A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Bullshit
Governor Martin O’Malley delivered his final State of the State address this morning.
It did not disappoint, so full was it of measures and metrics and, oh God, in the online version, even footnotes: “Goals. Deadlines. Performance measures. This is also how we are making our air and our waters cleaner. ”
Anyone who has paid attention knows that the governor sold out the Chesapeake Bay to the chicken industry while socking residents with new taxes to clean up that for which he would not hold industry responsible. There’s a litany of these bait-and-switches in the speech and in his record. Almost every one of them attributable to his ambition for higher office, which burns in his loins like a dose of the clap.
The governor’s rules of political conduct would be easy to guess even if they had not been the prime directives of policy:
- Never offend a potential campaign contributor when you can tax some poor schmuck instead and use statistics to claim victory.
- Never push a legislative agenda until the escape pod doors are already swinging open.
The governor is calling to raise the minimum wage to $10.10, which is a good thing. Maybe it will even happen. But O’Malley seldom if ever before last fall expressed a legislative concern about the earnings of poor people, even as wages stagnated under his watch in Baltimore and in the state (and nation) as a whole.
Instead, he has focused exclusively on highlighting snippets of data that make the state under his watch look shiny to national reporters who, he hopes, will not check the facts. Even in this speech: “Because of these actions, the Pew Foundation now ranks Maryland one of the top three states for upward economic mobility.”
One may well ask: if upward mobility is so great, why do the poors need a raise? Won’t they just get them some upward mobility?
But then, attempting to apply logic to an O’Malley speech is like applying a tourniquet to a neck wound. You can do it…but you’ll kill the dream.
All the usual O’Malley themes are present: the unwavering faith in technology, the juked statistics, the hand-wringing about how “we can do better,” the stage-managed appeals to hope for a better future.
Then at the end of this absurd pile of non sequiturs that would humiliate anyone possessing even a coke spoon’s worth of intellectual honesty or self respect, The Governor of Maryland actually says: “The only things worth doing are the things that might possibly break your heart.”
What those things were, or what they are, is not defined.