By Dean L
So long Dick (Lugar). After serving a long, long time and being a true RINO, Dick Lugar has lost his Indiana GOP primary to Tea Party backed Richard Mourdock. It's not that you're too old Dick, it's that you are not conservative. Conservatives will be happy, as we should be - but so too may be Democrats.
Dick Lugar, the longest-serving Republican in the Senate, was defeated Tuesday as Indiana Republicans chose state Treasurer Richard Mourdock over Lugar as the party's nominee.
With 37 percent reporting, Mourdock received 60 percent to 40 percent for Lugar in the Hoosier state's Senate primary, marking a huge win for tea party supporters and conservatives across the country.
Conservatives had long targeted Lugar for defeat, arguing he represented a Republican establishment in Congress that has acquiesced to the Democratic party. They singled out Lugar's votes for the bailouts, in support of the president's stimulus and votes to confirm U.S. Supreme Court nominees Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor as evidence of his "RINO" (Republican in name only) status.
National tea party groups such as FreedomWorks and the Tea Party Express as well as the state group Hoosiers for a Conservative Senate and others mobilized and invested in the race, casting the contest as a nationally significant battle to restore conservatism and hold leaders of the Republican establishment accountable.
Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum were among the high-profile politicians who offered public support for Mourdock's campaign.
Now to douse it with a little cold water. Democrats feel that a centrist Lugar was harder to beat than a far right newbie. They may be partially right - the power of incumbency is not illusory. But is a more conservative candidate in the general election a liability for the GOP? Or is Lugar's defeat a sign that the electorate really is in a foul mood towards incumbents? Or is it it that there is a genuine backlash against the rampant progressive liberalism of the president, Senate and the liberal parts of the Congress?
Is the defeat of Lugar a bell-weather of things to come for Democrats in November rather than a Tea Party repeat of Sharon Angle? There's a lot of reason to believe the former over the latter. Mourdock is no political neophyte - he has experience, and we're not talking Sharon Angle experience or Barack Obama experience. He has real experience. That's a significant difference in terms of leadership experience but also political experience. He hasn't dabbled in witchcraft so far as we know. He hasn't voted 'present' on every piece of legislation to come down the pike. And even more importantly he has a sensible fiscal track record, unlike Lugar or any liberal Democrat. He can win, and he should. And it sure will be fun to watch the shock on lberals' faces when he does.
Okay, enough gloating - back to the work of winning back the country.