Lugar out of Senate after 6 terms

C. Edmund Wright
A funny thing happened on the way to the funeral for the tea party movement.  Yes, with the Jurassic media full of stories about the demise of the movement, darned if they didn't pull off one of their most significant wins last night in Indiana as Senator Dick Lugar is now done in the Senate after 36 years -- losing big to Richard Mourdock.  Thirty-six years!  Yes, Lugar was in the Senate before the phrase "President Reagan" was applicable. He was in the Senate when Toyota was a fringe brand in this country.  He was even in the Senate before Sandra Fluke started college and before Julia went on government assistance.

 

That he lost in a primary is delicious.  That he lost running like a Democrat is downright humorous.  Of course, if you are a member of the Republican Establishment - especially a member of Lugar's staff - you aren't laughing. 

 

No, if you are part of that group, the resounding rebuke that Lugar suffered last night in Indiana reminds you of Charlie Crist's fate in Florida and Bob Bennett's fate in Utah.  Both paved the way for the tea party to elect two rising stars of the conservative movement to the Senate.   And memo to the party hacks: before you can chime in with your panic, understand that for many reasons, what happened in Indiana last night is far more analogous to Florida and Utah than to either Nevada or Delaware.   The main point being that both Nevada and Delaware were longstanding Democrat seats and to assume victory was ridiculous.  The other is Mourdock himself.

 

He is an impressive candidate for a number of reasons.  After 30 years in the private sector -- including in the energy business -- his short political career has included three victories with one of them being a statewide race.  He's also been featured at a number of large tea party engagements.  In fact, he will be one of the few candidates in 2012 who really does have what almost anyone would consider an appropriate mix of private and public experience.  Most of his life had been in private business and most of his experiences have been successful in both sectors.

 

Oh, he's also been a missionary, a licensed pilot, and statistically odds are that he  is much taller than Mitch Daniels.  If only Julia would meet a man like this....

 

More significant than Mourdock's win of course is Lugar's loss.  This is a stinging rebuke to business as usual for the GOP and a reminder that while the insiders got their man for the top of the ticket, that the resistance is far from done.  Lugar deserved to lose if for no other reason than he ran a shameful anti Paul Ryan anti tea party anti adult ad campaign.  His last flurry of campaign ads demonstrated not only desperation, but it showed the huge chasm between what insider political consultants believe and what voters want. It was the worst kind of pandering to Democrat and other cross over voters - the kind who would never vote Republican in a general election. 

 

Oh by the way, Lugar voted for Ryan's budget.  This man will not be missed, except by Obama perhaps.  And NPR, who bemoaned Lugar's loss as the result of his "greatest strength" - which according to them was his affinity for Obama.   In more good news, former Senator Chuck Hagel was also upset, saying that  "There is nobody, not one senator in the Republican Party today, who is in Dick Lugar's universe."  If only Hagel were correct - and if only he had come out with this statement a week ago!

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The only bad news is that Lugar promised in his concession speech to "continue in public service."  That likely means as a lobbyist, he will cost us more money out of office.  When someone who is wealthy and no longer has a residence in his home state - a 37th consecutive year in 'public service' is bound to be damned expensive.

 

Interesting Night in North Carolina: Home of the Democrat Convention

 

Meanwhile, in North Carolina last night, there was the oddity of having contested primaries for governor in both parties with the official crashing and burning of the obviously underqualified Beverly Perdue's liberal administration.  In even more of an oddity for this state, the GOP winner's primary vote total was roughly twice that of the Democrat winner.    Oh, and that winner was Pat McCrory, former mayor of Charlotte, the host city for Obama's Convention.  He is still very popular in the Greater Charlotte area.

 

Another good sign that the Tar Heel state will return to the red column in 2012 is that marriage -- traditional marriage between one man and one woman -- won a convincing state constitutional amendment vote over forces trying to redefine the institution more loosely.  Convincing as in "Amendment One" passed 60-40.  The losers included the last two Democrat Presidents, Obama and Bill Clinton, both of whom chimed in on this issue urging folks to vote against it.  Clinton even allowed his voice to be used on robo-calls.  Obama won the state in 08 and in 1992, Clinton came with a half percentage point of doing so.

 

This of course is also bad news to the Hillary Rosen/'Julia' wing of the Democratic Party -- being they of the persuasion of those who either marry another woman or the Federal Government.  We're not sure where Sandra Fluke comes down on this issue, as she was allegedly out scouring the countryside with her wealthy boyfriend in search of apparently rare and expensive birth control.   

