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. It is nice and all that the developer grew up here and lives here, but do you think a company that builds and rehabs cottage-style homes has the chops to develop $150 Million of office, retail, and residential? I'm guessing they will quickly be over their skis and begging the city for even more help... This project should occur organically and be developed by those that can handle the size and scope of something like this as several other posters have mentioned.

    2. It amazes me how people with apparently zero knowledge of free markets or capitalism feel the need to read and post on a business journal website. Perhaps the Daily Worker would suit your interests better. It's definitely more sympathetic to your pro government theft views. It's too bad the Star is so awful as I'm sure you would find a much better home there.

    3. In other cities, expensive new construction projects are announced by real estate developers. In Carmel, they are announced by the local mayor. I am so, so glad I don't live in Carmel's taxbase--did you see that Carmel, a small Midwest suburb, has $500 million in debt?? That's unreal! The mayor thinks he's playing with Lego sets and Monopoly money here! Let these projects develop organically without government/taxpayer backing! Also, from a design standpoint, the whole town of Carmel looks comical. Grand, French-style buildings and promenades, sitting next to tire yards. Who do you guys think you are? Just my POV as a recent transplant to Indy.

    4. GeorgeP, you mention "necessities". Where in the announcement did it say anything about basic essentials like groceries? None of the plans and "vision" have basic essentials listed and nothing has been built. Traffic WILL be a nightmare. There is no east/west road capacity. GeorgeP, you also post on www.carmelchatter.com and your posts have repeatedly been proven wrong. You seem to have a fair amount of inside knowledge. Do you work on the third floor of Carmel City Hal?

    5. I don't know about the commuter buses...but it's a huge joke to see these IndyGo buses with just one or two passengers. Absolutely a disgusting waste of TAXPAYER money. Get some cojones and stop funding them. These (all of them) council members work for you. FIRE THEM!

    ADVERTISEMENT