The theocratic wing of Indiana’s Senate Republicans intends to either fill the Senate Presidency with one of their own or demand obedience of the person who fills the post left vacant by Sen. Garton’s ouster. Mary Beth Schneider and Michele McNeil have an article in the Indianapolis Star about the political maneuverings to fill the slot.
“The next president pro tempore will be a strong conservative,” vowed Sen. Mike Delph, R-Carmel, who said he may seek the job if no other conservative candidate emerges.
At a minimum, said Sen. Jeff Drozda, R-Westfield, conservatives will have a strong voice in who becomes president pro tempore.
“The next leader will either be part of the new conservative wing, or it will be someone who can demonstrate that they can abide by our philosophies,” Drozda said.
The top job isn’t the only thing at stake. So are all the committee chairmanships, which are named by the president pro tempore; the topics of the committees; and control of the legislative agenda in the Senate.
Drozda predicted that, regardless of who becomes the new Senate leader, conservatives will control “a large portion of leadership.”
Judging from Drozda and Delph’s legislative history, they mean “conservative” in the biblical sense. Though, to be fair, unlike Senate candidate Walker, I don’t know their stances on public flogging.
Senator Meeks, that old curmudgeon, thinks the conservative whippersnappers are getting ahead of themselves. Traditionally, seniority has ruled in the Senate. Ironically, I suspect the conservative newcomers don’t give a hoot for traditions that don’t give them power.
“We’ll get more of them, too,” Meeks said [of the new theocrats]. “When you get a guy (Walker) who believes in public flogging, and he beats the Senate president pro tem, what does that tell you?”
It tells me that the inmates are running the asylum. I just hope the floggers don’t get the benefit of the doubt from voters just because they’re running under the brand-name made popular with Hoosiers by level-headed Republicans like Meeks, Garton, and Kenley. “Republican” today means something entirely different than it did a generation ago.
The article cites as potential candidates to fill the post: David Long, Jim Merritt, Luke Kenley, Mike Young, Jeff Drozda, and Mike Delph.