Martin O'Malley has been “outed” as a double-dealer, and hypocritical besides. The governor of Maryland fancies himself presidential material, and to boost his liberal bona fides among Democrats he scorched a White House proposal to deport some of the illegal-alien children swarming the border. The very idea offended his liberal conscience. But when he learned that a few of the children were on their way to Maryland, his wounded liberal conscience made a remarkable recovery. He told the White House: “Not in my backyard.”
In apparent payback for the governor’s criticism, the White House leaked the details of a conversation between Mr. O’Malley and Cecilia Munoz, the White House domestic policy adviser. The governor, as reported in Politico, the Capitol Hill daily, begged that the children not be sent to a former Army Reserve Center in Westminster, Md.
The “not in my backyard” fever has spread among Maryland’s most liberal lawmakers. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake of Baltimore had earlier said the federal government should think again about housing hundreds of the unaccompanied minors from Central America at a vacant former Social Security building in Baltimore.
Exposed for his double-dealing, the governor quickly shifted into damage-control mode, insisting that his opposition to housing the children in Westminster doesn’t mean he is against taking them in elsewhere in Maryland. His aides say they’re working to find “temporary” shelters for some of the illegal-alien children. Note the governor’s use of the word “temporary.”
According to Politico, Mr. O'Malley told Ms. Munoz, a former vice president at the fervently pro-amnesty National Council of La Raza, that Westminster was in a conservative part of the state and that he feared the children would be at risk of harassment or “worse” if they were housed there.
Mr. O'Malley couldn’t resist lobbing a mean slur against the people of Westminster, as if their objection to having hundreds of illegals parachute into town without their knowledge or consent makes them eager to do “worse.” The governor didn’t say what “worse” might be, but it’s presumably to mistreat children. If the governor is concerned about violence against children, he’ll want to make sure they don’t go anywhere near Baltimore.
A new Gallup poll suggests that all the political dodging and weaving on immigration will boomerang on Democrats. Seventeen percent of Americans now consider dealing with the illegal-alien situation to be the nation’s No. 1 problem, up from just 5 percent a month earlier. It’s not very smart to say the illegals are “refugees” in need of asylum, either, as Mr. O'Malley has done.
Mr. O'Malley accused the White House of leaking the news about his chat with the White House about Westminster. “I don’t care,” he said. “It’s right, and treating these children in the manner in which they’re being treated now is wrong, and as Americans we have to all do our part to alleviate this humanitarian crisis … .” But keep them out of his backyard.