Reason Writers Around Town: Matt Welch at CNN Opinion on Richard Lugar's Primary Defeat

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Writing at CNN Opinion, Reason Editor in Chief Matt Welch makes the case that primarying a candidate who disagrees with you on matters of importance is a perfectly reasonable tactic, no more "ideological" than supporting "pragmatic" big-government solutions. Here's how the column starts:

Chances are that most of you reading this are opposed to at least some of the following federal laws and policies: the Troubled Assets Relief Program, the auto bailout, the serial raising of the debt ceiling, the Iraq War, the Patriot Act, marijuana prohibition, systematic increases in the Department of Education budget, Medicare Part D, sugar subsidies, obstacles to gay marriage, the nationalization of the mortgage industry and the infuriating performance (or even existence) of the Transportation Security Administration.

Some of you may even consider one of these controversial policies your single most important political issue.

So here's a real question, in the wake of Sen. Richard Lugar's convincing Republican primary defeat Tuesday at the hands of tea party favorite Richard E. Mourdock, an event broadly panned in the media as a bellwether for ideological extremism: How, exactly, is a citizen motivated by strong opposition to one or more of the policies above supposed to influence politics?

Read the whole thing here.

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  1. 2 comments in and the derp is in full-force at CNN

    Perhaps it’s time to split this Country into two new nations.
    The right-wing could have most of the south & plains States and form the religion-based Government they so dearly want, along with no public services, no social security, and the “every man for himself” society they so dream of.
    In contrast, the left-wing could have most of the north & coastal States, and move forward to universal healthcare, universal college, social security, comprehensive public mass transit, and so on.

    1. In contrast, the left-wing could have most of the north & coastal States, and move forward to universal healthcare, universal college, social security, comprehensive public mass transit, and so on.

      Well all of those things would be free. I don’t see what the problem is.

      1. Move forward to social security

        I thought we had that already, oh right, it’s broke.

    2. Ah, the Confederate Theocracy of Jesusland vs The People’s Democratic Utopia of Progress.

      1. Accurate depiction of current events.

    3. Hey, they’re stealing my IP!

    4. I love this gem:

      Indiana is much like the rest of the nation in having about 3% of its people who buy into Mr Welch’s libertarian rhetoric. Outrage over their issues was not the reason Lugar lost. The conventional boring battle against moderation is all there was to it.

      I voted for Lugar 4 times myself, in the heyday of the years when he stood up for reasoned negotiated solutions, but even though there are more than 10 times as many independents like me in Indiana as there are libertarians, it wasn’t the independents who retired Lugar either.

      This was a decision internal to the Indiana Republican party. They got convinced (mostly by Fox news) that it’s time to prance down the yellow brick road to much more conservative policies. This is a case of the Murdoch leading the Mourdock.

      Fucking retard doesn’t even get that he is who Matt was talking about.

      You know what happens when you vote for someone 4 out of 6 times? You get to be held complicit in all of the bullshit they foisted upon the rest of us. So thank you Mr. NateEngle for giving us TARP, the Patriot Act, and the continuation of the War on Drugs.

    5. LOL. I’d love to see the “north & coastal States” pay for all of that by themselves.

      1. Especially after Wall Street moves to Atlanta.

  2. How, exactly, is a citizen motivated by strong opposition to one or more of the policies above supposed to influence politics?

    Witchcraft?

    1. Lee Harvey Oswald had an answer for that

    2. Lugar was eighty years young ! He had at least another three terms in him.

      1. Plus he promised to actually visit Indiana occasionally to meet with the natives.

        1. The real surprise here is that the GOP didn’t nominate him to run against Obama.

          1. ^this.

    3. Cash, just like everyone else.

  3. It’s amazing how the commenters miss the point:

    Is this commentator suggesting that hyper-partisan hacks like Mourdock are good for the country? As if what we need is a congress that will continue to strangle itself.

    There are actually a lot of misstated facts in this commentary; Mourdock is for gov’t intervention into women’s rights, and a proponent of the pot prohibition. So… pretty much the entire premise of this guy’s commentary is wrong; this candidate is actually FOR most of the things this commentator argues as being bad for our country.

    1. A lot of them were replying to the article in their heads, which is more convenient.

    2. Gridlock!

  4. Lugarfree !

    1. You Lugarfree’d your link, dude.

  5. Very nicely written, Matt. Some of my lefty FB friends are clutching their pearls over this. Apparently Mourdock is a corporate shill. One of them even mentioned the Koch’s.

    So many people complain about politicians, yet we re-elect them at over 90%. I’m just happy that number will be a tiny bit lower this time.

  6. One thing I’ll say for Lugar, that’s a good barbarian name. Lugar the Cimmerian!

    1. Lonan the Librarian? Isn’t that NutraSweet’s alter ego?

      1. No, but he likes to cosplay as Lohan the Librarian, complete with sugarfree Red Bull & vodka.

        1. Cosplay?!? I thought he was a furry?

          1. SugarFree has more fetishes than your simple mind con comprehend. He contains multitudes.

            1. And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many.

    2. But he was defeated by the Evil Wizard Mourdock!

    3. I need a good witch doctor name in only five days.

  7. How, exactly, is a citizen motivated by strong opposition to one or more of the policies above supposed to influence politics?

    You actually think citizens are supposed to be able to influence politics? How quaint. Now STOP RESISTING!!!!

  8. Why does the media focus on so-called tea party extremism in tossing out old, tired and compromising GOPers?
    The rabid left tossed out two Blue Dog moderate Democratic congressmen in their Penna. primary.

    1. Because of the fact that republicans are stupid doodie heads media bias.

  9. Should be interesting to see how that all turns out.

    http://www.Best-Privacy.tk

      1. Your snarky 3-word response proves you are incapable engage RingoHungo in intelligent debate. You lose.

  10. How, exactly, is a citizen motivated by strong opposition to one or more of the policies above supposed to influence politics?

    By building a fighting force of extraordinary magnitude! As Dr. Klahn is doing!

    1. This is not a charade. It requires total concentwation.

  11. The obvious subtext in most of the commentary is that the only “solutions” are government-provided. Any desire to shrink the size and scope of government makes you an “ideological partisan” and not “solutions-oriented”.

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