To be fair, there are a lot of reasons why Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan attempting a 2024 run should make Republicans burst into synchronized bouts of laughter, but the latest data from his state I’m about to share really drives the point home.
One of the biggest debates in the country involves re-opening schools that were closed due to the coronavirus. In red states across the union, schools have been open since last fall, with the science that they are safe being essentially undeniable at this point. Florida’s Ron DeSantis, for example, used his authority to force the teachers unions back into the classroom.
Meanwhile, Hogan’s state, despite being run by a supposed Republican, is now the worst in the nation for schools remaining closed. Maryland also comes in near the bottom in vaccinating the most vulnerable to COVID.
Hogan of course has the unilateral power to fix both of these things. However, he lacks the guts to remedy either problem.
— EJ (@Ejmiller25) February 23, 2021
Hogan presents the epitome of political cowardice. The most gumption he can muster up comes in the form of virtue signaling about Donald Trump. Yet, when it comes to actually governing and making the tough decisions, he’s nowhere to be found. His state has become an total joke in regards to the response to the coronavirus. There is no excuse for a Republican governor, even in a blue state, to have the lowest percentage of students attending in-person learning at this point. There’s even less excuse to be botching vaccine distribution so badly that only two other states have done worse getting shots into the arms of those over 70 years old.
The contrast between Hogan and DeSantis is so bright that it’ll burn your eyes out if you stare too long. DeSantis refused to be bullied by faux scientific claims from the teachers unions. He prioritized vaccinating seniors and told the CDC to stuff their “guidelines.” Those moves involved risk, but leadership requires risk. If you are unwilling to stand by tough decisions, you end up with the incoherent mess that is the Biden administration, or just as much, the Hogan administration. Hogan could force schools to re-open, but he’s scared. He’s scared of the blow-back from his more liberal electorate, and he’s terrified of the teachers unions saying bad things about him. He’s managed to make a couple of speeches on the matter, but when push comes to shove, he can’t throw the punch that needs to be thrown.
If there was ever a perfect illustration of the incompetence and political weakness of many Republican politicians, Hogan is it. For that reason, any talk of him as a 2024 contender should be laughed at with prejudice.