It's not often you get a heaping, stinking load of political bad faith delivered to your doorstep.
But that's what I found last week: Campaign pamphlets for a range of Maryland's right-wing candidates running in the 2022 midterms, including Dan Cox, the Republican gubernatorial candidate who happens to be a fascist and an insurrectionist. Amid a small pile of red, white, and blue fliers from Republicans who have no chance of winning more than 40 percent of the local vote in November was a pamphlet for someone named Frank Nice, a candidate for state delegate who touts himself as a progressive. It's right there in big letters, atop his flier: PROGRESSIVE.
Frank Nice claimed to be a progressive "before it was a word."
That's weird, I thought. The state delegate who represents my area, a fine guy and a fellow fantasy football player named Vaughn Stewart, is a progressive. He's sponsored and backed some of the best proposals in Annapolis over the past few years, advocating for working people and trying to protect immigrants in the state. Was this Frank Nice character some sort of insurgent independent candidate primed to siphon Democratic voters from Stewart in his reelection bid?
Why was Nice's campaign literature scattered among Dan Cox postcards pledging to "promote patriotism," "defend the police," "stop critical race theory," which of course is not taught in Maryland schools, and to defend "parental rights," another term for allowing radicalized red-pilled parents to bully and intimidate and threaten educators and school officials until their kid no longer learns about real U.S. history.
I got a whiff of Nice's bad-faith politics when I read his description of himself as "entitled" and "educated" and "privileged," words I'm sure he thought would resonate with white liberals racked with white guilt – truly a right-wing caricature of the typical suburban liberal who might be open to voting for a so-called moderate Republican once in a while.