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Why Lugar Lost
National Review ^ | 05/09/2012 | Brian Bolduc

Posted on 05/09/2012 4:35:33 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

Senator Dick Lugar of Indiana lost his party’s nomination tonight because he had lost touch with the party’s grassroots.

Since his election to the Senate in 1976, Lugar had cut a profile as a moderate Republican: He had supported the ethanol mandate, backed the Brady Bill, and opposed the Iraq surge. In previous cycles, Republicans had forgiven Lugar his ideological transgressions, but in recent years, he had become more brazen. Not only did Lugar support the DREAM Act; he cosponsored it. Not only did he vote for New START, he spoke forcefully in its favor. True, Lugar wasn’t Arlen Specter — he opposed the stimulus and Obamacare — but his voting record was moderate enough to make him suspect.

And a combination of a poorly run campaign, a credible opponent, and a small, energized electorate sealed his fate.

1. Lugar ran a nasty and ineffective campaign. Senator Orrin Hatch faces many of the same challenges Lugar did, yet he’s in a stronger position going into Utah’s primary. Why? Because Hatch has recognized the threat to his candidacy and tried to meet it with full force. Lugar seemingly ignored the Tea Party — even insulted it, at times.

He should have known better. On the campaign trail, Lugar said he knew he would face a challenge as early as October 2010. That month, a group of tea partiers confronted Lugar and warned him he was their next target. They were angry that Dan Coats, who had previously served in the Senate and retired, had captured the Senate nomination because conservatives were divided among a number of candidates in the primary. Next time, they vowed, they would be united.

Although Lugar raised over $4 million for his campaign, he didn’t hit the campaign trail until the fall of 2011. His opponent, state treasurer Richard Mourdock, however, announced his candidacy in February 2011. Lugar met some success in courting conservatives: Leaders of the Hamilton County Tea Party, for instance, decided to back him after hearing him out. But Lugar’s reappearance on the campaign trail also reminded the rank and file that they hadn’t seen him at their Lincoln Day Dinners and their party conventions for decades.

And Lugar wasn’t the most effective speaker, either. When he took the stump, he made a reasonable argument — that, with his seniority, he was an effective advocate for his state’s interests — and he illustrated it with three points: He voted against Obamacare, he wrote a farm bill that would cut $40 billion, and his efforts on behalf of nuclear disarmament were important. Unfortunately, his message was out of tune with the times. And, accustomed to speaking with other pols, Lugar littered his speeches with Washington anecdotes — what Harry Reid had said to him the other day, or how Republicans had delayed Democratic bills with hours of debate. These anecdotes only reinforced Lugar’s image as an out-of-touch politician.

It also didn’t help that he had once told his more conservative opponents on New START to “get real.”

Furthermore, Lugar’s attacks on Mourdock simply weren’t creditable. Because Mourdock lacked a voting record to attack, Lugar’s camp tried to attack his character. Their targets were questionable: a tax deduction Mourdock erroneously received, a number of meetings Mourdock hadn’t attended, a group of junk bonds in which Mourdock had invested state funds. These weren’t signs of an untrustworthy character, but of a person who had made honest mistakes. And voters noticed.

The negative campaign tarnished Lugar’s statesman image. When Howey/DePauw asked voters in their last poll of the campaign whether, over the past few weeks, their opinion of Lugar had became less favorable, 32 percent said yes, while 12 percent said no.

2. Mourdock was a credible opponent.

Unlike Christine O’Donnell or Sharron Angle, Mourdock committed almost no gaffes on the campaign trail. The only major gaffe was committed by his campaign manager, Jim Holden, who in an e-mail leaked to the press compared scouring the state party’s e-mail list to pillaging a monastery. The controversy quickly blew over.

Unlike the Tea Party’s less successful candidates, Mourdock was an experienced pol. He ran for Congress in the early Nineties as well as for the party’s nomination for secretary of state. And he had just come off winning two statewide elections as state treasurer. Soft-spoken and understated, Mourdock also put in a strong performance against Lugar in their lone debate in April: He knocked Lugar on his support of New START and his backing of ethanol, and, in so doing, showed his own competence. Once Mourdock showed he was a credible opponent, he started rising in the polls.

