Monday, June 1, 2015

Martin O'Malley's Disastrous Declaration

My article in today's FrontPage magazine:

Martin O'Malley's Disastrous Declaration

By Matthew Vadum

Former Baltimore Mayor Martin O’Malley’s (D) past came back to haunt him over the weekend during the carefully staged hometown announcement that he was running for president.

Although Baltimore’s advanced urban decay has something to do with the fact that the city hasn’t had a Republican mayor since 1967 when Theodore R. McKeldin left office, O’Malley was heckled and shouted at Saturday. Protesters were upset with the policies O’Malley, who frequently shows off his well-developed biceps while playing guitar and singing badly, introduced when he was the troubled city’s mayor from Dec. 7, 1999, through Jan. 17, 2007.

The liberal New York magazine has trashed O’Malley, saying he “worsened the decades-old tension between Baltimore police and the black community.” When O’Malley showed up in Baltimore during the civil unrest that followed the suspicious death in police custody of Freddie Gray, a young black career criminal, “his attempt to demonstrate leadership only wound up drawing attention to his role in creating the conflict.”

Although Mayor O’Malley’s zero-tolerance approach to policing “saw a dramatic reduction in crime … in 2010 the city paid $870,000 to settle a suit alleging that Baltimore police arrested thousands of people without probable cause during O’Malley’s tenure.”

After conspicuously considering running for president for two years, O’Malley was greeted at Federal Hill on the weekend by angry protesters who blame him for the aggressive policing policies he initiated in Baltimore when he was mayor and the destruction they claim those policies have wrought.

They held signs reading “F–k the police,” “Stop killer cops,” and “NOMALLEY.” They also shouted “You only care about money, O’Malley, you don’t care about the people! You lie!” and “700,000 arrests under your watch, O’Malley!”

According to the Daily Beast:
A woman charged through the crowd holding a sign reading “Stop killer cops” and “say her name.” She shouted, “Black lives matter!” Someone else yelled, “We don’t need zero tolerance policies, O’Malley!” and “What about police brutality?” The protesters blew whistles, which drowned out O’Malley.
The visit to Baltimore to examine riot damage that New York magazine referenced, hurt O’Malley.

TV commentators blamed O’Malley’s tough-on-crime police policies as mayor for the civil disturbances. “When he went back to Baltimore last month at the height of the riots, he was shouted down,” Chris Moody said Saturday on CNN. “People recognized him and said, ‘This is your fault.’”

It wasn’t the reception O’Malley, who is one of those people whose self-esteem outweighs his actual abilities, was counting on. He is trying to present what left-wingers consider to be a positive message while out-lefting the bungler of Benghazi, Hillary Clinton, who somehow continues to be light-years ahead in polls of Democrats.

During his otherwise forgettable speech Saturday, O’Malley called for more forced redistribution of wealth, more illegal aliens, and more rights for members of the LGBT community.

“This generation of Americans still has time to become great,” he said, drawing upon speechwriting platitudes. “We must save our country now, and we will do that by rebuilding the dream.”

But his policy prescriptions, like those of Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren, would drive America into the ground.

O’Malley adores taxes and hates private businesses and guns. O’Malley was governor of Maryland until this past January. Under his leadership, Maryland increased taxes at every opportunity, abolished the death penalty, made same-sex marriage legal, and passed the so-called DREAM Act to benefit young illegal aliens.

Just about nobody likes him, even in his own party.

The November election was viewed partly as a referendum on the long-unpopular O’Malley. Republican Larry Hogan came out of nowhere to trounce Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, O’Malley’s anointed successor. Brown previously took the blame for bungling the launch of Maryland’s Obamacare exchange. Naturally, this past March, Brown announced he’s running for Congress.

Unless frontrunner Hillary Clinton gets knocked out of the running, O’Malley has virtually no chance of securing the Democratic Party’s nomination, critics say.

As Daniel Greenfield notes a “Washington Post poll shows Bernie Sanders outpolling O’Malley by 4 to 1, which isn’t hard since O’Malley just has 1 percent. And Sanders is a Socialist crank whose presidential campaign no one takes seriously.”

Electoral handicapper Harry Enten of Five Thirty Eight estimates O’Malley’s chances of becoming his party’s standard-bearer in 2016 as roughly nil.

“O’Malley has essentially zero support from Democratic office-holders,” Enten writes. “He’s garnering just 2 percent support in Iowa, New Hampshire and national primary polls — far worse than Barack Obama at this point eight years ago.”

One of O’Malley’s major problems is that “[t]he people who know him best don’t like him.” Enten continues:
O’Malley is starting way down in the polls, and he’s not well known. And we have evidence that more O’Malley exposure doesn’t equal more O’Malley support. He earned just 3 percent (compared to Clinton’s 63 percent) in a poll of Democratic voters in Maryland conducted in October by The Washington Post and the University of Maryland.
Like frontrunner Hillary Clinton, lying comes naturally to O’Malley.

He is an intolerant, obnoxious, holier-than-thou left-winger in the mold of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D).

And if you like big government, you’re going to love O’Malley.

Like former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, O’Malley characterizes conservatives as terrorists.

O’Malley regards reducing government spending as a terrorist act. He said so on Feb. 8, 2005 when he was mayor of Baltimore. At a presser at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., O’Malley blasted then-President George W. Bush for daring to propose cutting spending on the truly awful $4.7 billion Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program administered by the worse-than-useless Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). CDBG is a notorious slush fund that politicians of both parties use to buy votes. The Bush administration wanted to eliminate CDBG and replace it and 17 other federal community development programs with a new $3.7 billion program.

But even this tiny little reform was too much for O’Malley, the government spending junkie.

Mayor O’Malley called CDBG “one of the most effective programs to expand opportunity in our urban cores,” and likened President Bush’s call for its abolition to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

“Back on September 11, terrorists attacked our metropolitan cores in two of our great cities and they did that because they knew that that was where they could do the most damage and weaken us the most,” O’Malley said.

“Years later, we are given a budget proposal by our commander in chief, the president of the United States, and with a budget axe, he is attacking America’s cities, he is attacking our metropolitan core.”

During the question-and-answer session this writer asked the mayor if it was appropriate to compare the president of the United States to terrorists. O’Malley looked me straight in the eye and stood by his remarks. (“Glared” might be a better verb to use here.)

Bush wanted to overhaul the program to preserve his “tax cuts for the wealthy,” O’Malley said. The CDBG overhaul “weakens America’s cities” and was “a betrayal of the basic equation of what it means to be an American,” the mayor said.

In other words, as O’Malley sees things, you are both traitor and terrorist if you believe in fiscal responsibility.

Of course, the media had long fawned over O’Malley even back then so his inflammatory remarks got little coverage even though Democrats such as then-Washington, D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams quickly distanced themselves from them.

When the Washington Post asked O’Malley separately about his anti-Bush comments, he flat-out lied about them. O’Malley claimed he “in no way intended to equate these budget cuts, however bad, to a terrorist attack.”

“The point I am trying to make is, for America to be strong, we have to strengthen our cities. Because we’re in the middle of a war, we need to be strengthening and protecting our cities, not weakening our cities. Two of our cities have already been attacked in this war.”

O’Malley lobbed similar verbal grenades in 2004, telling supporters of then-presidential candidate Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) “at a Baltimore fundraiser that Bush and his administration worry the mayor more than al Qaeda terrorists,” the newspaper reported.

Don’t expect to read about O’Malley’s penchant for nasty attacks on his opponents anywhere else.

The media is already treating O’Malley as a breath of fresh air, touting him as a credible alternative to Hillary Clinton.

No comments:

Post a Comment