If any political group supports a candidate for office, they expect certain things from that candidate. It’s just how the game is played.
No, this doesn’t mean they “own” the candidate or anything. The support from these groups comes because they believe the candidate aligns with them in the first place, but that makes it no less of a betrayal when the candidate takes office and goes against those positions.
As such, the National Rifle Association’s decision to pull support from Maryland’s governor makes perfect sense.
Maryland’s Republican governor lost the support of the National Rifle Association and had his ranking downgraded Saturday after signing gun control legislation.
— Sun Breaking News (@BaltSunBrk) September 22, 2018
The Baltimore Sun first reported that the organization wouldn’t endorse Gov. Larry Hogan during his re-election campaign as it had during his successful 2014 run for office.
The organization reduced Hogan’s “A-“ rating earned four years ago to a “C,” NRA spokeswoman Jennifer Baker told the Sun. The grading reflects how well the candidate protects the rights of gun owners.
Hogan had signed a series of gun control bills in April, including a ban on “bump stocks” — devices that let a weapon fire repeatedly, like a machine gun — and a “red flag law” that makes it easier to remove guns from individuals deemed dangerous, the Hill reported.
Hogan had reportedly claimed he would reject the NRA’s endorsement, while simultaneously claiming to still believe in the Second Amendment.
Of course, that’s a line of male bovine excrement.
By his actions, Hogan has created more infringements on Marylanders’ gun rights with a stroke of the pen. The NRA expected Hogan to defend people’s gun rights, and he didn’t.
The governor joked that the NRA wasn’t a big fan of his, and he’s right. But it’s not the only one critical of Hogan’s betrayal.
It’s not like this created any goodwill with gun control supporters in his state. They viewed his move from a more cynical point of view, which means he alienated his side while not making headway with the other.
Further, I can’t help but wonder just what good Governor Hogan has been for gun owners in the state.
Truth be told, bump stocks and red flag laws aren’t the worst betrayals possible. If he’d been crusading for Marylanders’ gun rights before signing this bill, I might have believed the Republican supported the Second Amendment. About the most he’s reportedly done is appoint pro-gun members to a body that hears appeals of denied conceal carry permit applications. That’s it.
His refusal to try and budge the needle of liberty, though, prior to signing more gun control is a slap in the face of every gun rights supporter who voted for Governor Hogan.
Frankly, I think the NRA dropping his grade to a “C” is proof that the organization is being fair with its grades if you ask me. If it were up to me, I’d have given him an “F” on general principle.
It’s probably a good thing for Hogan that I’m not making that call.