Supporters of Mike Pence’s gubernatorial campaign pooh-pooh the notion that their candidate is an extremist. The candidate himself is frantically trying to re-introduce himself with huge ad buys that avoid any reference to his (exceedingly lackluster) congressional performance or to policies he supports.
Did you know he took his wife skating on their first date? Or that his grandfather was a bus driver?
His surrogates are also crying foul about Democrats’ use of a booklet published by the Indiana Policy Review when Pence was President of that organization, called “Indiana Mandate: an Agenda for the 1990s.” I would agree that a manifesto written nearly 25 years ago shouldn’t be relevant today, had Pence ever suggested he had changed the positions it espoused, or had he not consistently voted for the philosophy that booklet expressed.
Wonder why he voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Act, an act to enforce equal pay for women?
Wonder why he has worked tirelessly to completely de-fund Planned Parenthood?
Wonder why he opposes the Americans with Disabilities Act? Minimum wage laws?
Wonder why he supports school vouchers and other, extensive privatization initiatives?
The justifications are all in that first booklet. Pence’s voting record during his time in Congress has been consistent with these and other positions set out in that Policy Review document. That in itself is fine–here’s a candidate who has a very strong ideology and who has continued to support that ideology. The idea of elections is that we voters get to compare the positions held by the candidates and choose between them. Unfortunately, when candidates realize that their beliefs are unlikely to be embraced by the average voter, they do what Pence is doing: they re-invent themselves.
Mike Pence has never shown the slightest interest in economic development, transportation policy, public administration, or the myriad other issues that occupy a governor. His sole passion has been the social issues that divide Americans–and even in the Hoosier heartland, most people do not agree with his positions on those issues. So he’s trying to “re-invent” himself as a softer, gentler Mike Pence.
When someone walks like a duck, quacks like a duck…..he’s a duck. When someone has an uninterrupted history of ideological extremism, he’s an extremist.