John Danforth, a former Senator, has stated that all hope is lost if the Tea Party challenges Dick Lugar in 2012. Hold the phone. Dick Lugar may be a sensible and respected man. I do not have a strong opinion of him, not having researched his record well enough to make a case either way. I will say this, though. He wanted to keep earmarks and declined to sign a brief that would allow states to bring lawsuits against the new health care law. That in itself is cause to wonder if he really understands the enormous shift in our country’s political climate.
Lugar can play the same revolting little game that other entrenched politicos are playing, casting Tea Partiers as gun-totin’, Bible-carryin’ misfits. Or, he can address the arguments for limited government on their merits. He would be wise to do the latter.
Some Tea Partiers no doubt get all worked up about peripheral issues that offend their conservative sensibilities. Gay marriage, immigration, and nudity in church (I just made that one up) all inflame passion. In the end, though, Tea Partiers are focused on one point, dead simple: There is too much government. If Lugar wants to pretend that his five term tenure relieves him from the trouble of defending himself, Indianans need to show him the door.