We are about a week out from the Indiana Primary on May 8th and with a week to go (and the GOP Presidential nomination settled) it looks like Hoosier conservatives have a real opportunity to replace long time incumbent Dick Lugar, a man long on experience and short on conservatism, with an actual conservative in Richard Mourdock. Polls have shown the two neck and neck for a while and recent polls have started to show Mourdock ahead by five points. I have been supporting Richard Mourdock for a while now because frankly I am sick to death of business as usual incumbent Republicans that have been assimilated by the Washington D.C. political collective.
This morning I heard that the Indianapolis Star has, not surprisingly, endorsed Senator Richard Lugar for reelection. Now in 2012 I have to say at the outset that big city newspaper endorsement have virtually no impact on elections today. We no longer live in a world where the news is carefully disseminated to us by a select few media outlets that control the content and the conversation. Today we have a cacophony of voices which can make it confusing to sift through flood of information but the media flow is no longer dominated by the leftist media that decided who and what was newsworthy. Our democracy is certainly messier as a result but I will take a messy open exchange of ideas over a monolithic establishment media that tells us what to think any day of the week. Anyway, getting this endorsement is probably seen as a big deal by Lugar’s staff.
Let’s look at the endorsement list for Lugar. Senator Lugar has garnered the endorsement of the largest establishment media outlet in the state of Indiana. The Indy Star’s endorsement basically boils down to “vote for Lugar because he knows lots of stuff and compromises with Democrats”. That might have played a few decades ago but we are at a crisis stage in America. We don’t have the luxury of tinkering around, of bi-partisan “statesmanship”. That sort of malarkey where bi-partisanship meant both sides getting all the spending they want and the American people got the bill is what landed us where we are now. The last thing we need in Washington is another old school politician who is comfortable with the most minor of “achievements”, fiddling while Rome burns down around us.
This is not an isolated endorsement. Dick Lugar has the backing of most of the establishment and those who like RINO’s. Current Governor Mitch Daniels disappointingly endorsed Lugar. Condoleeza Rice and George Schultz (huh?!). A bunch of current mayors in Indiana. Some PACs that benefit from the status quo. No one other than Daniels that is an ideologically sound conservative.
What about Mourdock? He has the support and endorsement of groups like the Club For Growth, the Home School Legal Defense Association, Indiana Right To Life, Freedom Works, the National Rifle Association and of course the Tea Party Express. The lines are clear. Lugar has the support of those that see being Republican as convenient for their interests, Mourdock has the support of those that are serious about conservative causes. As a conservative I know which endoresement list means more to me.
So what is the picture that develops here? By and large Dick Lugar is a long time political insider who has lost connection with Indiana. He doesn’t even live here and hasnot since I was in elementary school but he purports to represent us. Senator Lugar seems, up until just recently, to arrogantly assume that Hoosiers have an obligation to send him back to the Senate every six years until he dies or retires. The panic he is exhibiting now speaks loudly to how out of touch he is. I watched the debate between Lugar and Mourdock and to be honest Lugar came across as confused and doddering, rambling on and on about international leaders he has met. That is swell but we need a Senator who will reduce spending and shrink the size of the Federal government. I don’t care how many foreign heads of state you have met in person if you can’t bring yourself to take the hard positions on spending. Dick Lugar was an OK Senator for a different time but times change. The days of tinkering around the periphery of the beast that is the Federal government are long over.
On virtually every issue that matters Richard Mourdock is a more consistent conservative than Dick Lugar. While it is crucial that Republicans take control of the Senate as well as the White House and retaining the House of Representatives, it is also crucial that those Senators not be marked more by complacency and “go along to get along” attitudes but rather are passionate and unflinching in the face of the greatest threat to America since the Civil War. Sending a mediocre compromiser to the Senate sends the message that incrementalism is the name of the game. Sending Mourdock means that Hoosiers are serious about changing the disastrous course of this country, that we are unwilling to pass the buck and the unpaid bills on to the next generation.
I will of course vote for Dick Lugar if he is the nominee over whatever sacrificial lamb the Democrats offer up. A mediocre Republican is still far better than a Democrat who will vote for Harry Reid as Senate majority leader and likely toe the line on every Democratic proposal that comes up. Regardless we will be casting our votes next Tuesday for Richard Mourdock, the next Senator from the state of Indiana and sending him and a message to Washington D.C. that the party is over.