The Insiders: Democratic phonies are on the run

Washington Post – Ed Rodgers July 30, 2014

What’s with all the Democratic Senate candidates being caught displaying a condescending, insulting contempt for voters? The latest embarrassing incident involves Georgia Senate candidate Michelle Nunn, who suffered the indignity of having her 144-page campaign plan leaked. By the way, whatever happened to political professionals applying the “Washington Post rule”? That rule is simple: If it wouldn’t be flattering if it was published in The Post, don’t put it in writing. Anyway, her entire blueprint for faux authenticity has been published, and it contains all of the usual and contrived political maneuvering that voters find so disgusting. The plan involves trying to create a fake, gun-toting, rural-friendly image for the wannabe Georgian senator supplied by a Democratic PR firm based in San Francisco, and exposes her positions on issues as basic as her commitment to Israel as contrived to drive her fundraising efforts.

But Michelle Nunn is only the latest Senate Democratic candidate to be exposed as a phony.

In March, Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa), who is running for the Senate seat vacated by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), thought he was having a private meeting with a bunch of out-of-state trial lawyers when he let them know he would be their dependable stooge if elected. He insulted and belittled Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and the livelihood of a lot of other Iowans, snickering about how Grassley – who is not a trial lawyer, but a farmer – could possibly be the next chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Heaven forbid. The most damning clip from Braley’s remarks was when he disparagingly referred to Grassley as “a farmer from Iowa who never went to law school.” And things have gotten worse since then, as Braley’s opponent, Joni Ernst, is probably the biggest rising star among Republican candidates this cycle.

In June, in an effort to escape the sting of holding a large donor fundraiser with anti-coal Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) in Washington, Democratic Kentucky Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes pledged she would take a strong stance in favor of coal. Well, that never happened. She just made it up. Not only did Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s opponent not challenge Reid about Kentucky coal during the fundraiser, pirated audio from the event revealed that she did not even mention the word “coal” once.

Then West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, who is running against Republican Rep. Shelley Moore Capito for the West Virginia Senate seat, released a comical ad suggesting she is so bold, she will turn off the lights at the White House and fight her own party to save coal jobs in West Virginia. It’s embarrassing to watch. The very notion that once in Washington she would even try to be an authentic advocate for coal is absurd and everyone knows it. Tennant might know Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) (the only legitimate Democratic friend of coal in Washington) and Joe Manchin may be a friend, but she’s no Joe Manchin.

Any one of these revelations would be uncomfortable for the Democrats. But the steady stream of these incidents is proof that Democratic candidates on the ballot in 2014 are trying to hide their positions from the voters. Think about it. Democrats have resorted to concocted images and positions, because if they told the truth about what they thought, they would lose the support of many of the middle-of-the-road voters who tend to turn out in midterm elections. It is naïve to think otherwise. Democratic candidates can’t reveal themselves as the liberals they are, and they can’t admit they will conform to the dogmatic liberal establishment’s policies as soon as they arrive in Washington.

It’s easy to say all politicians do it, but so far, it’s only the Democrats who have been caught. If this had been four Republicans, this type of behavior would immediately be an indictment of the entire party; but since it’s four Democrats, the party – starting with the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee – seems to be getting a pass. It’s past time to acknowledge the obvious pattern that has developed.