Who Knew North Dakota's Heidi Heitkamp Was A Southern Democrat?


There’s a lot of gnashing of teeth on the left today after the Senate shot down President Obama’s nomination of Debo Adegbile to a civil rights post in the Department of Justice. Adegbile was a controversial choice – a man who once was legal counsel to jailed cop killer and far-left icon Mumia Abu-Jamal – and I think the Senate made the right call.

The issues around voting in this country are political enough without appointing a political radical to a key Justice Department voting rights position.

Both of North Dakota’s Senators – Republican John Hoeven and Democrat Heidi Heitkamp – voted “no” on the nomination.

But I have to chuckle a bit at NPR describing opposition to the appointment as coming from Republicans and “a handful of southern Democrats.”

Here’s the list of the Democrats who opposed (not included is Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid who cast a vote in opposition for procedural reasons):

Chris Coons (Del.)
Bob Casey (Pa.)
Mark Pryor (Ark.)
Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.)
Joe Manchin (W.V.)
Joe Donnolly (Ind.)
John Walsh (Mont.)

Only two – maybe three if we count Indiana as “the south” – of those Democrats can reasonably be described as “southern Democrats.” But Pennsylvania? Montana? North Dakota?

I think NPR is more worried about narrative than accuracy.

By the way, Senator Heitkamp is feeling some heat from the left over her vote. Left-wing media like the Huffington Post and ThinkProgress are hitting her for sending out a fundraising ask based on her support for voting rights just an hour after voting down Obama’s nominee who was seen by the left as a major proponent of minority voting rights.

Of course, those sort of attacks on Heitkamp’s left flank are only likely to endear her more to her North Dakota constituency.