 

Anyway you analyze it,, the results from Indiana and North Carolina last night are good news for conservatives.  One of the worst Republicans in the Senate has been removed in a primary fight and one of the most disappointing states for conservatives in 2008 showed more promise of correcting their mistakes.  Without a doubt, the status quo and liberalism in general was last night's 'Biggest Lugar.'

Thomas Lifson adds:

It wasn't even close: Indiana Republicans gave their Senate nomination to Richard Mourdock by 22 points, 61 to 39 percent of the vote. Confirmation of their wisdom came swiftly, as John F. Kerry lamented the loss by President Obama's favorite Republican as a "tragedy for the Senate." (Translation: oh-oh, we won't be able to roll Mourdock as easily).

The loss comes as a shock to those in the media and politics who have assumed the Tea Party movement is dead, not realizing that the movement has gone beyond the stage of rallies expressing opposition, and is now deadly serious about installing a conservative majority in the Senate, in part to keep pressure on Mitt Romney's conservative , should he win the presidency and revert to his accommodative posture with Democrats.  Dan McLaughlin explained in Red State:

 It's not about demanding absolute party purity - it's about recognizing that Romney has sopped up most of our tolerance for impurity already. If you want a Senate that will hold Romney's feet to the fire, you have to start by replacing men like Dick Lugar and, in Utah, 78-year old Orrin Hatch.

Republican voters have a tremendous opportunity to write on a clean slate in 2012′s Senate races. Out of 33 Senate races, only 7 feature a Republican incumbent, and only three of those have been in office for a full term: Bob Corker of Tennessee (running for his second term, having been first elected in 2006), Lugar, and Hatch, who like Lugar was first elected in 1976 on the coattails of Gerald Ford (who carried both their states that year against Jimmy Carter).

You can expect a wave of tributes to Senator Lugar from Democrats and their media allies, all aimed at painting Mourdock as a scary radical unlikely to win a general election. The odds are that Lugar would have had an easier time winning in the general election, to be sure.  But Indiana, which also nominated Congressman Mike Pence for the governor's race, is trending conservative, as the state has fared relatively well under a conservative fiscal regime.

A funny thing happened on the way to the funeral for the tea party movement.  Yes, with the Jurassic media full of stories about the demise of the movement, darned if they didn't pull off one of their most significant wins last night in Indiana as Senator Dick Lugar is now done in the Senate after 36 years -- losing big to Richard Mourdock.  Thirty-six years!  Yes, Lugar was in the Senate before the phrase "President Reagan" was applicable. He was in the Senate when Toyota was a fringe brand in this country.  He was even in the Senate before Sandra Fluke started college and before Julia went on government assistance.

 

That he lost in a primary is delicious.  That he lost running like a Democrat is downright humorous.  Of course, if you are a member of the Republican Establishment - especially a member of Lugar's staff - you aren't laughing. 

 

No, if you are part of that group, the resounding rebuke that Lugar suffered last night in Indiana reminds you of Charlie Crist's fate in Florida and Bob Bennett's fate in Utah.  Both paved the way for the tea party to elect two rising stars of the conservative movement to the Senate.   And memo to the party hacks: before you can chime in with your panic, understand that for many reasons, what happened in Indiana last night is far more analogous to Florida and Utah than to either Nevada or Delaware.   The main point being that both Nevada and Delaware were longstanding Democrat seats and to assume victory was ridiculous.  The other is Mourdock himself.

 

He is an impressive candidate for a number of reasons.  After 30 years in the private sector -- including in the energy business -- his short political career has included three victories with one of them being a statewide race.  He's also been featured at a number of large tea party engagements.  In fact, he will be one of the few candidates in 2012 who really does have what almost anyone would consider an appropriate mix of private and public experience.  Most of his life had been in private business and most of his experiences have been successful in both sectors.

 

Oh, he's also been a missionary, a licensed pilot, and statistically odds are that he  is much taller than Mitch Daniels.  If only Julia would meet a man like this....

 

More significant than Mourdock's win of course is Lugar's loss.  This is a stinging rebuke to business as usual for the GOP and a reminder that while the insiders got their man for the top of the ticket, that the resistance is far from done.  Lugar deserved to lose if for no other reason than he ran a shameful anti Paul Ryan anti tea party anti adult ad campaign.  His last flurry of campaign ads demonstrated not only desperation, but it showed the huge chasm between what insider political consultants believe and what voters want. It was the worst kind of pandering to Democrat and other cross over voters - the kind who would never vote Republican in a general election. 

