Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Holcolmb Schedules Unity Press Conference: Will Lugar Show?

Indiana Republican State Chairman Eric Holcomb has scheduled a unity press conference this morning at state GOP headquarters in Indianapolis with U.S. Senate nominee Richard Mourdock, Gov. Mitch Daniels, Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman and other statewide elected officials who backed Sen. Richard Lugar over Mourdock. The question is will Lugar show. Lugar sounded less than conciliatory in defeat last night after Mourdock trounced him 61-39%. Lugar never made the obligatory concession call to Mourdock before appearing before supporters to concede defeat. Lugar made no apologies and, instead, chose to lecture Mourdock:
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.  The most consequential of these is stabilizing and reversing the Federal debt in an era when millions of baby boomers are retiring.   There is little likelihood that either party will be able to impose their favored budget solutions on the other without some degree of compromise.

Unfortunately, we have an increasing number of legislators in both parties who have adopted an unrelenting partisan viewpoint.  This shows up in countless vote studies that find diminishing intersections between Democrat and Republican positions.  Partisans at both ends of the political spectrum are dominating the political debate in our country.   And partisan groups, including outside groups that spent millions against me in this race, are determined to see that this continues.  They have worked to make it as difficult as possible for a legislator of either party to hold independent views or engage in constructive compromise.  If that attitude prevails in American politics, our government will remain mired in the dysfunction we have witnessed during the last several years.  And I believe that if this attitude expands in the Republican Party, we will be relegated to minority status.  Parties don't succeed for long if they stop appealing to voters who may disagree with them on some issues.

Legislators should have an ideological grounding and strong beliefs identifiable to their constituents.   I believe I have offered that throughout my career.  But ideology cannot be a substitute for a determination to think for yourself, for a willingness to study an issue objectively, and for the fortitude to sometimes disagree with your party or even your constituents.  Like Edmund Burke, I believe leaders owe the people they represent their best judgment. 
And making the same policy mistakes of taxing, borrowing and spending the federal government into an every increasing, burdensome debt year after year and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity, even if described as bipartisanship by Sen. Lugar. Watching Lugar concede his loss to Mourdock last night, I couldn't help but wonder who was more disappointed: Lugar or his family of Washington lobbyists standing behind him that was worried about the gravy train they've enjoyed in having a father as a senior senator in Washington helping them ply their trade.

By contrast, Mourdock had no unkind words for Lugar, who ran what can only be described as the most negative, dirty campaign in Indiana modern history against Mourdock:

"He is not now my enemy," Mourdock said in his victory speech. "He will never be my enemy. He was simply over the last 15 months my opponent ... this race is not about animosity. It's about ideas."
Who's the statesman now, Brian and Matt?


Bill said...

Unity? Really.

The Republican party that we woke to this morning is nothing like the party that I sind up for.The right wing haters have taken over our party.The voice of the moderate has been silenced.This is no longer a party of conservative values,its a party full of haters and right wing radicals.

Mourdock and his hand of hater minions destroyed a once great party.Lugar lost fair and square,but the hate that it took to get it done was over the top.This is the way politics are going and its very sad.I for one am done with this Republican party.I leave it to the haters like you and Fettig

M Theory said...

Hate? What hate? Where? Who said what?

Bill, if you are going to accuse the principled people on the right of being hate mongers, at least provide some verifiable facts.

But please don't blindly call people haters or racists without substantiating with verifiable facts. Otherwise you look like the thing you proclaim to be attacking.

The only hate I've seen in the last few days has come from Cher.

(by the way, I'm a former tea party leader and I was more accepting toward Chazz/Chastity's sexual identity in the beginning than his own mother was.)

It's not cool to spew such hatred toward a whole group of people. In fact, Bill, it is ugly and hateful.