Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Not Such A Big Tent

This unusually popular governor is regarded as one of "the good ones," a moderate, anti-Trump Republican who advocates "a bigger tent party." The Hill notes

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R), a frequent critic of President Trump, said Monday that while he was unsure whether he would vote for the president in November, he would not rule it out.

Asked by conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt whether he intended to vote for the president, Hogan replied “Like everybody else, I get to go into the voting booth and pull the lever for the person that I think is going to do the best job. And we’re going to figure that out in the next 100 days.”

“I’m going to try to make that decision like everybody else in America. I think we’ve got a long way to go,” Hogan said. “And I think right now, if the election were held today, the president would be in real trouble. But he’s certainly got time to turn things around. And I’m hoping that he’s able to get some of these things taken care of.”

Hogan, who said he wrote in his father rather than voting for either Trump or Hillary Clinton in 2016, has suggested he may not vote for Trump before, and has been particularly outspoken in his criticism of the White House’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, accusing the administration of leaving states to fend for themselves.

“It’s mixed messages — bouncing from one message to the other,” Hogan said earlier this month. “[Trump’s] entire administration is telling everyone to take it seriously while he tells everybody to not take it seriously.”

This presumably is the reason Hogan refuses to rule out voting for the evil presence in the White House:

The Maryland governor also suggested earlier in July he is considering a 2024 presidential run.

“After this November election is over, regardless of who wins, there are a large majority of Americans who are completely convinced our political system is fundamentally broken, and they’re going to be looking for something different,” Hogan told The New York Times.

Seemingly, perhaps, but not necessarily, and only in part because Republican voters- even ADJT (after Donald J Trump) will not be looking for a presidential nominee with the persona of a Larry Hogan.

It's hard to believe anyone reasonably concerned about human relations could entertain voting for the man who decades ago denied housing to blacks based on race, later maintained "laziness is a trait in blacks" which "is not anything they can control," typically discriminated against blacks (and women) in casinos he owned, catapulted himself into GOP hearts by claiming Barack Obama was born in Kenya, and whose enthusiasm for stoking racial animosity and tension has only increased the past few months.

It's possible, though, that Hogan is not an exception. (Videos below are from October, 2018 and December, 2015, respectively.) Georgetown law professor Sheryll Cashin, a student of residential segregation has written

In 2014, the Obama administration offered Maryland a selective “New Starts” grant of $900 million to finally build what was called the Red Line — a project that would not only have connected thousands of Black Marylanders to better jobs but would also create a comprehensive transit system that might restart the Baltimore region’s economy and improve race relations by building literal connections between communities.

Today, there’s no construction of rail in Baltimore. The $900 million has been returned to the federal government. The state of Maryland redirected $736 million of state funds originally set aside for the Red Line to building roads instead — in predominantly white areas. And the U.S. Department of Transportation, which was supposed to investigate whether that decision was illegal and discriminatory, quietly closed the case without making any public findings.

Transportation investment and disinvestment have been central in Baltimore’s long saga of racial segregation and inequity, and the Red Line was the most recent chapter. Since Gov. Larry Hogan killed the Red Line in 2015, it has become a rallying cry for transit and racial-justice activists in Baltimore and beyond.

But the full extent of the injustice is just coming to light. Material obtained by a legal clinic I worked with at Georgetown Law School, through Maryland’s freedom-of-information statute, shows that federal officials acknowledged the potential racial impact of the decision to cancel the Red Line and the possibility that the decision violated civil rights law — and then for unclear reasons, dropped their investigation.

It was Hogan’s decision to cancel the Red Line.... 

In Jan. 2015, Gov. Hogan took office. Less than six months later, in June 2015, he announced that the Red Line was canceled.

Hogan, founder of an eponymous commercial real estate business, was an established skeptic of transit rail, which he deemed too expensive, and a believer in highway asphalt. In his first bid for governor, he argued against light rail — which opposing suburbanites sometimes derided as “loot rail” — and strenuously advocated for roads. Rail, no; roads, yes — polar positions that helped to defeat Black Democrat, Anthony Brown.

While Hogan did not cancel a line connecting wealthy suburbs to the District of Columbia's Metro subway

He returned the $900 million selective federal grant for the project and reallocated all of the state money that had been earmarked for the Red Line's first construction phase — $736 million — to road projects in exurban and rural areas. In the end, not a single road or pothole in Baltimore would be paved with the money that had been set aside for the Red Line.

Larry Hogan is probably not a racist, possibly not even someone harboring racial animus. However, he has a high tolerance for those who are. And as someone who recommends "avoiding divisive rhetoric," the Red Line is a reminder of the motivation of Republicans with doubts about Donald Trump Hogan is illustrative of most of the Republicans who have their doubts about Donald Trump. The President is crude, rude, and phenomenally corrupt but at least he supports the kind of government Republicans favor.


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