The big news out of Indiana on Tuesday night was Richard Mourdock’s victory in the GOP Senate primary. He will now face current Rep. Joe Donnelly, who is posturing as a “moderate” Democrat. In reality, that always endangered species died for good with the passage of ObamaCare… which Donnelly voted for.
We all know how this game is played. The media is filled with reports that the genial Mourdock is some sort of tea-swilling right-wing madman who might be too “extreme” for the sensitive independent voters of Indiana. Meanwhile, Donnelly’s left-wing voting history will be papered over.
Nobody is laying down that paper faster than Donnelly, who took some time earlier this week to denounce former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the very incarnation of left-wing extremism… even as Pelosi headlined a fundraiser for him.
Donnelly had already run an ad during his 2010 House campaign touting his “independent” credentials at Pelosi’s expense:
On the topic of the Pelosi fundraiser this week, Donnelly said, “Well, I did not vote for her for Speaker and so, you know, my focus is on the Senate race, what we’re doing here and on job creation.”
Except, as Jim Geraghty of National Review points out, that is not true. Donnelly did vote for Pelosi as Speaker, in 2007 and 2009. He only turned against her when he ran into trouble during the 2010 Democrat primary, and ended up voting for Heath Shuler’s doomed bid to become Minority Leader, not Speaker. (Shuler recently announced he is retiring from the House when his current term expires.) Furthermore, Donnelly voted with Pelosi 88 percent of the time, on a number of important issues that don’t exactly sparkle with “independent” energy:
Donnelly could have accurately claimed he didn’t vote for Pelosi last time, or didn’t vote for her as Minority Leader, but that’s obviously not the impression he’s trying to convey to Indiana voters. No one who voted for ObamaCare is a “moderate” with a “dedication to working across the aisle,” as Donnelly claims to be. The correct term for him is opportunist, not “independent.” He blew his big chance to show the world how independent he is, and the Supreme Court is now our best shot at escaping from the disaster he helped to inflict upon us.
This incident is part of a larger story about the biased way the public is led to worry about supposedly seismic “shifts” and “lurches” to the Right within the Republican Party. The Democrats are the ones that have really been shifting and lurching over the past few years, with enough liberal extremism to drag the “center” so far Left that a Catholic who doesn’t want to pay for other people’s birth control is now a “right-wing extremist.” Thanks for your role in that, Representative Donnelly!