Wednesday, May 9, 2012



Dick Lugar, whose name would lead one to conclude he is a character in a Mickey Spillane novel rather than a U.S. Senator, was soundly trounced last night by State Treasurer Richard Mourdock (himself something of a hack, ever desperate for a spot on the public payroll, but that is another issue) in the Indiana GOP primary for his Senate seat, which nominally represents the Hoosier State but, for about 34 of the 35 years Mr. Lugar has held it, has represented Washington, D.C. and the nation’s defense contractors. Good riddance/

My joy at the defenestration of Mr. Lugar has little to do with our philosophical differences, but at least two are worth mentioning here. First, as one of the most salient members of and spokesmen for what I like to call the War Party, Mr. Lugar apparently has never met a war he didn’t like. Second, Mr. Lugar is also one of the most salient members of and spokesmen for the “moderate” wing of the GOP, a group that appears to have little or no problem with the substance of the welfare/nanny/super state, the growth of which has picked up rapidly, perhaps not coincidentally, during Mr. Lugar’s very long tenure in Washington. Mr. Lugar and his fellow “moderate” GOPers like that government grows; they would just like to see it grow a tad more slowly and more in the direction of those Mr. Lugar and his compadres seems to favor and those who, again not coincidentally, seem to favor the likes of Mr. Lugar at election time, such as defense contractors, insurance companies, Wall Street types looking to socialize their losses…the usual suspects who wear their “moderation” generously accessorized with thick doses of self-imagined moral and ethical superiority.

As deep as those philosophical differences are, they are not what lead me to be so happy about Mr. Lugar’s demise. His age, frequently mentioned by the mainstream media, does not bother me, either. 80 is not too old to be a Senator; I know plenty, or at least several, 80+ year olds have the physical stamina and intellectual heft to be a U.S. Senator. (Admittedly, this is not a very high bar; why does one have to display physical and intellectual vigor to make one’s living having one’s hindquarters smooched? But I digress.) Mr. Lugar was in the Senate for 35 years, and will have been in the Senate for 36 years by the time he moves back to his home in the suburbs of Washington early next year. No one should be in the Senate for 36 years; heck, no one should be in the Senate more than, say, 12 years at the most. When people hold public office too long they tend to think like rulers, members of a governing class. Their attitudes seem to be something like “Go ahead and pass it; we, comfortably ensconced in our cocoon in Washington (or Springfield or Indianapolis or in the Chicago City Council), will never have to live with its consequences, let alone pay for it.” They become something akin to denizens of their own self-imagined Mt. Olympus, surrounded by sycophants and endlessly congratulating themselves on their willingness to condescendingly favor the prolies (i.e., us) with the magnificence of their eminent presences and visages.

Those of us who have been aware of this tendency of career politicians to lose touch with those they nominally represent have long pushed for term limits as the solution to not only this problem but to the legions of maladies that arise from it. We are, as a consequence, endlessly castigated by our better brethren, who smirkingly shake their heads, or fingers, at us and tell us that we can impose our own term limits on the estimables who condescend to us by simply voting these patheticos out of office. Now that the good people of Indiana have followed the advice who find term limits so reprehensible, these brave Hoosiers are being scolded by the mainstream press and other elements of the establishment for having turned out one of the last Senators capable of what the ruling class in New York and Washington reverently refer to as “bipartisanship.” It would seem ironic if these people were not so transparent.

And speaking of the “bipartisanship” that the establishment seems to treat with the same reverence we Catholics reserve for things like the Trinity and the Communion of Saints, why should we be ashamed of defying one of its few remaining acolytes? The Democrats and Republicans for at least the last 35 years or so have bipartisanly conspired to pick our pockets, usurp our freedoms, install and foster a hegemonic upper class of people with access to the levers of supergovernment, destroy federalism, and, worst of all, send our kids off to fight, and die in, wars they had no business fighting. While “bipartisanship” on very rare occasions is useful, and partisanship and politics should never get in the way of friendship or, barring that, at least treating people with kindness, politeness, and consideration, “bipartisanship” has gone a long way toward sinking us in the quagmire from which the Republic will be lucky, blessed, or both to emerge. Bipartisan enthusiasms, like near universal homeownership, international busybodiness, fiat currency, easy credit, deficit spending, therapeutic government, and never having to be accountable for one’s actions, have helped steer the Republic ever closer to the edge of the cliff; ceaseless paeans to “bipartisanship” will insure that we go over that cliff.

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