Dirty Democrats

Anti-choice, pro-gun, you name it. Eight Democrats who want -- but don't deserve -- your vote tomorrow

Topics: Progressives, Election 2012, Richard Mourdock, EPA, Conservatives, War on women, Todd Akin, U.S. House of Representatives, Gun Control, U.S. Senate, Abortion, Rep. Steve King, , ,

Dirty Democrats

This hasn’t been a great year for progressive causes. Whether you’re a woman, an immigrant, an environmentalist or a person who doesn’t want to be killed by a gun (the list goes on), the 112th Congress was pretty much a disaster.

And while it’s extremists like Richard Mourdock, Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., and Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, who received progressives’ derision for saying (and voting for) completely off-the-wall stuff, plenty of Democrats got in on the rape-denying, gun-loving, science-hating action, too. While these Blue Dogs might not want to repeal health care reform (well, except when they do), their records should still give you pause. Here are eight conservative Democrats who are hurting their party and their country — but still want your vote.



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    Joe Donnelly, Democratic Representative for Indiana's 2nd District

    Richard Mourdock took some serious heat over his recent remarks about rape, pregnancy and divine will, but don’t expect anything different from his Democratic opponent, Joe Donnelly. A hardline anti-choicer, Donnelly has made anti-immigrant tough talk his other Congressional raison d'etre. Bonus: In 2010, Donnelly bizarrely ran an Obama attack ad as part of his House reelection campaign.

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    John Barrow, Democratic Representative for Georgia's 12th district

    A recent campaign ad shows Barrow waxing nostalgic over his grandfather's Smith & Wesson while cradling a rifle in his arms like it's a baby. Choice pull quotes include, "These are my guns now and ain't nobody going to take them away."

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    Daniel Lipinski, Democratic Representative for Illinois' 3rd district

    Lipinkski was co-sponsor of the rape-redefining H.R. 3 (the bill Todd Akin made famous) and supported the ultra-fringe H.R. 358, a bill that would allow hospitals to deny a woman emergency abortion care -- even if her life depends on it.

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    Larry Kissell, Democratic Representative for North Carolina's 8th district

    Kissell thinks preventing people from carrying loaded weapons in National Parks is a violation of personal liberty. But infringing on doctor-patient confidentiality to regulate women's access to abortion along racial lines? Not so much. Kissell supported the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act, a controversial bill forcing doctors to scrutinize a woman’s “motivation” for getting an abortion -- risking fines and possible jail time for their patients and themselves.

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    Mike McIntyre, Democratic Representative for North Carolina's 7th district

    Set the dial on the Wayback Machine to 2003, when McIntyre co-sponsored the Federal Marriage Amendment to define marriage as between one man and woman -- a position he stands by today. Given his anti-LGBT record, it's little surprise that he voted against expanding federal hate crime enforcement. And would it be redundant to mention that he is virulently anti-choice?

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    Rob Wallace, Democratic candidate for Oklahoma's 2nd district

    Wallace is a former district attorney looking to win Dan Boren's seat, another Blue Dog who opted not to run for re-election this year. Wallace called his conservative Republican opponent Markwayne Mullin "weak" on immigration after Mullin generically suggested that it's OK for immigrants to come to the United States legally. Bonus: He ended a recent campaign ad by shooting his rifle at a picture of the state of Texas because, really, why not?

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    Mark Critz, Democratic Representative for Pennsylvania's 12th district

    Mark Critz does not believe there is a war on women -- he has consistently used his vote to prove his anti-choice bona fides -- but he does believe there is a war on coal. Literally. He supported the “Stop the War on Coal Act,” a bill to block the EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions and the storage and disposal of coal ash.

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    Collin Peterson, Democratic Representative for Minnesota's 7th district

    Over the last decade, Peterson has joined Todd Akin and Paul Ryan in attaching his name to nearly every bill trying to undermine women's access to abortion.

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Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at kmcdonough@salon.com.

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