Alison Lundergan Grimes has attempted to sell herself to Obama-weary Kentuckians as someone who will be an "independent voice" in Washington. The slogan of the Democratic challenger to Sen. Mitch McConnell is supposed to imply she would be independent of President Obama. But more and more it looks like the only thing she really would be independent of is the viewpoints of a vast majority of Kentuckians.
A week ago Grimes welcomed campaign help from Sen. Elizabeth Warren at an eat the rich event staged before several hundred students at the University of Louisville. The event pitched Warren's support for legislation that would allow students to refinance student loan debt at lower rates and force the wealthy to pay for it. We suppose that's her idea of giving students a lesson in personal responsibility - make someone else pay my obligations.
Warren in 2012 was named a top-20 Progressive by the UK-based New Statesman. She graced the list alongside such liberals as New York Times columnist Paul Krugman and filmmaker Michael Moore. Warren supports broad abortion rights, repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, and expanded gun control, including an assault weapons ban and broader sharing of gun trace information.
We're surprised Grimes would bring someone with that record in to campaign as a surrogate in Kentucky. Tactically it is a stunner. Grimes may have fired up a few hundred college students, but in doing so she aligned herself with someone whose views are anathema to much of the Kentucky electorate.
Not stopping there, she later in the week spoke out against a U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The court ruled that government cannot compel family owned and other closely held companies to provide birth control, including abortifacient drugs, to their employees when such action offends the religious beliefs of the owners. As part of that decision, the court ordered lower courts to reconsider in light of the ruling cases brought by the likes of the Little Sisters of the Poor and other faith-based charities on the same issue.
Grimes attempted to tap dance around that latter point, but in the end, she marched in lockstep with the Obama administration in supporting what has been ruled an unconstitutional infringement on freedom of religion. We think it is safe to say she is again at odds with the views of most Kentuckians on the ruling, particularly those who happen to populate Catholic churches on Sunday.
Grimes also said she would show her "independent voice" by defending Kentucky's coal industry during a fundraiser with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid last month. Her campaign had proclaimed her to be "livid" over the Obama administration's proposed new rules for coal-fired power plants and said she would use the Reid event to "share the stories of how Kentuckians are hurting and demand that the Senate take action to invest in clean coal technology."
But she was outed by Politico, which obtained a tape of the event showing she did nothing of the sort, instead pitching her minimum wage plan that is a clone of a proposal President Obama has failed to push through Congress.
We've seen this movie before of course. Time after time Kentucky Democrats run claiming they're "not like those Washington Democrats" only to prove by their positions and actions that they are, in every way. At least now Grimes is casting aside the pretenses. If elected, she'll be an Obama acolyte, and anyone who doesn't get that read from her actions of late is living in a fantasy world.
posted on: Sunday, July 06, 2014 8:21 PM
Title: Misleading lines on student loans
Warren's bill would not have relieved any student debtors of their obligations. It would have allowed them to refinance at lower rates and paid for it by eliminating some tax breaks for the wealthy. The best argument against the bill is that student loans have a higher default rate than others, but it seems the Sun would prefer McConnell's simplistic talking points to any real illumination of the issue.