Kudos to Abdul Hakim Shabazz for breaking a national story. Being the master of self-promotion that he is, I tried to craft my headline in the appropriate spirit. The AP picked it up (linked here in the Washington Post).
The upshot is that Senator Lugar will not be campaigning for Republican Senate nominee Richard Mourdock who beat him in a primary. Some could see this as nothing more than sour grapes, but I’m not sure I see it that way. I’ve had my differences with Sen. Lugar but have generally voted for him. One of his strengths – a more or less statesmanlike approach to solving problems and not, generally, being a bridge burning bomb thrower – was used against him in the primary by Mr. Mourdock.
Mourdock, who has insisted policy-making means forcing Democrats to bend to conservative ideas, has had trouble translating his win over Lugar into a muscular general election campaign against Donnelly.
I think Mourdock’s influence on the Republican Party is as salutary as his plans for dealing with Chrysler. He’s liquidating, at a loss, the value built up by those who came before him. The Republican Party has enjoyed a good reputation, particularly in Indiana, because of guys like Lugar. Hoosiers are conservative, no doubt; but, by and large, they aren’t ideologues. Traditionally, they have valued civility, work, and problem solving.
Mourdock’s rigidity was demonstrated in his approach to the Chrysler affair. He wanted to insist on liquidation rather than a restructuring deal because he couldn’t abide a plan that gave his opponents (as I believe he sees them) – the unions – anything, even if it meant that Indiana also got more out of the deal and, long term, everyone was in a better position. Reminds me of Rorschach from the Watchmen:
No. Not even in the face of Armageddon. Never compromise.
That wasn’t Lugar’s approach. Recent history notwithstanding, that hasn’t been the Republican approach. And, it’s not an American approach. If you are a Lugar supporter and can’t abide Democrats generally or Joe Donnelly specifically, you might consider Andy Horning who is also running for the Senate.