 

Oh by the way, Lugar voted for Ryan's budget.  This man will not be missed, except by Obama perhaps.  And NPR, who bemoaned Lugar's loss as the result of his "greatest strength" - which according to them was his affinity for Obama.   In more good news, former Senator Chuck Hagel was also upset, saying that  "There is nobody, not one senator in the Republican Party today, who is in Dick Lugar's universe."  If only Hagel were correct - and if only he had come out with this statement a week ago!

URL:

 

The only bad news is that Lugar promised in his concession speech to "continue in public service."  That likely means as a lobbyist, he will cost us more money out of office.  When someone who is wealthy and no longer has a residence in his home state - a 37th consecutive year in 'public service' is bound to be damned expensive.

 

Interesting Night in North Carolina: Home of the Democrat Convention

 

Meanwhile, in North Carolina last night, there was the oddity of having contested primaries for governor in both parties with the official crashing and burning of the obviously underqualified Beverly Perdue's liberal administration.  In even more of an oddity for this state, the GOP winner's primary vote total was roughly twice that of the Democrat winner.    Oh, and that winner was Pat McCrory, former mayor of Charlotte, the host city for Obama's Convention.  He is still very popular in the Greater Charlotte area.

 

Another good sign that the Tar Heel state will return to the red column in 2012 is that marriage -- traditional marriage between one man and one woman -- won a convincing state constitutional amendment vote over forces trying to redefine the institution more loosely.  Convincing as in "Amendment One" passed 60-40.  The losers included the last two Democrat Presidents, Obama and Bill Clinton, both of whom chimed in on this issue urging folks to vote against it.  Clinton even allowed his voice to be used on robo-calls.  Obama won the state in 08 and in 1992, Clinton came with a half percentage point of doing so.

 

This of course is also bad news to the Hillary Rosen/'Julia' wing of the Democratic Party -- being they of the persuasion of those who either marry another woman or the Federal Government.  We're not sure where Sandra Fluke comes down on this issue, as she was allegedly out scouring the countryside with her wealthy boyfriend in search of apparently rare and expensive birth control.   

 

Anyway you analyze it,, the results from Indiana and North Carolina last night are good news for conservatives.  One of the worst Republicans in the Senate has been removed in a primary fight and one of the most disappointing states for conservatives in 2008 showed more promise of correcting their mistakes.  Without a doubt, the status quo and liberalism in general was last night's 'Biggest Lugar.'

Thomas Lifson adds:

It wasn't even close: Indiana Republicans gave their Senate nomination to Richard Mourdock by 22 points, 61 to 39 percent of the vote. Confirmation of their wisdom came swiftly, as John F. Kerry lamented the loss by President Obama's favorite Republican as a "tragedy for the Senate." (Translation: oh-oh, we won't be able to roll Mourdock as easily).

The loss comes as a shock to those in the media and politics who have assumed the Tea Party movement is dead, not realizing that the movement has gone beyond the stage of rallies expressing opposition, and is now deadly serious about installing a conservative majority in the Senate, in part to keep pressure on Mitt Romney's conservative , should he win the presidency and revert to his accommodative posture with Democrats.  Dan McLaughlin explained in Red State:

 It's not about demanding absolute party purity - it's about recognizing that Romney has sopped up most of our tolerance for impurity already. If you want a Senate that will hold Romney's feet to the fire, you have to start by replacing men like Dick Lugar and, in Utah, 78-year old Orrin Hatch.

Republican voters have a tremendous opportunity to write on a clean slate in 2012′s Senate races. Out of 33 Senate races, only 7 feature a Republican incumbent, and only three of those have been in office for a full term: Bob Corker of Tennessee (running for his second term, having been first elected in 2006), Lugar, and Hatch, who like Lugar was first elected in 1976 on the coattails of Gerald Ford (who carried both their states that year against Jimmy Carter).

You can expect a wave of tributes to Senator Lugar from Democrats and their media allies, all aimed at painting Mourdock as a scary radical unlikely to win a general election. The odds are that Lugar would have had an easier time winning in the general election, to be sure.  But Indiana, which also nominated Congressman Mike Pence for the governor's race, is trending conservative, as the state has fared relatively well under a conservative fiscal regime.