3. Turnout was low and concentrated among Mourdock’s motivated supporters.

When Rick Santorum pulled out of the presidential race last month, Mourdock told Politico that it was the best possible timing for his campaign. Because Mitt Romney had sewn up the GOP nomination, there would be less interest among casual voters in Indiana. As a result, Mourdock predicted, it would be his more ideologically committed supporters who would turn out — and they did.

In the closing days of the campaign, Lugar was left to plead for the assistance of independents and Democrats to save his candidacy. That tactic — along with his refusal to say whether he would support Mourdock if he won the primary — only heightened Republicans’ suspicions of him. Lugar’s mistakes compounded each other, and now the 36-year incumbent, who once seemed invincible in the Hoosier State, has gone down to defeat.

— Brian Bolduc is an editorial associate for National Review.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Indiana
KEYWORDS: dicklugar; in2012; indiana; lugar; mourdock

1 posted on 05/09/2012 4:35:40 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

......Gone down in defeat.....You betcha!


2 posted on 05/09/2012 4:41:31 AM PDT by hoosiermama
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To: SeekAndFind

Winning America, one RINO at a time.......


3 posted on 05/09/2012 4:41:49 AM PDT by SECURE AMERICA (Where can I sign up for the New American Revolution and the Crusades 2012?)
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To: SeekAndFind

Term limits would be the most effective solution but don’t hold your breath until that happens.


4 posted on 05/09/2012 4:45:06 AM PDT by mongo141 (Revolution ver 2.0, just a matter of when, not a matter of if!)
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To: SeekAndFind

There’s some aspect to this article that seems to imply that TP candidates can win if they are “experienced pols”. Sadly, by the time most TP candidates acquire that experience, they have been co-opted.

Congrats to Mourdock, at any rate.


5 posted on 05/09/2012 4:46:08 AM PDT by Attention Surplus Disorder (A conservative, a liberal and a moderate walk into a bar. Bartender says "what'll it be, Mitt?")
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To: SeekAndFind

Can we get a list of pissed off RINOS who endorsed the democrat when they lost in the primary?

In Maryland, it was rino Wayne Gilcrest (MD-1) that was defeated by conservative pro-lifer Andy Harris. Gilcrest endorsed the dem who won a close race. Harris came back and won the seat in the next election.

IN New York, rino Dede Scuzzyfavor (NY-23rd) lost the primary and endorsed the dem who went on to win.

Others?


6 posted on 05/09/2012 4:47:05 AM PDT by icwhatudo (Tax codes and spending don't get 14 year olds pregnant and on welfare. Morality Matters.)
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To: SeekAndFind

That article is trying WAY too hard to analyze Lugar’s defeat.

Why he lost? Because he wasn’t a Hoosier. That’s it. He didn’t live here and wasn’t part of our Hoosier clan.

Simple.


7 posted on 05/09/2012 4:53:57 AM PDT by Azeem (There are four boxes to be used in the defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury and ammo.)
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To: icwhatudo
Worst example: Murkowski going 'Specter'
8 posted on 05/09/2012 4:54:27 AM PDT by Servant of the Cross (the Truth will set you free)
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To: Azeem
And I thought it was simply because he's an 80-yr old out-of-touch doddering tool of the libs...


9 posted on 05/09/2012 5:08:53 AM PDT by Servant of the Cross (the Truth will set you free)
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To: SeekAndFind
Lugar had cut a profile as a moderate Republican: He had supported the ethanol mandate, backed the Brady Bill, and opposed the Iraq surge.

Apparently "moderate" Republican is how you describe a feckless waffler. The Iraq war was not exactly my favorite strategic move in the world - in part because we proved we didn't actually have a strategy. But Lugar only opposed the surge, which is when we finally got a strategy after working through all the ineffectualy campaign hacks put in charge of doing what they didn't know how to do.

I wonder if he is environmentally friendly. If he loves ethanol he must hate fracking which is making available the next couple of centuries worth of natural gas.

10 posted on 05/09/2012 5:10:49 AM PDT by AndyJackson
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To: Servant of the Cross

I’d like to see Saxby Chamblis and Johnny Isakson join him to tell you the truth. Both of these two are RINOs and I, for one, will never vote for either again.


11 posted on 05/09/2012 5:14:58 AM PDT by Gaffer
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To: icwhatudo

Charlie Crist


12 posted on 05/09/2012 5:20:36 AM PDT by csmusaret (Obama's new slogan: "Fo Mo Mo Fo.")
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To: SeekAndFind

Lugar...the poster-boy for the problem We the People have with DC...


