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. I am a Lyft driver who is a licensed CDL professional driver. ALL Lyft drivers take pride in providing quality service to the Indianapolis and surrounding areas, and we take the safety of our passengers and the public seriously.(passengers are required to put seat belts on when they get in our cars) We do go through background checks, driving records are checked as are the personal cars we drive, (these are OUR private cars we use) Unlike taxi cabs and their drivers Lyft (and yes Uber) provide passengers with a clean car inside and out, a friendly and courteous driver, and who is dressed appropriately and is groomed appropriately. I go so far as to offer mints, candy and/or small bottle of water to the my customers. It's a mutual respect between driver and passenger. With Best Regards

    2. to be the big fish in the little pond of IRL midwest racin' when yer up against Racin' Gardner

    3. In the first sentance "As a resident of one of these new Carmel Apartments the issue the local governments need to discuss are build quality & price." need a way to edit

    4. As a resident of one of these new Carmel Apartments the issue the local governments need to discuss is build quality & price. First none of these places is worth $1100 for a one bedroom. Downtown Carmel or Keystone at the Crossing in Indy. It doesn't matter. All require you to get in your car to get just about anywhere you need to go. I'm in one of the Carmel apartments now where after just 2.5 short years one of the kitchen cabinet doors is crooked and lawn and property maintenance seems to be lacking my old Indianapolis apartment which cost $300 less. This is one of the new star apartments. As they keep building throughout the area "deals" will start popping up creating shoppers. If your property is falling apart after year 3 what will it look like after year 5 or 10??? Why would one stay here if they could move to a new Broad Ripple in 2 to 3 years or another part of the Far Northside?? The complexes aren't going to let the "poor" move in without local permission so that's not that problem, but it the occupancy rate drops suddenly because the "Young" people moved back to Indy then look out.

    5. Why are you so concerned about Ace hardware? I don't understand why anyone goes there! Every time ive gone in the past, they don't have what I need and I end up going to the big box stores. I understand the service aspect and that they try to be helpful but if they are going to survive I think they might need to carry more specialty parts.

    ADVERTISEMENT