A damaging consequence of Republican gerrymandering and the creation of “safe” districts has been the behavior of Democrats, who effectively concede many such districts by failing to put up a candidate.
You would think that statewide elections would be different, since they can’t be gerrymandered, but in Red states like Indiana, the Blue statewide candidates have all-too-often appeared to be tokens. I assume that’s because more competitive politicians opt out because they consider the state party too weak and/or the state too Red. Whatever the reason, that lack of competitiveness has facilitated the political rise of some truly substandard Republicans.
This year, the likely candidates for Governor (Mike Braun) and Senator (Jim Banks) are particularly odious. But also this year–for whatever reason–the Democrats are running two absolute stars for those same positions.
I have previously posted my reasons for admiring and supporting Jennifer McCormick for Governor. More recently, Mark Carmichael has announced a run for Senate.
Carmichael– a self-described “old political warhorse” was elected to Indiana’s General Assembly in 1986, after defeating a sitting Speaker of the House. He says he entered the race because, among other things, he has four granddaughters, and because Indiana deserves better than to be represented by someone as “mean-spirited, blindly partisan and out of touch with the majority of Hoosiers as Jim Banks.”
His attacks on innocent LGBTQ children for purely political gain are disgusting and his vote against certifying the Biden election and dishonest rhetoric on FOX News after that election help lead to the riot at the U. S. Capitol on January 6. He should be ashamed.
Carmichael also issued a list of his ten most important positions and goals–all of which I can enthusiastically endorse.
- Believes women’s rights are human rights and will work to codify Roe v Wade at a minimum.
- Will work for a ban on military style assault weapons—the weapon of choice for the mass murderers of our children and other innocent victims, and will fight for a national red flag law.
- Is concerned about the white nationalism and antisemitism growing in our country thanks to extremists’ ugly rhetoric, and by someone who believes racism is still a cancer on the United States.
- Wants to leave our planet better than we found it for our children and grandchildren and will take immediate action on global warming.
- Will stand up for the LGBTQ youth who are being used as political pawns by mean-spirited, calculating Republicans who needed a new social wedge issue after Roe v Wade was overturned by the Republican Supreme Court majority. These vulnerable children deserve our help, not scorn, and their healthcare decisions should be left up to their families and compassionate, qualified doctors, not political opportunists.
- Is committed to confirming fair and impartial federal judges, not like the partisan appointees that have been foisted on us by Mitch McConnell and the Federalist Society. We deserve judges who don’t lie to get confirmed or accept generous gifts and travel from wealthy patrons.
- Is committed to no more gratuitous tax cuts for the rich and corporations who use the windfall to buy back and drive up the price of their own stock.
- Believes teachers and librarians deserve our help and respect and not the threat of losing their jobs or getting shot. They shouldn’t have to fear being accused of a felony if someone whines about a book or movie that speaks honestly about life as it really is.
- Will push for marijuana to be reclassified at the federal level from a Schedule 1 drug to a Schedule 3 or less.
- Will work to lower drug costs and bring adequate medical care to all parts of Indiana, and will push for Medicare for all citizens.
In 2024, Indiana citizens will vote to replace an undistinguished and retrograde MAGA Senator (Braun, who is leaving the Senate to run for Governor). We will either replace him with the even more MAGA Jim Banks, or with someone who has actually read the Bill of Rights and has chosen to live in the 21st Century.
McCormick and Carmichael are immeasurably more attractive candidates than the dour and reactionary Rightwing ideologues they will face. More importantly, according to survey research, their positions–on abortion, on guns, on education, on civic equality–are far more representative of those held by a majority of Hoosiers.
I have friends and family members who believe that all it takes to win statewide office in Indiana is an R beside the candidate’s name–that candidates’ intellect, character and positions on issues are irrelevant to the tribal rural voters who dominate state politics.
If we are ever to have a test of that thesis, the upcoming Senate and Gubernatorial races will provide it.