Skip to comments.Lugar Defeat Sends Many Messages
Posted on 05/10/2012 4:53:56 AM PDT by Kaslin
The defeat of Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar has political tongues wagging all over the nation. Lugar was a major force in the U.S. Senate. He was well liked by colleagues and, ironically, made an early political name for himself as mayor of Indianapolis, where he became known as a strong proponent of the federal government giving power back to cities.
In light of his substantial loss in a GOP primary to State Treasurer Richard Mourdock, Lugar has an opinion as to the loss and what it means, as does his opponent -- as does every Republican and Democratic pundit in America.
Lugar, who was thought of as a rock solid conservative in the days of Ronald Reagan, is clearly stunned that he has somehow been transported in time to a point at which many of his votes and actions had a significant number of Indiana voters believing that he was not conservative enough to continue representing them. He issued a pointed letter following his defeat, blaming increasing partisanship across the nation for his loss. Votes that he felt were necessary for the nation that have since become unpopular with many conservatives doomed his re-election, according to Lugar.
Having been in those hotel suites when an incumbent U.S. senator loses, I can say without hesitation that no matter how far Lugar got off course, I feel for him. Such a scene is much like the immediate family holding a wake -- except in the world of U.S. senators, death would be greeted with less grief. Even those who worked to defeat him should find this man and thank him for his service in the Senate. Regardless of his more recent votes, Sen. Lugar often supplied the critical swing vote in promoting endless conservative and Republican agendas over many decades of service.
Lugar's opponent made it clear that his victory shows that the tea party is alive and well. He is flat out ... right. What most pundits don't get is that the tea party is, and always was, less a party and more a state of mind. And the image that many in the media have of people dressed in Uncle Sam costumes marching down Main Street, U.S.A. as being representative of the tea party is silly. For an incumbent U.S. senator with such huge seniority to lose in a Republican primary in a state known for reasonable and well educated voters, it takes more than the furor of a few activists -- it takes, as even some Democrats might say, a village.
Democrats are highlighting Lugar's defeat as huge evidence of the "extremist nature" of the GOP this year. And some longtime Republican leaders are likely quietly bemoaning the fact that "the nuts" have taken over their party. If so, they are grossly out of touch with the Republican constituency.
Add up the total votes for Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum when both were competitive this year, and it will demonstrate that the very conservative vote among Republicans is more than alive and well.
And the thought that conservatives are motivated in 2012, but only in primary elections, will be proven incorrect when November rolls around. I predict that Mitt Romney's onetime opponents, such as former Speaker Newt Gingrich, will in coming days end their tepid endorsements of Romney and will come out in full force for him.
The real lesson in the Lugar defeat is one of retail politics. Many voters, not just Republicans, are sick of Washington royalty. They perceive many of their Republican leaders as being too caught up in the intricacies and luxuries of the "inside the beltway world" to understand the hell they are going through trying to pay outrageous taxes, keep their homes and businesses going, and just plain making ends meet.
In an article in Politico, Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss was quoted as saying, "I know I'll have an opponent in 2014." I respectfully disagree. Chambliss has a strong conservative voting record and is his state's senior U.S. senator. And he has the good fortune of serving with a very popular and extremely active junior Republican senator, Johnny Isakson.
Chambliss and other in his party don't have to expect opposition as long as they acknowledge their constituents mean business, and with regard to that business, they pound their local pavement to prove that they realize the business that they are in is retail.
Hatch must be shaking in his boots...
The bottom line is that none of these people should be able to make a career out of public office. They act like they’re somehow entitled to be lifelong members of of the ‘elected elite’. They never have to have a real job. They never have to really live under the laws they pass. Plus, even if they don’t get reelected they still get fantastic pensions etc. In the meantime, the good old US of A has to borrow money from China to pay its bills, and we have to listen to people like Bill Ayers gleefully talk publicly about how America is now a declining power.
