Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Dick Lugar Rails Against the Right
We cats almost weren't going to link to defeated Republican Senator Richard Lugar's primal scream against the state of his political party, because in it, he uses the noun "Democrat" as an adjective. But having pointed that out, we'll continue.
Lugar correctly noted in his concession speech that his party has gone off a cliff with what he terms "an unrelenting partisan mindset," held captive by those "whose prime mission is to cleanse the Republican party of those who stray from orthodoxy as they see it."
He reaffirms his personal identity as a Republican, and defines what he thinks a Republican is. The problem is, his description — "small government, low taxes, a strong national defense, free enterprise, and trade expansion" — bears almost no resemblance to his party's priorities today. Nowhere in his list do the current GOP obsessions against abortion, contraception, women's healthcare, immigration, gay rights, Medicare, science, climate change, taxing the rich, et cetera, appear.
We cats want to know: What took you so long, Dick?
The Republican Party's descent into inflexibility and intolerance did not happen overnight. Lugar could have delivered last night's speech back in 2010 or even in 2008. Why did he wait until he lost to take a stand?
Perhaps one of the problems Lugar (and virtually every other so-called moderate-conservative Republican) has is that they're too full of themselves to have recognized exactly how, to what extent, and how precipitously the political landscape has changed.
Yep, Lugar endorsed his teabagger opponent, but he did it with little enthusiasm and for no positive, forward-looking reasoning — other than wanting Mitch McConnell to be Senate Majority Leader. That's the second tepid Republican endorsement this week (Rick Santorum's of Willard Mitt Romney being the first). That says something.
And where are all the alleged Republican "moderates" in the wake of Lugar's defeat? Where are John Danforth, Christine Todd Whitman, Chuck Hagel, Bill Cohen, Colin Powell, Joe Scarborough, Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins, Lincoln Chafee, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mike Castle, Olympia Snowe, Lamar Alexander, Chris Shays, Robert Bennett, John Warner, Alan Simpson and Warren Rudman?
You know where a lot of them are? Out of office. You'd think that getting booted by a bunch of extremists would embolden them to speak out: They should form a unified chorus against the Kochs, the Norquists and the other GOP hatemongers. But, no. No guts. No party.
We cats HISS.