I’ve written more than once recently that Governor Larry Hogan has been increasingly irritable and erratic in his public pronouncements. Today comes evidence that the problem is getting worse, and significantly so.
From Senator Rich Madaleno’s Facebook wall this morning:
After Gov. Larry Hogan’s takeover of school calendars, maybe Hogan and Comptroller Peter Franchot should consider some other important public polling results from the Goucher Poll. Only 40% of Marylanders approve of Hogan’s leadership on public education. A significant 66% of Marylanders believe we do not spend enough on public education. After cutting nearly $100 million in public education funding, the voters are getting frustrated.
Pretty innocuous stuff, and nothing that hasn’t been said quite a bit before. But apparently, this time it hit a nerve:
The fact is, close to $100 million in education funding was allocated by the General Aseembly over the past two years that Hogan has refused to release to the counties. You can argue over the semantics of “cut” in this situation but Hogan refused to spend it on education, choosing instead to stick his finger in the eye of Democrats and education advocates. No other area of spending was subject to this petulant behavior, leading to the pretty obvious conclusion that his motivation is political and not budgetary.
But of more significance at this point is that we now have yet another example of Maryland’s governor getting into pointless spats with legislators on Facebook. Hogan was very successful in leveraging social media in his 2014 campaign, to an unprecedented degree in this state, and he did so in a skillful way, projecting himself positively and not succumbing to the dangers and temptations of the dark side of social media.
That deft and nimble guy is long gone, replaced by an angry, bitter, beleaguered chief executive for whom no online insult is too small to demand his swift and immediate retort. This reactive, combative Larry Hogan (let’s call him “Governor Facebook,” shall we?) demeans the prestige of his office and reveals himself to be the petty tyrant his opponents believe him to be. That won’t be so hot for his reelection campaign.
Keep it up, Governor Facebook. Please. Who thinks I can get him to come and fight with li’l ‘ol me? That would be hilarious. A boy can only dream. . . .