Byron Dorgan spent his last years in the United States Senate only pretending to live in North Dakota. These days he doesn’t have to pretend any more, condescending to leave his Virginia mansion and visit we peasants only when it’s time for him to lend his name recognition to some left wing cause in the state.
This election cycle Dorgan is serving as a sort of political proxy for Senator Heidi Heitkamp. She’s on the ropes in her campaign to get re-elected to the Senate, and Democrats have deployed exaggerations and falsehoods against her challenger Kevin Cramer, claiming he supports putting North Dakotans with pre-existing conditions at risk of losing their insurance, etc., etc.
A key talking point in that line of attack is the idea that a Texas lawsuit challenging the legality of Obamacare, in which North Dakota is a co-plaintiff, is somehow an evil, evil thing.
“North Dakotans shouldn’t be happy they outsourced their health care interest to some Texans,” Dorgan told reporter Patrick Springer yesterday.
I would argue that North Dakotans have been unhappy about what Democrats did to their health care for some time. It’s why Dorgan’s friend and fellow Democrat, former Congressman Earl Pomeroy, lost re-election in 2010. In fact, backlash from North Dakotans over the Obamacare vote are probably why Dorgan himself, along with former Senator Kent Conrad, decided to retire from the U.S. Senate rather than run for re-election.
That Dorgan would now criticize Republicans for joining a lawsuit questioning the legality of that controversial policy, which didn’t make health insurance cheaper or easier to get, takes some real cojones.
Notice when Dorgan and other Heitkamp surrogates attack this lawsuit, they don’t really talk about the merits of the case. They don’t really talk about the legal arguments Texas, North Dakota, and other states have made against the on-going constitutionality of Obamacare.
The Democrats talk about policy outcomes. As if that were more important than whether or not the law is legal.
As if the ends justify the means.
Honestly, though, I don’t think any of the Democrats would be talking about this lawsuit much if Heitkamp weren’t on the ballot this cycle and in need of a boost because she’s trailing in the polls. This is a variation of a typical election year strategy from our liberal friends, which is scaring voters into believing that callous Republicans want to deny them health care, etc., etc.
It’s an interesting gambit, not one I would have guessed at when this election cycle began. We’ll see how it works out for them.