Joe Donnelly hopes you're stupid.
I mean, what other possible explanation can there be when a liberal Democrat claims he's an independent who supports a balanced budget amendment?
It is a myth that there are "different" kinds of Democrats here. The Democrats who run statewide in Indiana repeat the same tired canard: that they are "fiscal conservatives," that they employ "Hoosier common sense," that they are basically a carbon copy of everything Indiana voters like about Republicans. And why not? Republicans have a much better chance of winning statewide in Indiana. Of course, these "fiscally conservative" Democrats aren't much for fiscal conservatism, and they all voted for nearly all of the big-government excesses of the last decade.
There is an easy argument to be made for rejecting Joe Donnelly in November. Records matter. Everything else is just rhetoric. And rhetoric is all that Donnelly is running on.
Donnelly's record is one of a typical Washington liberal who has voted with President Barack Obama on nearly every issue. He's repeatedly voted against budgets that aggressively cut spending. He's voted for trillions in increased debt.
If Donnelly's opponent, Richard Mourdock, is elected in November, he'll vote to cut spending and increase economic growth. Joe Donnelly says he'll do that too, but his record makes it clear that he'll just continue to join with the liberals to pass policies that will make our problems worse.
What kind of independent supports massive expansions of government like ObamaCare, the stimulus spending spree and the Wall Street bailout? The answer: just another liberal Democrat from South Bend.
Donnelly has endlessly droned on during this campaign about how he voted to bail out the auto industry, but he hasn't mentioned his votes to bail out Wall Street and Fannie Mae, whose employees are rather hard to find in downtown Kokomo.
Donnelly didn't vote for the auto bailout because of auto jobs. He voted for the bailout because he's never met a bailout he didn't like, and he's never believed government should stay out of the free market.
The problems faced by America are great – $16 trillion in debt and a stagnant economy. Donnelly says he'll be an independent problem solver, but he's voted for policies that have led to the debt nearly doubling in the six years he's been in Congress.
Donnelly claims he'll compromise to get things done in Washington, but for Donnelly, compromise means he's always going to vote for policies that grow government and kill jobs.
Yes, Donnelly hopes you're stupid. But after reading this op-ed, don't you feel like a more informed voter?
Chris Chocola, a former Indiana congressman, is president of the Club for Growth. The opinion expressed in this column is the writer's and not necessarily that of The Times.