13 posted on 05/09/2012 5:22:50 AM PDT by mo (If you understand, no explanation is needed. If you don't understand, no explanation is possible.)
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To: SeekAndFind

And the real reason Dick Lugar lost his bid...
(drum roll, please)

“Indiana Republican Sen. Richard Lugar is running for re-election in a state he has not lived in for over 30 years.

Lugar sold his home at 3200 Highwoods Court in Indianapolis shortly after first assuming office in 1977. But due to a loophole in Indiana law, both he and his wife Charlene Lugar are still registered to vote at that address.”

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/01/30/richard-lugar-doesnt-live-here-anymore/#ixzz1uNKrHkBV


14 posted on 05/09/2012 5:35:08 AM PDT by griswold3 (Big Government does not tolerate rivals.)
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To: SeekAndFind
True, Lugar wasn’t Arlen Specter

Given enough time he would have gotten there!!!

15 posted on 05/09/2012 5:45:19 AM PDT by ontap
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To: icwhatudo
Joe Schwartz in MI 7th district, lost the primary to Tim Walberg and then endorsed the rat.
16 posted on 05/09/2012 5:45:28 AM PDT by Beagle8U (Free Republic -- One stop shopping ....... It's the Conservative Super WalMart for news .)
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To: SeekAndFind

The voters should change their representatives at all levels for the same reason we change babies’ diapers.


17 posted on 05/09/2012 5:47:49 AM PDT by MIchaelTArchangel (Da Bro' Gotsta Go!)
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To: SeekAndFind
Lugar says he'll now have time to do some things he's never done before, visit new places.....like Indiana!
18 posted on 05/09/2012 5:52:51 AM PDT by count-your-change (You don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: Gaffer
Gaffer, Johnny & Saxby are seemingly nice-enough old men. Yet Georgia's US Senators are a silent voice. Maybe they speak but nobody hears them.

Our Nation faces bigger perils than some old man's re-electability. Georgia's Senators like all others should be raising holy hell in defiance of America's tragic ROGUE GOVERNMENT!!!

Make American's choke on their Happy Meals (tm) .

19 posted on 05/09/2012 5:56:56 AM PDT by Broker (Matthew 5:11)
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To: SeekAndFind
Can't wait to see the title "Why Hatch Lost", and so many more in years to come Grahamnasty etc...

Peggy who's name shall not be mentioned Noonan, given her article a week or 2 back will be deeply saddened given she was pro Dick Lugar...

20 posted on 05/09/2012 5:58:11 AM PDT by taildragger (( Palin / Mulally 2012 ))
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To: griswold3
“Indiana Republican Sen. Richard Lugar is running for re-election in a state he has not lived in for over 30 years."

By that logic, wouldn't he have also lost in '06? ... '00, '94, '88 ........

21 posted on 05/09/2012 5:59:30 AM PDT by Servant of the Cross (the Truth will set you free)
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To: mongo141

Agreed, these people should not make “careers” out of politics. Couple terms and back to the real world. Oh, and no jobs afterwards with “companies” who have lobbied D.C.; none, for any former congresscritter.


22 posted on 05/09/2012 6:00:49 AM PDT by Michael Barnes (Obamaa+ Downgrade)
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To: mongo141

80 years old and in office for how long? He must’ve had lots of TV money for commercials. What’s wrong with US voters.....


23 posted on 05/09/2012 6:03:08 AM PDT by wrencher
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To: icwhatudo

Crist and Specter immediately come to mind, along with Murkowski.


24 posted on 05/09/2012 6:04:04 AM PDT by SueRae (The Tower of Sauron falls on 11.06.2012)
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To: icwhatudo

Crist and Specter immediately come to mind, along with Murkowski.


25 posted on 05/09/2012 6:04:04 AM PDT by SueRae (The Tower of Sauron falls on 11.06.2012)
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To: AndyJackson

All of these midwestern politicians loved the ethanol subsidy because Archer Daniels Midland gave them contributions to vote for it. It made ADM and a lot of corn farmers more profit. The consumer paid for it in the form of higher fuel & groceries. He is a typical piece of SH*T politician that was doing what was best for him to get reelected.

