Politics & Policy

Senate Democrats Flee Obama . . .

Arkansas senator Mark Pryor (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
On the campaign trail, that is. He has their votes on the Senate floor.

‘Barack who?”

This is the battle cry of Senate Democrats who are desperate to keep their jobs and maintain Nevada’s Harry Reid as mortician for nearly every pro-freedom, growth-oriented reform forwarded by the Republican House of Representatives. Democratic incumbents are fleeing the increasingly disappointing and distrusted Obama. Alas, for these liberals, their floor votes reflect not independence from this failed executive but, instead, a canine sense of loyalty to Obama.

‐I don’t get people to come and campaign for me very often,” Mark Pryor told Politico, keeping Obama at arm’s length. “To me, in Arkansas, people don’t vote for you because somebody else says vote for you.” However, Pryor hardly spurned Obama last year. Instead, as Congressional Quarterly/Roll Call calculates, Pryor in 2013 voted 90 percent with Obama and his explicit legislative preferences.

‐“I look at myself — common sense, middle of the road, independent thinker,” North Carolina’s Kay Hagan told the Associated Press. Voting 96 percent with Obama suggests that Hagan should take another look at herself.

‐“I don’t care to have him campaign for me,” Senator Mark Begich told Politico about Obama. The Google hit for Begich’s campaign website calls him “As Independent as Alaska.” Begich’s 97 percent pro-Obama votes challenge that notion.

‐“The administration’s policies are simply wrong when it comes to oil and gas production,” Louisiana’s Mary Landrieu declared in a campaign TV commercial. While Landrieu lacks Obama’s petrophobia, she nonetheless voted 97 percent Obama’s way.

‐Virginia’s Mark Warner, a self-described “radical centrist,” told voters in August: “There’s a lot of places I disagree with the president.” And yet, somehow, Warner managed to back Obama 97 percent of the time.

‐“I support what’s good for New Hampshire, and when the president agrees with that, that’s great,” Jeanne Shaheen told WMUR-TV. “When the president doesn’t, then I disagree with the president.” Indeed, Shaheen differed with Obama — precisely 1 percent of the time. Beyond that particle of dissent, Shaheen was 99 percent pro-Obama.

‐“The White House, when they look down the front lawn, the last person they want to see coming is me,” Colorado’s Mark Udall said last month. Funny, you would think the White House would welcome Udall, who voted last year 99 percent with Obama.

Voters should see right through Senate Democrats’ efforts to treat Obama as a stranger. They proudly stood with him through an $832 billion stimulus bill that stimulated very little. Even worse, according to Philip K. Howard, author of The Rule of Nobody, only 3.6 percent of those funds built or repaired transportation infrastructure. Stimulating such “shovel ready” jobs was the entire point of this gargantuan expenditure.

Senate Democrats repeatedly backed Obama’s breathtaking borrowing as he inflated America’s national debt by 69 percent — from $10.6 trillion to $17.9 trillion.

And, most notoriously, these Democrats jackhammered Obamacare down Americans’ throats, even as a majority of citizens screamed, “Stop!” While some previously uninsured people now are covered, at least 6.3 million individuals saw their plans canceled (including me — twice). Medical costs have climbed, not cratered. Healthcare freedom and choice have been crushed. And Obamacare’s original, ten-year price tag nearly has tripled — from $900 billion to $2.6 trillion.

The “Barack Who?” Democrats authorized these and other travesties on Obama’s behalf. They can run, but they cannot hide from their records. Nor can they hide from the voters, who should replace them on November 4 with pro-growth advocates of tax relief, limited government, and peace through strength. These include Arkansas’s Tom Cotton, North Carolina’s Thom Tillis, Alaska’s Dan Sullivan, Louisiana’s Bill Cassidy or Rob Maness, Virginia’s Ed Gillespie, New Hampshire’s Scott Brown, and Colorado’s Cory Gardner.

In that connection, voters should heed Obama himself. He lashed these Senate incumbents and hundreds of other Democrats to his record and agenda.

“I’m not on the ballot this fall,” Obama crowed October 2. “But make no mistake. These policies are on the ballot. Every single one of them.”

— Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace at Stanford University.

Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a contributing editor of National Review Online, and a senior fellow with the London Center for Policy Research.

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