Why Senator Lugar Was Turned Out

In Matt Welch’s CNN article about why Republican Senator Lugar lost his re-election bid in the primary, Welch points out that Lugar’s “moderation” contributed to bailouts, the¬† so-falled stimulus, and a worsening economy.

Welch also suggests that Democrats should consider using their own primary elections to toss out incumbents “for supporting the drug war, Patriot Act, Guantanamo Bay, warrantless wiretapping and every new military¬†intervention under the sun”.

Here are excerpts from the article:

Why Dick Lugar was turned out
By Matt Welch, Special to CNN
Thursday May 10, 2012

Chances are that most of you reading this are opposed to at least some of the following federal laws and policies: the Troubled Assets Relief Program, the auto bailout, the serial raising of the debt ceiling, the Iraq War, the Patriot Act, marijuana prohibition, systematic increases in the Department of Education budget, Medicare Part D, sugar subsidies, obstacles to gay marriage, the nationalization of the mortgage industry and the infuriating performance (or even existence) of the Transportation Security Administration. …

Such tactical use of primarying is creating a growing but still statistically outnumbered group of politicians within the Republican tent who for the first time in a free-spending generation take seriously the notion of forcing the government to live within its fiscal and constitutional means. …

Even straight news articles portrayed Lugar’s defeat as the victory of ideological intolerance over successful and patriotic moderation. …

If it’s “ideological” to always prefer saying “no” to government intervention, why isn’t it ideological to always say “yes”? …

I have no illusions about Richard Mourdock being the next great senator, though I’m always happy to be surprised. Fiscal conservatism was part of his pitch, but so was a slew of good ol’ fashioned Obama-hatin’, which doesn’t necessarily augur well for his future as a thoughtful legislator.

But I won’t be shedding tears for any senator who… had not faced a tough primary since winning office…. From where I sit, power still corrupts, and competition (especially of the political sort) is always a good thing.

What I’d like to see more from Democrats is less condemnation of the tactic and more emulation. Who will be the first sitting Democratic senator tossed out in a primary election for supporting the drug war, Patriot Act, Guantanamo Bay, warrantless wiretapping and every new military intervention under the sun?

http://www.cnn.com/2012/05/10/opinion/welch-lugar/index.html?iid=article_sidebar

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