Thursday, May 10, 2012

Dick Lugar's Republican Manifesto of Doom

 By Wayne Bertsch on Nuvo 

Senator Dick Lugar of Indiana just lost a Republican Primary race against Richard Mourdock, a member of the Tea Party. Lugar is - was -  an elder statesman of his party in the Senate, a member since the mid-1970s. He served on and sometimes led the Foreign Relations Committee, and was well-known for working on bipartisan efforts to dismantle weapons systems around the world. When he worked with Senator Sam Nunn (D-Georgia) on such a project they were nominated for a Nobel Prize.

So why don't the Republicans want him anymore? For one thing, in the past he sometimes tried to work with Obama instead of against him. *horrors* For another, he was critical of the Tea Party and their influence on Republicanism as a whole. But basically, he just wasn't conservative enough for the right wing, although no one would have called him a true centrist until now.


After his concession speech to Mourdock, Lugar wrote a manifesto of sorts about why he thinks he lost - over 1,000 words of it! He also sternly took Mourdock to task for his partisan and obstructionist views, and prophecied that if elected the new candidate would get nothing done as a Senator.
Here's an excerpt from CNN
The truth is that the headwinds in this race were abundantly apparent long before Richard Mourdock announced his candidacy. One does not highlight such headwinds publically when one is waging a campaign. But I knew that I would face an extremely strong anti-incumbent mood following a recession. I knew that my work with then-Senator Barack Obama would be used against me, even if our relationship were overhyped. I also knew from the races in 2010 that I 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.

. . . If Mr. Mourdock is elected, I want him to be a good Senator. But that will require him to revise his stated goal of bringing more partisanship to Washington. He and I share many positions, but his embrace of an unrelenting partisan mindset is irreconcilable with my philosophy of governance and my experience of what brings results for Hoosiers in the Senate. In effect, 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. His answer to the inevitable roadblocks he will encounter in Congress is merely to campaign for more Republicans who embrace the same partisan outlook. 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. This is not conducive to problem solving and governance. And he will find that unless he modifies his approach, he will achieve little as a legislator. Worse, he will help delay solutions that are totally beyond the capacity of partisan majorities to achieve.

. . . Republican members are now expected to take pledges against any tax increases. For two consecutive Presidential nomination cycles, GOP candidates competed with one another to express the most strident anti-immigration view, even at the risk of alienating a huge voting bloc. Similarly, most Democrats are constrained when talking about such issues as entitlement cuts, tort reform, and trade agreements. Our political system is losing its ability to even explore alternatives. If fealty to these pledges continues to expand, legislators may pledge their way into irrelevance. Voters will be electing a slate of inflexible positions rather than a leader.

Ironically, while Mourdock explains that his opponent was "out of touch" with Indiana and the rest of the country, Lugar's message actually echoes the thoughts of a majority of Americans that things are too divided, too negative, and basically caught in political gridlock, especially in Washington. Most people want Senators and Congressmen to work together for the common good instead of being purists and didactic theocrats.

So how did Mourdock answer Lugar's Manifesto? He proved him correct by making a ridiculous statement about how everyone should just agree with Republicans because they are always right. I think Lugar knew his opponent and the Tea Party mindset quite well. No middle ground, no compromise. The Tea Party counters Lugar's verbosity with its own one-word manifesto - NO.

"I certainly think bipartisanship ought to consist of Democrats
coming to the Republican point of view."
~ Richard Mourdock of Indiana 
( Miss the Point Much? )


  1. Great article on where the Republican party is now at. President Obama is one of the greastest politicians I have ever seen. The term "No drama Obama" doesn't even come close to describing this man's political savy. The day after President Obama takes a historic stance on gay rights and after Romney takes a strong anti gay rights stance this article hits the web:

    If anyone doesn't think these two things weren't coordinated then they don't recognize genius when it hits them in the face.

    1. That article is absolutely fascinating! How bizarre that a student could be thrown out of Romney's prep school for smoking, but when he attacked that same boy with scissors there were no consequences. Sounds like he was raised to be an elitist bully and a homophobe.

      I think you're right about the timing of the article, and I bet they have more to come about his life during Vietnam, which he spent in Paris. That really drives me crazy. One of my brothers had a college degree during Vietnam, but ended up sent by the Air Force to Goose Bay, Labrador near the Arctic Circle - not exactly Paris, France. But then, we didn't have a Governor for a father. My oldest brother who is just a year younger than Romney had to go into the National Guard.