Skip to comments.Is Lugarís Loss an ĎAlarm Bellí for the Death of Bipartisanship?
Posted on 05/10/2012 6:45:39 AM PDT by Kaslin
Mourdock says that's a good thing; Kerry prays for election "purge" in America "of this incredible waste of opportunity that we're living through here."
After Sen. Richard Lugars decades-long career on the Hill came to an abrupt end Tuesday night, some of his Senate colleagues openly lamented his loss, defended his conservative credentials, and blasted his defeat as a troubling sign for the future of the chamber.
Those colleagues were on the other side of the aisle.
Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee where Lugar serves as ranking member, quickly addressed the primary results last night in a long, impassioned statement in support of his longtime friend and colleague, who took a 61-39 percent beating from Indiana state Treasurer Richard Mourdock.
This is a tough period in American politics, but Id like to think that well again see a United States Senate where Dick Lugars brand of thoughtful, mature, and bi-partisan work is respected and rewarded, he said.
But the main message was a warning that the bipartisanship is near the end of its run in the notoriously deadlocked upper chamber or, as the senator put it Wednesday afternoon, the alarm bells have been sounded.
Kerry called Lugars loss a tragedy for the Senate and a blow to the institution during a period when the institution itself has been strained.
The onetime Democratic presidential candidate was far from finished with his lament, as he used a chunk of his floor time today to warn about the consequences of Lugars defeat.
Whether you agreed with him or not, Kerry said, Lugar refused to allow this march to an orthodoxy about ideology to get in the way of what he thought was the responsibility of a senator.
Theres no doubt from anyone on our side of the aisle that Dick Lugar is a conservative, Kerry added, noting hes a proud Republican.
The chairman said that only in the last few years had politics begun to interfere in the foreign policy side of Senate action, and we would do well to get back in touch with the good old days of cross-aisle cooperation.
These are the same rules that we operated with when Bob Dole was leader, when George Mitchell was leader, Kerry said. We got things done we don t have to change the rules, we have to change the thinking or change the people who dont want to do it.
The Massachusetts senator said lawmakers were needed with intelligence and willpower to put the country and its interests above everything else.
My prayer is that this election year is going to help purge this country of this incredible waste of opportunity that were living through here, Kerry said.
It was then Majority Whip Dick Durbins (D-Ill.) turn on the floor, where he said that Lugar and late Rhode Island moderate Republican John Chafee were soulmates.
What a disappointment last night, Durbin lamented, adding that hed worked with Lugar on foreign policy in bipartisan settings such as the Aspen Institute.
We also knew he was a Hoosier conservative, Durbin added, saying that it was known that Lugar couldnt be budged from his ideology and he hoped the Senate wouldnt succumb to temptation to making this place more partisan.
It is a loss, he said. Its a sad day on both sides of the aisle that Dick Lugar wont be part of the Senate in the future.
While expressing doubts about the future of the chamber and, clearly, fears about Tea Party influence within the Democrats acknowledged that they dont know who will ultimately fill Lugars seat in November.
But as much as theyll miss their six-term colleague, Democrats are today more optimistic about the opportunity to fill a seat that was previously in the solid red column. Sensing this opportunity in the making, Majority PAC, the Dems Senate-race super PAC, spent $32,500 on anti-Lugar ads during the primary and not a dime against Mourdock.
Mourdock, backed by Sarah Palin and others on the Tea Party right, is not Christine ODonnell, as former Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh (D) told ABC News, in terms of political and campaign experience though Dems are said to have stocked up a trove of soundbites, including a call for more partisanship in Washington, and actions to whip out against Mourdock in this next leg of the contest.
And he hasnt wasted any time jumping into the ring against his Democratic challenger in November, Blue Dog Rep. Joe Donnelly, who has polled evenly with Mourdock but trailed badly behind Lugar. In an email to the Breitbart News list today, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) sent out a fundraising plea from the Senate Conservatives Fund to jump-start Mourdocks general election effort.
Mourdock is virtually defenseless after spending everything he had to win the primary election, DeMint wrote. The Democrats are going to come at him very hard in the next few weeks and work to brand him as an extremist. We need to act quickly to replenish Mourdocks war chest so he can get the truth out about his record and vision for the future of this country.
Mourdock has said he wants to model himself after DeMint and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), the Tea Party Caucus member who replaced another senator deemed to not be conservative enough, Bob Bennett.
We cant depend on the Washington establishment to fight for him, DeMint continued. Given a choice between supporting a moderate candidate in one state and a conservative candidate like Mourdock in another, the establishment will put its money behind the moderate. They know liberal Republicans wont stop business as usual in Washington and dont have the courage to stand up to the leaders in their own party.
In Mourdocks quest to move the Senate to a more conservative place, that might mean not even supporting Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
What Ive said is, if we get a few more conservatives in the United States Senate, we can certainly change the leadership, but not necessarily the people, Mourdock said on MSNBC today. Ive never made any statement, in fact Ive never had the occasion to talk to Mr. McConnell. Weve not made any decision there whatsoever.
