IBJOpinion

MORRIS: Republicans face hard Senate choice

Greg Morris
October 6, 2012
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

MorrisAs promised, I’ve got more election politics this week. In my last column, I upset some of my more liberal friends by highlighting Edward Klein’s book, “The Amateur.” So, I thought it only fair to risk irritating some of my more conservative associates this week.

Against the backdrop of the first presidential debate Oct. 3, I continue to believe the choice for president this year is the most critical in my lifetime. In the first debate, the differences in the two candidates regarding the role of the government and how it governs could not have been displayed more clearly. Our choice this November potentially affects our country’s future for decades to come—one direction or another.

We’ll know which direction that is in a few short weeks. Unfortunately, when it comes to accomplishing anything of substance in a gridlocked Congress, I believe either man will face long odds for success. And that is a scary proposition because we need leaders who will work together to fix this terrible mess we’ve created for ourselves. Can you see the fiscal cliff ahead? It’s just around the next turn and there doesn’t seem to be a guardrail to keep us from plunging off the edge.

One prime example of a candidate who promises more gridlock in Washington can be found right here in Indiana. Of course, you know I’m speaking of Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, Richard Mourdock. You’ve heard Mourdock promise “no compromise” on seemingly any issue. He’s running against the Democratic candidate, Rep. Joe Donnelly, who represents Indiana’s 2nd District. The winner will take outgoing Sen. Richard Lugar’s seat.

Donnelly is a member of the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of moderate Democrats in Congress. He’s broken with the Democratic leadership on some budgetary issues and other matters. In the recent past, he was ranked as one of the 10 most independent Democrats by a nonpartisan Congressional Quarterly report.

Hey, wait a minute. It seems like congressman Donnelly might reach across the aisle on occasion and try to work with the other party. This is the same sin that caused Sen. Lugar to lose support from hard-core Republicans. Remember, extremism one way or the other is what plays well today. Or, are there still exceptions?

Mourdock’s extreme views aren’t playing as well as planned. The polls are showing a very tight race, and it’s too close to call with only weeks left before the election. The “my way or the highway” approach appeals to the base—conservatives and the Tea Party faithful, but that messaging hasn’t resonated with a lot of Indiana’s moderates on both sides of the aisle.

I got a new mailing from Mourdock this week. There was a strong attempt to paint Donnelly as a far-left-wing liberal, rather than the moderate “he claims to be.” This sentence from the mailing probably sums up Mourdock’s current strategy best—“I think Indiana deserves better than another out-of-touch, bought-and-paid-for liberal politician to rubber stamp the Obama/Reid/Pelosi agenda.” It’s more pandering to the base, but in a different manner than the no-compromise message.

I had lunch with a friend of mine the other day. He told me about having lunch recently with a group of five Republicans. One was an elected official and one was a former elected official. To make a long story short, not one person at the table said they could vote for Mourdock. Now I don’t know if that meant they were all going to vote for Donnelly, but they were at least going to withhold their vote from Mourdock.

I believe a lot of Republicans are facing that dilemma right now. If you think President Obama is going to be re-elected, do you vote for Mourdock in an attempt to block Obama at every turn? You might favor a more moderate approach from Donnelly, but you risk sending another Democrat to vote with Obama on issues you adamantly oppose. What to do? A lot of Republicans are weighing that decision right now. And polls are showing many folks are breaking for Donnelly.

I think most people believe Lugar would have been re-elected with ease in the general election had he won the primary. But, wouldn’t it be poetic justice if the Republican Party lost Lugar’s seat to a Democrat because they over-reached and went for the extreme candidate?•

__________

Morris is publisher of IBJ. His column appears every other week. To comment on this column, send e-mail to gmorris@ibj.com.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • We will miss Lugar
    "A hero is born among a hundred, a wise man is found among a thousand, but an accomplished one might not be found even amoung a hundred thousand." Plato. We never see another Senator like Dick Lugar.
  • GOP Precinct Committeeman for Donnelly
    This Republican precinct committeeman is voting for Donnelly. Mourdock is not brilliant, is no statesman and won't be the Wise Man of the Senate. Lugar was all that and more. Mourdock is dumb enough to think he will be a better Senator than Lugar.

    Post a comment to this story

    COMMENTS POLICY
    We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
     
    You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
     
    Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
     
    No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
     
    We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
     

    Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

    Sponsored by
    ADVERTISEMENT

    facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

    Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
    Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
     
    Subscribe to IBJ
    1. The $104K to CRC would go toward debts service on $486M of existing debt they already have from other things outside this project. Keystone buys the bonds for 3.8M from CRC, and CRC in turn pays for the parking and site work, and some time later CRC buys them back (with interest) from the projected annual property tax revenue from the entire TIF district (est. $415K / yr. from just this property, plus more from all the other property in the TIF district), which in theory would be about a 10-year term, give-or-take. CRC is basically betting on the future, that property values will increase, driving up the tax revenue to the limit of the annual increase cap on commercial property (I think that's 3%). It should be noted that Keystone can't print money (unlike the Federal Treasury) so commercial property tax can only come from consumers, in this case the apartment renters and consumers of the goods and services offered by the ground floor retailers, and employees in the form of lower non-mandatory compensation items, such as bonuses, benefits, 401K match, etc.

    2. $3B would hurt Lilly's bottom line if there were no insurance or Indemnity Agreement, but there is no way that large an award will be upheld on appeal. What's surprising is that the trial judge refused to reduce it. She must have thought there was evidence of a flagrant, unconscionable coverup and wanted to send a message.

    3. As a self-employed individual, I always saw outrageous price increases every year in a health insurance plan with preexisting condition costs -- something most employed groups never had to worry about. With spouse, I saw ALL Indiana "free market answer" plans' premiums raise 25%-45% each year.

    4. It's not who you chose to build it's how they build it. Architects and engineers decide how and what to use to build. builders just do the work. Architects & engineers still think the tarp over the escalators out at airport will hold for third time when it snows, ice storms.

    5. http://www.abcactionnews.com/news/duke-energy-customers-angry-about-money-for-nothing

    ADVERTISEMENT