Here I sit in the new Tarkington Theatre at the Center for Performing Arts in Carmel. As I marvel at the fabulous new facility and peruse my program, I notice several understudies will be performing tonight in place of the lead actors. I see the part of the Republican Candidate for Indiana Governor will be played tonight by John Gregg, a Democrat. Hmmm. That seems strange.
But alas, John Gregg is the down-home folksy candidate, reminiscent of Doc Bowen and Bob Orr. Gregg is the one who will sit down at a local diner for a cup of coffee while conversing with the locals about the weather, a la Mitch Daniels. And Gregg is adamantly opposed to sending jobs overseas, and cutting taxes on millionaires and billionaires during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. These certainly sound like Hoosier Values to me, as I understand the term. Furthermore, Gregg’s positions on social issues is further to the political right wing that those of many of my Republican friends.
So who’s playing the part of the Democrat in tonight’s production? Oh I see his name here on the program: A guy named Rupert Boneham, who believes government has no business dictating the reproductive decisions of Hoosier women. While he’s not an advocate of federal regulations on businesses, it seems like he’ll do a fine job playing the role of the Democrat tonight.
But who’s this other actor on the bill tonight? I thought this was supposed to be a two-man play. But this Mike Pence character appears to be in every scene. And while he is obviously a Washington insider, his ideas seem to mirror those of Gregg’s. With one major exception: Pence threatens to derail any legislation if it does not meet a Family Values criterion selected by Pence, an evangelical Christian. Wow! As a mainstream Christian, I’m not sure I like this idea. His religion is just different enough from mine that we won’t agree on many moral and ethical decisions. I can’t imagine what Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Sikh, and atheist Hoosiers must think of this idea.
Furthermore, it says here that Pence so opposes President Obama’s Affordable Health Care Act that he would not set minimum coverage standards for certain insurance plans – the so-called “Essential Health Benefits” package that each state must develop. But I know what that means. That means Washington will set those standards for us. Is this really what Pence wants? Gregg and Boneham have already put forth their ideas for Hoosier benefits coverage. Is Pence so partisan that he’ll put politics before common sense?
I wonder how he ever passed the audition for tonight’s play. He doesn’t seem to fit with the other two actors sharing the stage tonight. I’m not sure I like the way this production has been set up. I think I’ll use the restroom, and then sneak upstairs to the Studio Theatre and see what’s playing there this evening.
Hmmm. More understudies. I see the part of the Republican here will be played by Joe Donnelly, another Democrat. Boy, the Democrats certainly have moved to the political center-right around here. I guess people like me have Evan Bayh to blame, but let’s see what the program notes say about this guy Donnelly.
Looks like his stances on social issues mirror those of John Gregg in the Tarkington production. Says here he supported the General Motors and Chrysler bailouts of the final months of the George W. Bush administration. Can’t blame him there. His vote undoubtedly saved thousands of Hoosier jobs.
But apparently he’s been ridiculed for voting for President Obama’s Affordable Health Care Act. Well, I’ll admit it was a bad piece of legislation. But at least Donnelly can’t be accused of doing nothing. His vote has resulted in health care coverage for thousands of Hoosiers who lacked it. And now my pre-existing health condition won’t keep me from changing insurance providers if I ever need to do so.
And he’s been accused of voting for Nancy Pelosi for House Speaker. Well who was he supposed to vote for? John Boehner? At least Pelosi is against cutting the taxes of millionaires and billionaires during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Boehner is not. And unlike the wishy-washy mealy-mouthed Harry Reid, she seems to enjoy her work, and genuinely seems happy to help those less fortunate than I. Again, these sound like Hoosier Values to me, as I understand the term.
So who’s playing the Democrat in this production? Nobody? How can that be? Then who’s sharing the stage with Donnelly? Richard Mourdock? Who’s he? Hmmm. Says here he’s against compromise in Washington. Is he serious? That’s the exact problem we have now. And he vows to continue the stalemate? On purpose? How’d he pass the audition in the first place?
Isn’t this the play that was supposed to star Richard Lugar, one of my favorite local actors? Guess this Mourdock must be Lugar’s understudy. But what a difference! Lugar voted to save those Hoosier auto parts manufacturing jobs. Mourdock claims he would have voted against them. Looks like Donnelly’s acting style more closely resembles that of Lugar. This Mourdock character seems to be some guy from out of left field – or far, far, far right field, as the case may be.
I’m not sure I care for anything on the docket tonight at the Center for the Performing Arts. Where are the Democrats? Is it too late to bring back Birch Bayh? Is this state so politically conservative that Democrats, as I know them, simply don’t exist anymore? I guess I’ll just go back home and wait four years. Maybe something will interest me then.