Watching the a significant slice of Maryland's GOP delegates and a few senators in action metaphors come to mind: Charlie Brown having the football pulled away, the battered spouse saying "just don't hit me in the face."
Maryland is in dire financial straits (O'Malley Watch covers the story well). It has been since the election of Martin O'Malley, who, other than discovering a "structural deficit" and spending four years blaming the last guy, has done nothing.
Each year the Democrats in the General Assembly do diddly squat to remedy the problem and they challenge the handful of Republicans to find an alternative to the Democrats spending their way out of a deficit. Every year we have the same sorry spectacle of the Democrats demonizing the Republican alternatives as a smokescreen.
From today's Washington Post:
For playing the game and presenting an actual strategy for reining in out of control spending what do the Republicans get? Were their suggestions seriously considered? Did the Post or Sun say, "hey, those were some pretty good ideas?" Of course not. The were simply mau-maued. Now the Democrats will shove tax increases into various or our bodily orifices and they will do it by protecting Maryland from the Republicans.
Democrats and the state's largest public employees' union sharply criticized the Republican proposals, saying they would cut deeply into education and other public services valued by Marylanders. The union said the Republicans' plan to end furloughs for 80,000 and lay off 500 workers would do more damage to employees' morale.
Del. Melony G. Griffith (D), chairman of the Prince George's delegation, specifically took Republicans to task for proposing to eliminate of a set of education grants that benefit Prince George's and Montgomery counties more than any other areas. "Did you not consider that reducing funding . . . would lower the gains we've made?"
At some point they need to learn. When you are in the opposition you have a duty to oppose. You don't have a duty to go along. You don't have a duty to give the other side a campaign issue. The story in 2010 should be the utterly profligate nature of the O'Malley administration and the serial irresponsibility of the Maryland Democrat party.
But it won't be. Children will be left uneducated. Old folks will be buying cat food. Liberal arts majors will go unemployed. The MVA will slide into inefficiency. If Republicans win.
At some point you'd think they would learn. The Democrats don't need their ideas or their votes to govern. What they need is a foil and a strawman to campaign against. And we keep giving it to them.
Year. After. Year. After. Year.
Just don't hit me in the face.