Sunday, January 2, 2011

Senator Dick Lugar (R-IN)



Lots of news about the senior Senator from my state, and little of it good.

His office sent me an e-mail in early December telling me how vital it was that START be passed. I sent back an e-mail explaining just how vital it was that he change his mind. As I said in the e-mail, it wasn’t that I was against START, it’s that I was against rushing something so important through a lame duck session.

The Indianapolis Star had an article that can’t make his organization happy.

Four years ago, Republican Sen. Richard Lugar was considered so unbeatable that Democrats didn't bother to field a candidate against him.
Now, he's facing the likelihood of a challenge from within his own party.
Tea party activists and other social conservatives are actively searching for a candidate around whom they can unite to beat Lugar in the 2012 primary election.

[…]

The same day, a smaller group of tea party activists and conservatives from across the state calling themselves Hoosiers for Conservative Senate, met in Fishers to begin organizing a challenge. They plan to meet again Jan. 22 in a much larger public forum to discuss how to coalesce around one alternative to Lugar.
Monica Boyer, the 35-year-old organizer of the Kosciusko Silent No More tea party group, was among those at Saturday's meeting. She wasn't even born when Lugar first went to the Senate. And he already was a veteran there when she began casting her ballots for him.
No more, she said.
"I'm a die-hard Republican," Boyer said, "and I will never pull the lever for Richard Lugar again."

Wow, I live here in Fishers, but I didn’t know about the meeting. I would have been there had I known. Boyer sums up my feelings about Senator Lugar perfectly.

He’s against the earmark ban, pro amnesty for illegals, and against lawsuits against ObamaCare. I haven’t been happy with him since 2008 at least, and he won’t get my vote in 2012.

Still, the man remains very popular with the middle in Indiana, and beating him in a primary will be an uphill battle to say the least. Also, there’s a very good reason why the Dems didn’t put up a candidate against him in 2006. Anyone they would’ve run against him would’ve gotten slaughtered. If he loses the primary in 2012, this seat will become a legitimate pickup opportunity for the Democrats. And it may be the only pickup opportunity for the Dems in 2012, so they’re going to throw everything they have at it.

I am 100% for challenging Lugar from the right. He needs it, if only to remind him that he has an R after his name. But the challenger better be a good one, because s/he will face not one, but two, hard fought elections to replace him.

The good news is that despite the fact that I disagree with Lugar as much as I do, he’s generally a class act, and is more of an example of what’s right with the Senate than what’s wrong. I can’t see him pulling a Mike Castle or a Lisa Murkowski. Should he lose the primary, he will bow out gracefully and endorse his opponent.

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