I recognize that this is one of those times where there is great polarization between the two parties, and frankly the ideas for which the parties are working are really at opposite ends of the spectrum I dont think theres going to be a lot of successful compromise, Mourdock said on CNN, adding bipartisanship should be Democrats coming back toward the right.
Lugar, in conceding the race to Mourdock last night, said he wants to see my friend Mitch McConnell have a Republican majority in the Senate. I hope my opponent prevails in November to contribute to that Republican majority.
In a statement issued before his concession speech, Lugar said he knew that he was a likely target of Club for Growth, FreedomWorks and other Super Pacs dedicated to defeating at least one Republican as a purification exercise to enhance their influence over other Republican legislators.
From time to time during the last two years I heard from well-meaning individuals who suggested that I ought to consider running as an independent. My response was always the same: I am a Republican now and always have been, he added. I have no desire to run as anything else. All my life, I have believed in the Republican principles of small government, low taxes, a strong national defense, free enterprise, and trade expansion.
Lugar urged Mourdock, if elected, to revise his stated goal of bringing more partisanship to Washington.
What he has promised in this campaign is reflexive votes for a rejectionist orthodoxy and rigid opposition to the actions and proposals of the other party, Lugar said. He has pledged his support to groups whose prime mission is to cleanse the Republican party of those who stray from orthodoxy as they see it.
But the senator added that the increasing number of lawmakers who have adopted an unrelenting partisan viewpoint applies to both parties.
Partisans at both ends of the political spectrum are dominating the political debate in our country, he said. And partisan groups, including outside groups that spent millions against me in this race, are determined to see that this continues.
Bipartisanship is not the opposite of principle, Lugar added. One can be very conservative or very liberal and still have a bipartisan mindset.
Longtime Democratic lawmakers generally agreed that theyd miss the way that the longtime Republican lawmaker did business on the Hill: genteel and non-confrontational are adjectives theyve used to describe Lugar.
But before the Senate turned back to squabbling about student-loan interest rates today, Durbin did deliver a bipartisan gesture not even seen in President Obamas State of the Union speech an address delivered shortly after the man who filled Obamas Senate seat was felled by a stroke, but who was absent from Obamas words.
Durbin said on the Senate floor that when a doctor first publicly issued a grim prognosis for his Illinois colleague, I was upset because I thought, He doesnt know Mark Kirk. He will be back. Im sure it will be soon.
Kirk singled out Durbin and a handful of other lawmakers among his congressional family that have supported him in a Chicago Tribune column today about his stroke.
Durbin, who spoke to Kirk this week, said hes looking forward to getting back to weekly joint town hall meetings with the Republican senator. People just love it when we disagree because we do it without getting angry at each other, he said.
There will be many from both sides of the aisle cheering his return to the United States Senate.
If you’ve been there 35 years and everybody loves you, you are part of the problem.
Bipartisanship? OH, we mean that liberal bait. That RINO “moderate” method of covering up the crimes of liberals and of the rules of pimping they were all living by all along, not letting us know... that corruption of the “tolerant and modreates” at the hands of terrorists.
AH, that bipartisanship called RINO cover up of games whose rules we are not told about... yeah... that game of naming who is a terrorist and who is not...
Let the games begin...
Adam Smith’s invisible hand reaches across the aisle and gives the finger to our former “good friends”
LOL. Where is JF'nK's brand of thoughtful, mature and bi-partisan legislative performance to be seen?
How about a BUDGET, d00fus.
The word “bipartisan” means that some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out. - George Carlin
To answer the headline question: I hope so, because bipartisanship in the eyes of the DemonRats and Lamestream media means Republicans cave every time... so Yes - I do indeed hope Lugar’s ouster is indeed the end of bipartisanship.
Is bipartisanship where the Republicrats, like Lugar, crawl across the aisle on their knees and beg to please the opposition?
Is bipartisanship where the Democrats crap on the floor and the Republicrats clean it up?
If this is the case then YES! No more bipartisanship and no more Mr. or Mrs. or Miss nice guy! No more of this ‘my honorable friend from -———’
Hence, his excision.
Note to other Republicans: Learn it. Live it. Love it.
“We cant depend on the Washington establishment to fight for him, DeMint continued. Given a choice between supporting a moderate candidate in one state and a conservative candidate like Mourdock in another, the establishment will put its money behind the moderate. They know liberal Republicans wont stop business as usual in Washington and dont have the courage to stand up to the leaders in their own party. “
Sadly, some have accused DeMint of being a rino. At some point we need to stop attacking our allies, flaws and all, and start attacking the real enemy.
If nothing else, this proves he needed to GO!
Awwwwww. Poor John Kerry. And he was SO looking forward to endorsing Lugar over his DemocRAT opponent.
What the hell did he say?
My prayer for all of you old bats up there: "Be afraid, be very afraid, your days are numbered, and you too will be PURGED."
The bi-partisanship that brought us to a 15 TRILLION dollar defecit, surrender in the war on terror, Russia and Red China resurgent, the Middle East on fire, ObamaCare, the Chevy Volt, Solyndra, Fast and Furious, $4/gallon gasoline, the EPA terrorizing industry, food police, a flood of illegals, millions of children being killed, government in every aspect of our lives, homosexuals in the military and TRILLIONS spent on welfare? Let’s hope that’s the end of it!!