The answer to all of these problems is TERM LIMITS for Senators and Congressmen. Two for a Senator , 3-4 for a Congressmen. All of these people who spend 20+ years inside the beltway become corrupted no matter how idealistic they start.


26 posted on 05/09/2012 6:13:09 AM PDT by woodbutcher1963
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To: woodbutcher1963

I would extend term limits to the unelected bureacrats.

No rule maker in the epa should be in there for more than 8 years.


27 posted on 05/09/2012 6:19:43 AM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: All
I hope you Hoosiers now what you are doing..I would hate to trade a Rino for a Dem...we need the numbers in the Senate.

I o not know Indiana Politics (keeping m fingers crossed)

28 posted on 05/09/2012 6:21:01 AM PDT by southphilly (Every State should be a right to work State)
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To: SeekAndFind; seekthetruth; seenenuf; flaglady47; mickie; ExTexasRedhead; Bushbacker1; ...
I'll bet Bob Beckel will be in deep mourdocking today on Fox's "The Five" program. I hope he's wearing a black band around his mouth.

He extolled the RINO Lugar to the high heavens yesterday, and as is his usual wont, called Lugar's conservative opponent, Mourdock, a goodly number of nasty names.

I'll be watching the show today with a tremendous amount of schadenfreude. For those of you from Rio Linda "schadenfreude" means "gloating with malicious satisfaction".

Woo Hoo! That'll be moi !

Leni

29 posted on 05/09/2012 6:22:48 AM PDT by MinuteGal
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To: woodbutcher1963

The answer to all of these problems is TERM LIMITS for Senators and Congressmen. Two for a Senator , 3-4 for a Congressmen. All of these people who spend 20+ years inside the beltway become corrupted no matter how idealistic they start.


Great idea. Throw in they can’t keep campaign contributions, or earn anymore than the actual salary for their position.

That would remove the I’ll get rich, and work beyond normal retirement as many of them do.


30 posted on 05/09/2012 6:27:49 AM PDT by patriotspride
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To: SeekAndFind

lugar’s after election comments ripping the tea party and saying Murdock would be ineffective only demonstrate how lugar was in a mental block in senate country club.


31 posted on 05/09/2012 6:30:02 AM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: southphilly
I hope you Hoosiers now what you are doing..I would hate to trade a Rino for a Dem...

From the article ....

Mourdock was a credible opponent.

Unlike Christine O’Donnell or Sharron Angle, Mourdock committed almost no gaffes on the campaign trail.

Unlike the Tea Party’s less successful candidates, Mourdock was an experienced pol. He ran for Congress in the early Nineties as well as for the party’s nomination for secretary of state. And he had just come off winning two statewide elections as state treasurer.

32 posted on 05/09/2012 6:36:27 AM PDT by Servant of the Cross (the Truth will set you free)
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To: SeekAndFind

Theorem of Occam’s Razor. Generally the simplest explanation is the correct one.

Lugar is 80 years old. He has been in the Senate since 1976.
The voters decided that was long enough and effectively they term-limited him.

By now the electorate has seen what happens when you leave guys like Robert Byrd, Strom Thurmond and Arlen Specter in there until they start going senile.


33 posted on 05/09/2012 6:40:21 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: MinuteGal
Am predicting a humongous “R” win in Indiana in the fall. Hoosiers are pissed. First: BO won by having out of state students register and vote here. Second: the discovery of signature fraud in placing BO on the ballot.
Third: the enlightenment that Lugar hadn't even been residing in the state.

Kids in their twenties visited last night. They (and their friends) are tuned in to what's happening....They're working hard to take the country back. Want their dreams fulfilled....Tea Party may be a bunch of white haired ol fogies, but the youth is too busy working two jobs to attend any gatherings....Doesn't mean they are not with the program.

34 posted on 05/09/2012 6:44:41 AM PDT by hoosiermama
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To: Servant of the Cross
By that logic, wouldn't he have also lost in '06? ... '00, '94, '88 ........

A lot of events came together to allow us to beat Lugar. A lot of conservatives in Indiana had been irritated with Lugar for a long time, but there was no real alternative, and that was principally because there was no money.

The Tea Party helped galvanize conservative support around one candidate.

Citizens United allowed Super PACs to fund Mourdock's campaign--without that war chest, it's very unlikely he could have won.