The Indiana Tea Party learned a lesson in 2010 when Evan Bayh's seat was open. In that election, there were 4 or more candidates that popped up as "Tea Party" candidates to replace Bayh and there was one establishment candidate (Coats) in the race. The Tea Party vote split regionally and Coats coasted back into office. This time around, it was one establishment candidate (Lugar) and one Tea Party supported candidate (Mourdock)and the establishment was defeated.
That there were multiple Tea Party supported Presidential candidates in 2012 is how we ended up with Romney. Hate to say it, but we may need some national level Tea Party organization to slate a candidate next time around.
I voted for Richard Mourdock on TUES
I got tired of getting neutral form letters from Lugar’s Office on issues that clearly needed a correct decision to be made...Lugar was there too long and became an elitist - forgetting who he answered to...
I hope NOV 2012 goes the same for Commissar Obama and his thugs...”Kick the Bum out!”
That's being charitable. What they should get is that reality does not conform itself to their wishful thinking just because they're liberals.
Exactly. If for no other reason.. at 36 years in the Senate, Lugar had been there long enough. Regardless of party, they tend to become enculturated into the beltway structure.
The longer they stay in Washington, the more leftist they become.
It is a disease and none are immune.
The longer they are there, the more their world becomes Washington and their ‘good friends from across the aisle’ than their constituents. From what I have read, Lugar hasn’t even have a residence in Indiana for decades. So, who was he actually ‘representing’?
Incumbency becomes like a bad fungal infestion. They get comfortable and fester.
For an incumbent U.S. senator with such huge seniority to lose in a Republican primary in a state known for reasonable and well educated voters, it takes more than the furor of a few activists -- it takes, as even some Democrats might say, a village. ....
.....The real lesson in the Lugar defeat is one of retail politics. Many voters, not just Republicans, are sick of Washington royalty. They perceive many of their Republican leaders as being too caught up in the intricacies and luxuries of the "inside the beltway world" to understand the hell they are going through trying to pay outrageous taxes, keep their homes and businesses going, and just plain making ends meet.
I think there's a lot of truth in this article.
we are sick of this “reach across the aisle” garbage.
We want warriors who will only reach across the aisle if it is to strangle the liberal agenda.
First, Lugar no longer had a real home in Indiana. He was not Indiana’s senator, but rather a Washington DC senator with some historic links to Indiana. Second, the label “moderate” applies to someone willing, and maybe even eager, to compromise with the left. But unlike a normal compromise where both you and your opponent give up something and meet in the middle, a DC moderate is someone who gives up everything important legislatively to get a kind word from the left in the Washington Post or NY Times.
Plus, the NRA actively supported Lugar’s opponent. Lugar is an active anti-gun rights Senator and Yippee he is gone.
You got it exactly right. The inability to rally around one candidate is what happened.
“For an incumbent U.S. senator with such huge seniority to lose in a Republican primary in a state known for reasonable and well educated voters, it takes more than the furor of a few activists...
So if it was a southern state, we could simply dismiss it as the action of a few unreasonable and uneducated right wing cranks. The bias against certain parts of this nation is incredible.
The longer they are there, the more skeletons they accumulate that they don't want exposed.
Cute lobbyists, opportunities to trade on insider knowledge -- the skeletons don't get exposed as long as they do not piss off the Dems. It's just easier to play ball.
Yes. The “Tea Party” state of mind is alive and well..
No... We wont be supporting the socialist Romney.
Someone better come up with a plan to change things up at the convention.
I would be curious to know how many of them and how much they have in off-shore accounts.
Isn’t it strange that, for example, Michelle Bachmann recently became a Swiss citizen?
The solution to this affliction of Washingtonitis is to repeal the 17th Amendment and allow the Governor and/or State Legislatures to appoint their Senators directly, with an ability to recall them if they stop representing the will of their state, or at will upon the seating of a new Governor. The Senate was supposed to represent the will of the States, not the will of the People. That is what the House is for.
110th Congress S. 2433 in 2007
The Global Poverty Act sponsored by Barack Obama with Co-Sponsor Dick Lugar. Basically they wanted to send $800 billion of tax money to Africa. I had had it with him prior to this but it was the last straw.