Tuesday, May 04, 2010
Indiana's Third District: A Race for the Extreme Right
It's Primary Election Day in Indiana: the first Tuedsay after the first Monday in May. I'll be taking a Democratic ballot, so I won't have many choices. But I've had fun watching the Republicans trying to one-up each other. The Third District of Indiana, which includes part of my hometown of Elkhart, is represented by Mark Souder, a Christian Right Republican who's best known for his "Drug-Free Student Loan Amendment" to the federal student aid law. While the restrictions have been softened in recent years, the gist of his amendment was that students with drug convictions were ineligible for federal aid. Or, as my daughter Sarah put it, you can be an axe murderer and get student aid, but not if your record is clean save one conviction for marijuana possession. In any other state, Souder would be considered a right-wing extremist.
But apparently not in Indiana. He's got a primary opponent this year, Fort Wayne car dealer Bob Thomas, who virtually calls him a tax-and-spend liberal. Thomas is from the business right. He's against professional politicians and wants to impose term limits. And while Souder has been known to vote for omnibus bills which may contain things he doesn't like, Thomas appears to be a no-compromise conservative.
After enduring Thomas's attacks from the right, Souder began airing a rather clever commercial:
I live in the Second District of Indiana, currently reperesented by Blue Dog Democrat Joe Donnelly. But if I did live over in the Third, I think I'd take Souder over Thomas. At least Souder has a sense of humor.