The Bloomington Herald-Times published a typically whiny editorial last week, warning that the attempt to unseat Senator Richard Lugar could “backfire” and make it easier for Joe Donnelly to win.
First things first. Donnelly is not going to win no matter who wins the Republican primary. It was a fluke when President Obama won Indiana in 2008, and he will almost certainly lose by the same margin Democrats traditionally lose by every four years. 2012 will not be a good year for Indiana Democrats with Obama leading the ticket.
Look at the 2010 election and the fact that Republicans hold 60 of 100 seats in the Indiana House (they were in the minority before that) and 37 of 50 seats in the Indiana Senate. Donnelly himself is only in Congress because the Indiana Democratic Party actually sent a mailer endorsing the Libertarian candidate in a desperate attempt to split the conservative vote. It worked. The Libertarian candidate got 5% and Donnelly won with a plurality of 48%.
The H-T again whined about the 1998 Republican primary for the District 60 state representative seat. But the heavily Republican District 60 is a poor example of how a conservative primary challenge can elect a Democrat. This is because the Democrat in question is Peggy Welch, who has not only voted for but sponsored legislation to restrict abortion and ban same-sex marriage. After Welch, the Democrats have no one who can win that seat.
It is amusing that the Herald-Times is whining about a Republican primary from 13 years ago. Why did the Herald-Times not bother to mention the challenge by Lucille Bertuccio against longtime County Council member David Hamilton? That is certainly more relevant than the 1998 primary. After all, the Republican Party has not been relevant in Monroe County since 2006. Why bother kicking the Republican Party over a long-dead race when the Democrats control all the levers of power in both city and county government?
It is absurd for the H-T to label the effort to unseat Lugar as a movement of “extremists.” Richard Mourdock got 60% of the vote in last November’s election. Did 60% of Hoosiers vote for an extremist? Does this mean that 60% of Hoosiers are extremists? By definition, 60% is not extremist – it is a majority. The Herald-Times – which called for one party rule over the summer – has been insulated in Bloomington for too long. It’s time to expand your horizons and learn something, H-T. You know, actually do your job.