cox’s nomination as an act of political suicide.
Schulz adviser Doug Mayer put it bluntly, saying, “The Maryland Republican Party got together and committed ritualized mass suicide. The only thing missing was Jim Jones and a glass of Kool-Aid. I hope it was a good party.”
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Swift, a senior editor at The Bulwark, shares Mayer’s view, writing, “So, Maryland Republicans now have Dan Cox as their nominee for governor and the similarly nuts Gordana Schifanelli as their nominee for lieutenant governor. Don’t be surprised if you hear unhappy conservative commentators kvetching about how the Dems’ strategy of spending small change on Cox caused his lead to double. But the reality is that the base wants what the base wants, and Maryland Republicans wanted them some Dan Cox.”
Swift adds, “Anything can happen in politics, but the safe bet is that whomever Democrats nominate…. will win in November, given Maryland’s overwhelmingly Democratic voter affiliation numbers. It would take a moderate in the mold of Hogan, as Schulz is, to win the state for the GOP.”
In 2016, Cox ran against Rep. Jamie Raskin in a U.S. House race; Raskin defeated him by 26 percent.
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