Martin O’Malley criticized Hillary Clinton for “finally” coming around on gay marriage and saying that “leadership is about making the right decision, and the best decision before sometimes it becomes entirely popular.” On illegal immigration he told Politico that “I’ve never hesitated on these issues even when some would say it was politically risky.”
And why not? Martin O’Malley is a progressive champion that obviously doesn’t care what is popular, he is going to do what is right, so look at his accomplishments that he can tout on the campaign trail: He stood up for equality by passing gay marriage. He stood up for justice by eliminating the racist death penalty. He stood up to corporate interests and passed a minimum wage increase. He stood up for “New Americans” by granting them access to drivers licenses and also passed a local version of the Dream Act to grant in state tuition to illegal immigrants. He stood up to the NRA and the gun lobby and passed some of the toughest gun restrictions in the nation. This is why he told crowds in New Hampshire he’s “pretty fearless” about his “progressive values”. He has just about every liberal box checked that you could possibly check, and he amazingly did it all in just 4 years… but wait, wasn’t he Governor for 2 terms?
It starts off a little tricky for Tommy Carcetti’s stunt double on the equality issue. During his 2006 campaign for Governor, Martin O’Malley said, “I was raised to believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. This is a fundamental issue of the state’s public policy and a decision that ultimately should not be made by a single trial court judge.” (Washington Blade). Before his 2010 re-election campaign he did finally come around to backing a civil unions bill. Then suddenly, with his 2010 campaign behind him, and his mouth watering at the prospect of a presidential campaign, Martin O’Malley finally backed full same sex marriage.
The record on the death penalty is the same. Despite his strong Catholic faith and his belief in respecting life (except the life of the unborn) he promised during the 2006 campaign for Governor not to abolish the state’s death penalty. He had seen how Ehrlich used it to cudgel Kathleen Kennedy Townsend with because of Parris Glendenning’s last minute conversion and he didn’t want that to derail his campaign, so he made a promise to keep it in place. However, after that re-election campaign, he pushed hard and secured a full repeal of the death penalty.
Minimum wage has always been the major concern for progressives and their union allies, but it took 8 years, not passing a minimum wage increase until his last legislative session in 2014. Despite making the call from the presidential campaign trail to bump the minimum wage up to $15 an hour, the O’Malley bill in Maryland phases the wage increase from the $7.25 an hour it was, to only $10.10, but it’s going to take another 3 years to get there. Never having to face the consequences of your actions must be nice.
When it comes to Hispanic concerns, Marty touts his pushing of the Maryland Dream Act and also granting driver’s licenses to “New Americans”. But if you take a look back at his first term, Governor Martin O’Malley actually took away drivers licenses from illegal immigrants, enacting the REALID standards, before he reversed course in his second term to jump on board with the new progressive cause celebre. After all, when it comes to Democratic politics, tan is the new black. The Maryland Dream Act was a product of his first legislative session AFTER his re-election. That doesn’t sound like someone who “never hesitated” and more like an opportunist trying to be able to paint himself with a liberal brush. And we didn’t even get into the fact that he called Obama’s aides privately to beg them not to send any Hispanic “New Americans” to be housed in Maryland before the 2014 Gubernatorial election.
Despite the battles over gun control being waged for years in Congress with Democrats and Republicans blasting each other, Martin O’Malley didn’t enact any new gun control measures until after the Sandy Hook tragedy and again, at the tail end of his second term. The Aurora Theater shooting wasn’t enough to get O’Malley to act, but Sandy Hook galvanized the nation, so Martin O’Malley made sure what he was proposing was something he said could be the toughest in the nation. It was a difficult job because New York Governor Cuomo was pushing through his own toughest in the nation gun control.
It’s wasn’t just as Governor that O’Malley focused on his next office. As he ramped up his campaign against Ehrlich in 2006, he also ramped up arrests, having over 100,000 people arrested in an attempt to drop the crime number as much as possible. Imagine, in one year almost 20% of your entire city being arrested. They were arresting over 270 people a day, every day, for an entire year just to make his numbers look good. During the busiest night of the Baltimore Riots, the police only arrested 235 and that was still enough to tie up the court system.
I know many Marylanders really wish O’Malley’s first term didn’t exist, since it mainly consisted of tax increase after tax increase, but apparently progressive champion Martin O’Malley doesn’t have anything memorable from those four years either. There’s a traditional strategy in politics which is to take your biggest problem, say you are the exact opposite, and then repeat that as much as possible. For Martin O’Malley, his biggest problem is that he isn’t genuine, he just wants to be president. He’s poll tested and mother approved.