, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

First, full disclosures: I’ve been a Maryland resident for more than 15 years now (though still a New Yorker at heart). I’ve voted for Larry Hogan for governor twice (different elections!) and think he’s done as good a job in Annapolis as could any Republican in a state that’s heavily Democratic (albeit one with a long tradition of choosing moderate Republicans as governor).

But I’ve always thought that he’s spent a little too much time and energy sniping at President Trump and fostering an image as a moderate, unifying, possible GOP and conservative alternative to Mr. Trump’s needlessly polarizing brands of politics and policy.

And my irritation at Hogan just ticked up a notch upon reading this Washington Post piece reporting his decision yesterday to test all nursing home residents and staff for the CCP Virus.

Yes, you read that right: “Yesterday.” Even though the unmistakable and tragic nationwide concentration of virus deaths and infections in such facilities has been clear for months now – in part because of their elderly populations and in part because of their confined quarters. Even though the state’s own new data show that “half of Maryland’s confirmed covid-19-related deaths and more than a fifth of its cases were linked to skilled-nursing facilities.” That’s a higher nursing home death rate even than in New York State, whose Governor Andrew Cuomo is catching flak for his own costly decisions in this regard.

Where’s Hogan been? In part, keeping busy by missing few opportunities to show up the President, and winning praise even from Democrats – most recently by crowing about his Korean-American wife’s success at procuring half a million test kits from South Korea — and conspicuously dissing the President in the process. Interestingly, though, it now turns out that the governor is discovering that turning this showy purchase – which may have been wholly unnecessary – into an effective testing program even in his smallish state isn’t as easy he and other Trump critics have implied. (See here for details.)

If Hogan runs for reelection, I’ll almost surely vote for him again – assuming that Maryland Democrats keep nominating tax-and-spending-happy, Sanctuary State- and city-backing, identity politics-obsessed rivals. But I’ll certainly be hoping that Hogan starts remembering those adages about people living in glass houses and tending to their own gardens.