A Democrat by any other name…

…is just as rank. Maybe more so. In the new issue of the Weekly Standard, Jay Cost conducts an anatomy of this year’s model of the Democrats’ usual “sneak it past the Rubes” deception. This year’s model comes out of Kansas and his name is Greg Orman, Independent (for the gullible):

In Kansas…where Republican Pat Roberts is up for reelection, the Democrats are trying a different form of deception. It appears they have decided to ditch the party label altogether.

In a crafty bit of legerdemain, national Democrats convinced their nominee, Chad Taylor, to withdraw from the ballot. Kansas law states that a candidate can withdraw only if he is dead or not capable of fulfilling the duties of the office. The Kansas Supreme Court apparently agreed that Taylor is not capable of fulfilling the duties of the office, though nobody actually believes this. Taylor remains the Shawnee County district attorney.

The reason for taking the Democrat off the ballot is that an independent, self-financed candidate has emerged who is actually quite a liberal Democrat by Kansas standards. He is Greg Orman. Over the last decade, Orman has contributed overwhelmingly to Democrats, he briefly ran in 2008 as a Democrat to try to unseat Roberts, and a perusal of his positions—especially on abortion—suggests he is to the left of the average Kansas voter. Perhaps needless to say, he will not commit to repealing Obamacare.

Bottom line: Greg Orman is a Democrat running as an independent. So this is a variant of the game Democrats have been playing for years now, with an extra layer of deception: Find a candidate who can win over Republican voters in red states by talking about his independent-mindedness, and when he gets to Washington he’ll be there when you really need him. It’s “sneak it past the rubes” minus the party label.

It is good that six of the eight pro-Obamacare Democrats did not return to the Senate—and maddening that two managed to do so, but McCaskill and Tester were able to get away with defying their constituents because Republicans ran inept campaigns against them in 2012. It is to be hoped that Republicans will defeat Begich, Pryor, and Landrieu in less than two months.

And not just because the GOP needs the seats to win a Senate majority, but also because “independent” red state Democrats need to be taught a lesson. They cannot be allowed to defy their constituents on such a high-profile issue and get away with it. Otherwise, they will only be emboldened to do it more often in the future. (Little wonder, incidentally, that McCaskill, who held on in 2012 in Missouri even as Romney trounced Obama there, was a key operator behind the scenes in getting Taylor off the Kansas ballot.)

Similarly with Greg Orman: If Democrats think they can sneak liberals into the Senate from red states by walking away from their party label, it is an easy bet that they will try to do so again. If Orman wins, look for mass replication of this strategy in 2016 and beyond.

Winning in Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Kansas, then, is an imperative for the Republican party at least as important as taking the Senate majority. Regardless of how the rest of the races flush out on November 4, Democrats ought not be allowed to walk away from the upcoming midterms believing that “sneak it past the rubes” is a viable strategy.

Whole thing here.


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