With a credible candidate that had some money, people starting looking more closely at Lugar, something no one had ever done before. No one knew that he didn't have a home in Indiana until this year. Think about that: the guy had been living in DC for 36 years, and no one knew that he didn't have a house in Indiana. Remarkable.

The Citizens United decision was a BFD. Incumbents always had a huge money and name recognition advantage. Super PACs level the playing field. It will be much more difficult for incumbents to win in the future.

35 posted on 05/09/2012 7:14:07 AM PDT by Publius Valerius
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To: mongo141

Term limits will never happen....it was ruled unconsitutional several years ago....

The best term limits are what happened to Luger...

People getting involved

In a way term limits is a terrible idea as the people will get lazy about bad politicans since they know they will eventually be put out of office...


36 posted on 05/09/2012 7:30:31 AM PDT by Popman (America is squandering its wealth on riotous living, war, and welfare.)
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To: Publius Valerius
A lot of events came together to allow us to beat Lugar.

Thanks for the post. Some great detail and background. Congratulations!

37 posted on 05/09/2012 7:35:27 AM PDT by Servant of the Cross (the Truth will set you free)
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To: SeekAndFind
Senator Dick Lugar of Indiana lost his party’s nomination tonight because he had lost touch with the party’s grassroots.

that statement is a paradox

38 posted on 05/09/2012 7:39:23 AM PDT by wardaddy (I am a social conservative. My political party left me(again). They can go to hell in a bucket.)
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To: Popman

“People getting involved”

“In a way term limits is a terrible idea as the people will get lazy about bad politicans since they know they will eventually be put out of office...”


That might not work either simply because
(a) People getting involved will get shot down by (b)

(b)... People will get lazy...... and(c)

(c) its just about too late for (a) to happen.

(d) opinions vary!


39 posted on 05/09/2012 7:48:34 AM PDT by mongo141 (Revolution ver 2.0, just a matter of when, not a matter of if!)
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To: Popman
It's a lot more difficult to have to constantly buy new politicians, than to keep the same ones bought.
40 posted on 05/09/2012 7:51:28 AM PDT by dfwgator (Don't wake up in a roadside ditch. Get rid of Romney.)
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To: SECURE AMERICA
Flank speed!
41 posted on 05/09/2012 7:55:46 AM PDT by TheCause ("that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States")
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To: Broker

Both of these guys are supreme back sliders. They are first to appease, and then when they get bitch-slapped back to the stone age by phone call outrage at their offices they change their tunes. Bush/McCain’s Amnesty Attempt was one. They did a 180 so fast it snapped their senses.

Johnny never met a political office he didn’t like nor run for. Saxby is just a good ole boy appeaser who will talk tough when he’s running for re-election, but more comfortable in Washington than at home. He honestly confused his near-problem last election as grass roots support for him. In fact it was only fear of the challenging Democrat that saved his ass.

A pox on both of them. We should be standing in the streets everywhere yelling “Primary” “Primary” “Primary” like Norma Rae did with her “Union” scene in the movie.


42 posted on 05/09/2012 8:01:40 AM PDT by Gaffer
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To: SECURE AMERICA

Wow! I was 2 when Lugar was elected to the Senate. You can’t convince me that he’s NOT an out of touch elitist.


43 posted on 05/09/2012 8:09:23 AM PDT by HarryCrowel
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To: dfwgator

Well put !!!


44 posted on 05/09/2012 8:20:54 AM PDT by Popman (America is squandering its wealth on riotous living, war, and welfare.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Lugar lost for the same reasons that NR will eventually lose the majority of its readers.


45 posted on 05/09/2012 8:20:54 AM PDT by vmivol00 (I won't be reconstructed.)
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To: SECURE AMERICA

“Winning America, one RINO at a time.......”


I love that!


46 posted on 05/09/2012 8:23:55 AM PDT by Student0165 ("If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun." Barack Hussein Obama)
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To: hoosiermama

I’m so glad Luger is gone. One less arrogant legislator to deal with.


47 posted on 05/09/2012 8:36:47 AM PDT by Sunshine Sister
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To: SeekAndFind

Politics is a harsh mistress, dick. Kindly and protective until she has no more use for you.


48 posted on 05/09/2012 9:23:43 AM PDT by RobinOfKingston (The instinct toward liberalism is located in the part of the brain called the rectal lobe.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Rino = moderate


49 posted on 05/09/2012 10:13:15 AM PDT by Vaduz
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