Monday, November 12, 2012

Gov. Pence and Ideology

A post-election editorial in the Journal Courier raises the question of whether Governor Pence will work as an ideological culture warrior (as he did in Congress) or as a jobs-focused pragmatist:
Does Gov.-elect Mike Pence understand that his primary job is to be economic developer and job creator par excellence? With the Republicans’ super majority in the Indiana House and Indiana Senate, he could bulldoze social issues. But he is a one-term governor if he does not pay enough attention to the economy and the state budget.

Another editorial in the Indy Star warns of the temptation to overreach presented by a super-majority:
To their credit, Pence and House Speaker Brian Bosma both are promising to work with Democrats and emphasizing budgets, jobs and expansion of education opportunities rather than digressions such as further restrictions on abortion and religion-oriented public school curriculum. . . But there is little doubt that cultural battles will arise. A vote on sending a proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage to a referendum is a virtual certainty, for example. How the supermajority handles this and other volatile matters will go far toward determining how effective it is in on essential matters such as taxes, economic development, environmental protection and education that cross ideological lines.

And in his Sunday feature in the J&C, Dave Bangert notes that Gov. Pence's evangelical allies are planning to mount another effort to promote the teaching of creationism in Indiana science classrooms, even though courts have found that explicitly unconstitutional. How will Gov. Pence react to that agenda?

Can these tigers change their stripes? Stay tuned.