Joe Donnelly, currently the U.S. Representative for Indiana’s 2nd district, has announced his candidacy for the Senate seat currently held by long time Sen. Richard Lugar.
A view of the extraordinarily beautiful campus of the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, IN. The city is in Donnelly’s district and he is a graduate of the University and of it’s law school.
Donnelly is a mixed bag: Progressive in some areas, conservative in others. I guess we’re stuck with him. Yes, he’s better than a dogmatic right wing Republican but, let’s face it , not by much. And it remains a mystery how a conservative politician can be elected to office in a heavily working class district. Perhaps, like the rest of us, they’re just stuck with him.
But liberals have to consider whether conservative Democrats serve the interests of the Party as a whole.
Some polls have indicated that many independents believe that if you vote for a Democrat and get a Republican you might just as well vote for a Republican in the first place.
Moreover, a conservative Democrat can do great harm to the Party. If he supports right wing policies, as he is wont to do, the party of FDR then becomes cloaked in a regressive conservative mantle and suffers the consequences.
Recall the election for the Senate in Massachusetts – one of the worst defeats suffered by a Democratic president in decades – and the 2010 debacle. The right wing, corporate segment of the Democratic Party had come to dominate the Senate and especially the White House. The real lesson to be learned from these elections is that the Party suffered two awful defeats because it abandoned its progressive roots.
The Mainstream Media of course played the right wing Republican tune that the Dems went down to defeat because they were too liberal. This message prevailed despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. And feckless liberal members of the Party accepted the perverted view of the elections and moved even further to the right, the best example of which is support for the Republican mandated emphasis on deficit reduction while all but ignoring the great issue of the day – job creation for a diminishing middle class.
Conservative Democrats therefore burden the Party with right wing ideology – an ideology that always better serves the GOP.