Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Mike Pence Riding Lunatic Fringe?

The Northwest Indiana Times reported on Friday that Mike Pence believes Indiana will become a different place if he's not elected Governor, much different.

The gubernatorial candidate reported to his campaign supporters that Indiana faces a choice. What choice is that? Well, he apparently included a Ronald Reagan quote in the missive. The Times' Dan Carden writes:

Indiana will descend into totalitarianism if Mike Pence is not elected governor.

That's the message the Republican Congressman sent to supporters this week while asking for a contribution of between $50 and $10,000 ahead of Thursday's deadline to be included on a key campaign finance report.

In his email, Pence quotes former President Ronald Reagan, who said politics is not about choosing right or left but up or down: "Up to man's age-old dream -- the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order -- or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism."

"That's the choice Indiana faces today," Pence said.

Well, not exactly, Washington Mike.

There are a number of reasons why this statement is completely crazy.

First of all, Pence ignores that his own friends on the lunatic fringe of the Republican Party control the Indiana legislature. In the Indiana House, many expect the majorities to only grow. The Indiana Senate may see some Democratic gains, but you're not going to see Dems control that side of the Statehouse anytime soon, either. Thus, this alleged move to totalitarianism would come under his own party's rule. Not much confidence in his fellow Republicans.

Secondly, Pence's two major opponents, Jim Wallace in the Primary and John Gregg in the General Election, would not be confused with dictators like Lenin, Stalin, or even Hugo Chavez. Wallace is a moderate Republican, and Gregg is a moderate Democrat. Neither one of them will have the Indiana National Guard goosestepping down Meridian Street and around the Circle while simultaneously posting huge pictures of themselves on the Chase Tower.

Ironically, it's Pence himself that's seeming to attempt to capture that cult of personality that's common in totalitarian regimes. Am I pushing the fear button? I suppose if you happen to be non-Christian, non-conservative and not straight. have much to fear from a Governor's Office with Mike Pence in it.

But, back to Pence's statement. It's a CRAZY statement. It's the kind of statement that simply is not acceptable from a man running for Governor of Indiana. Does he really believe this divisive language will get him votes here? If he does, Pence is smoking something that he probably would never vote to legalize.

Pence has been allowed to be crazy for years as a Congressman. He was in a safe district, and he has never had to be accountable for anything he's said or done. That changes by stepping into this arena. It's why his legislative agenda doesn't have many highlights. He's simply been a loyal foot soldier for the GOP.

Now that he's taken a peek to the inside and is moving into that fast lane on his own, people will start looking at that paint job. These are the kinds of crazy statements that make Pence the outsider. He does not represent mainstream Indiana, and, if he does, then it's an Indiana few of us are familiar with.

As it stands, these kinds of statements prove that either Pence doesn't know anything about Indiana or he's just willing to be a fearmonger trying to stoke irrational fears of bogeymen in your closet at night by saying crazy and irrational things. Since Pence isn't stupid, I'm going to say he's misinformed about Hoosiers since he has spent so much time on Capitol Hill and that he is pushing the fear button on purpose. Then again, he learned it best from the National GOP.

Good news though, it seems that wedge issues are going to become tougher to push in the future. Somebody better tell Washington Mike.

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