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As I write this, the Democratic senatorial candidate running against Mitch McConnell in Kentucky, Allison Lundergan Grimes, is running ads differentiating herself from Obama.
She is seen firing a gun, and declaring “I am not Barack Obama.” Democrats have not and will not attack her for this, as they assume it is largely an insincere electoral tactic to win an election in a conservative state, and that once ensconced in the Senate she will be a loyal Democratic vote on most issues.
Contrast this to the unreasonable conservative reaction to similar behavior by politicians like Chris Christie. Running for re-election in a very liberal state, he distances himself from the House Republican majority to establish his moderate bona fides, and all too many Republicans are ready to condemn him as a traitor. Democrats stick together, which helps them win, while Republicans are damned unless they are 100% pure in their behavior. Our obsession with purity tests is needlessly dividing our party.
I think our party could take a lesson from this.