Would that be the Federal Fecal Finger?
Amazing how Democrats love Republicans once they are out of office.
There are no RINOs, Republicans, maybe with the exception of Reagan, have always been spineless Jellyfish. If anything it was Reagan that was the RINO.
In other countries it is called "coalition government". It is only entered into because no one party has a majority or because the country faces an existential threat such as a war.
In parliamentary systems, the government is "opposed" by the "opposition" which is basically opposed to everything the government is doing.
It was Obama’s election that ended bipartisanship.
Death of bipartisanship my ass. One less RINO, who caves to the dems, I’d call it a good start!
One could only hope, but I'm not holding my breath...
They are there to represent their constituants and their state within the bounds of the constitution. When they lose sight of that, they enter the world of bending over for the libs albeit some of the recently enacted anti liberty and freedom laws bely the notion that it is only the dems who are “liberal”.
Maybe in that far off land where there are conservatives and moderates in both parties, compromise was possible but not today as one party is hard corps left with no internal decension allowed...the other is not quite as lefty and equally the leaders allow no division in their ranks. So, you are either hard corps left or “moderate”. What do you get when a moderate compromises with a hard corps lefty: a socialist.
Carlin had that nailed.
Re: Durbin’s comments on Lugar.
I am sure the good voters of Indiana are pleased as punch to have the senator from the people’s republic of Ill-Annoy criticize their choice.
If Kerry and Durbin are SO interested in bipartisanship, I am sure Sen. Mourdock will be happy to have them support his policies, and move his (Mourdock’s) bills forward in the Senate.
PJ Media is a good crew, so I will be gentle to the author.... but there is no such thing as ‘bipartisanship’. There is either go along with the socialists and Democrats (and you will be called bipartisan), or oppose the socialists and Democrats (and you will be called a reactionary right-winger Teabagger terrorist).
If what we have now is “bipartisanship”, then I want no more of it.
I would actually REJECT the premise that we currently have a Congress that acts with bipartisanship. We have one party whose stated goal is to continuously move this country toward MORE state-controlled dependency. And if other parties go in a different direction, they are deemed radical. I don’t believe that you can establish ANY bipartisanship when one side not only does not budge, but actively works to FUNDAMENTALLY TRANSFORM this country.
When your party uses terms like “Fundamentally Transform”, who is the radical?
And while we are talking bipartisanship, the only time that word is used in Congress is when the Democrats do not have complete power. From 2007-2010, the Republicans were not just ignored, but they were actively LOCKED OUT of legislative discussions.
I don’t want bipartisanship, I want fist fights on the Senate floor, like in the Taiwanese Parliament.
Drag yerass Lugar. You're next Hatch, Snowe, Graham...
Thoroughly disingenuous as it ignores the fact that the Dems are purging all of their “moderates” as well (Jason Altmeyer here in Pennsylvania being a prime example)
The party that crammed Obamacare down our throats without a single Republican vote now pretends to be concerned about “bipartisanship”...
No, I don't think so.
The Obama is driving us toward a cliff, and Lugar was among the chorus saying “oh, you might want to slow down a little”. His constituents swapped him out for someone promising to grab the handbrake and yank hard.
Bi-Partisanship just means Republicans caving into the the demands of the Democrats. When was the last time you ever heard a Democrat getting praise for working with the Republicans? How about never.
The reason our country is in the sorry shape its in is due to 65 years of the Republicans engaging in Bi-Partisanship. Its way past time for that ship to sail.
Luger is part of the problem in Washington. He has become a political insider willing to cut deals for special interests that support him and putting what is best for the country as a whole out of mind. Good riddance.
Wrong, they liked this guy while he was in office.
That is how you know he is BAD.
Kerry said we need leaders with intelligence. Is he resigning?
it’s a death knell for unilateralism by the Democrats. their “my way or the highway” command isn’t “bipartisanship”, but dictatorship. We want Republicans who can stand their ground and not collapse in the face of confrontation
” - - - bipartisanship is near the end of its run - - - “
Let’s hope so!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We voting taxpayers are REALLY tired of our sorry “public servants” continuing to sell America down the River.
BTW, isn’t the DC word “bipartisanship” code for the voter’s term “CAVE-IN?”
Well, since "bipartisanship" means "Republicans do whatever liberal Democrats want, while liberal Democrats do exactly what their leadership says and give Republicans nothing in return", one can only hope.
BiPartisanshit = RINOs cave!
What a load of crap from Kerry. . .where are the Dems who “walk across the aisle? . . .What happened to Joe Lieberman? He’s liberal. . but he “walked across the aisle” on national defense and the war against terror. . .where’s Joe?. . what did you do with Joe? Dems?. . .hello?. . .anybody?
I think about THAT book EVERYDAY lately
EXCELLENT POINTS....we need to start saying WE are the OPPOSITION PARTY! We oppose socialism, communism, the loss of freedom, government overreach, excess taxation...etc...etc...
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