Richard Lugar has been Indiana's U.S. Senator from 1976. Although not a movement conservative, he holds a generally conservative record during his 3 1/2 decades in the U.S. Senate and has a international reputation for superb constituent service, intellectual acumen, prescient statesmanship, personal integrity, and an unswerving commitment to serving Indiana's residents and advancing American national interests. Has he voted the right way on every single issue? Of course not. I think a flat tax is preferable to the fair tax. I disagree with his voting for Justice Kagan, his support for the latest arms control treaty with the Russian Federation, and an occasional item here and there including some earmarks. We must remember that even the legislators we like and respect will not vote the way we want everytime. Senators are supposed to serve the national interest instead of the selfish aspirations of individuals and interest groups.
National frustration with our economic situation has lead to an understandable, and in many cases justifiable, outrage at existing congressional legislators who created our acute budget deficit and national debt. Some legislators have been removed and others should be, including our egregiously incompetent President Barack Obama. However, our country needs the sagacious advice of legislators like Richard Lugar who are political professionals dedicated to competent government policymaking instead of dilettantish amateurs like Richard Mourdock whose motive for seeking the Senate seat is a mixture of jealousy and frustration that his vision of Indiana in the U.S. Senate is not being slavishly adhered to by Richard Lugar.
Mourdock deserves some credit for the relatively good fiscal condition Indiana is in as part of his service as State Treasurer in the Mitch Daniels Administration. However, Mourdock reflects an intellectual immaturity and superficiality that demonstrate he does not have the credible long-term or intellectually coherent vision needed to help Indiana and the country resolve pressing national problems. Mourdock has advocated drastically reducing the Interior Department budget and eliminating other cabinet departments to save money without presenting credible alternatives to what will replace them. Should state or local governments assume these responsibilities, the private sector, or public-private sector partnerships? For instance, the National Park Service is part of the Interior Department and properties it administers in Indiana include the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Lincoln Boyhood Home, and the George Rogers Clark National Monument. Does he favor turning these historically significant sites and places of natural beauty to authorities who might allow tacky strip malls to be placed adjacent to these facilities? How would Mourdock propose the U.S. deal with offshore oil and natural gas resources without the Interior Dept's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement? Which of the earmarks Lugar has enacted would Mourdock remove and would he have the guts to tell the communities those earmarks have benefitted why they do not merit continued federal support?
How does Mourdock propose to carry out Energy Department responsibilities if that agency is eliminated? He does want the Defense Dept. to manage the nation's nuclear weapons arsenal but how can DOD to that if it's budget is drastically reduced? How does Mourdock propose promoting research into enhancing the efficiency and domestic accessibility of traditional fossil fuels like oil and natural gas, the enhanced development of nuclear energy, and promoting research and development of alternative energy sources such as geothermal, solar, and windpower? How will U.S. Government policymakers gather analytical information and statistical data on domestic and international energy trends and development if the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration is eliminated? How does Mourdock propose to deal with the interstate transmission of electricity, natural gas, and oil if DOE's Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is eliminated? How will the U.S. deal with hydropower development in the western U.S. if agencies such as the Bonneville Power Administration and the Bureau of Reclamation are eliminated?
How would Mourdock propose to address health care once Obamacare is repealed or overturned by the Supreme Court? How would he deal with promoting U.S. innovation and international trade if his proposal to abolish the Commerce Department is enacted? (This department contains the Patent & Trademark Office and the International Trade Administration which are the agencies which carry out the aforementioned activities.) How would Mourdock address national security threats such as Iran, Pakistan, China, North Korea, and Venezuela? Rhetorically bashing the Washington establishment or "Washington insiders" is not an intellectually credible response.
Mourdock has additional problems within Indiana. He has missed several Indiana Board of Finance meetings. Would he repeatedly miss Senate floor sessions and committee hearings if he's elected to the Senate? His lack of financial probity his demonstrated by wrongly taking homestead deductions on two properties and taking a mortgage deduction he's not entitled to. In addition, he has failed to pay back taxes and interest on penalties he owes. Such charges helped cause New York Rep. Charlie Rangel to lose his chairmanship of the House Ways & Means Committee which is the House of Representatives committee charged with writing tax legislation and overseeing the IRS. Mourdock has said he is against Obama's proposed energy tax but has personally invested from companies standing to benefit from such legislation. What hypocrisy!
It's sad to see so many conservatives fall for infantile anti-establishment rhetoric such as that gushed forth by leftist radicals such as Saul Alinsky and his ideological progeny Barack Obama and the Occupy Wall Street movement. There are plenty of reasons to oppose Barack Obama and his corrupt and incompetent administration. As conservatives we must give the public intellectually and morally credible alternatives to Obama. We need intelligent and experienced statesmen like Richard Lugar to represent Indiana honorably with personal integrity and intellectual substance even if we disagree with them occasionally. We don't need out of state yahoos denouncing Richard Lugar's service to Indiana and our country when such individuals and organizations knowledge of Indiana's assets and needs is comparable to Lady Gaga's knowledge of moral purity. Richard Mourdock is an ethically dubious amateur who does not meet the high requirements of being a prudent conservative U.S. Senator for Indiana. Our state is blessed to have intelligent, moral, and responsible statesmen like Richard Lugar and Dan Coats representing our interests in the Senate. While the time to replace Lugar may be getting closer, Richard Mourdock is not that individual and Hoosiers would be absolute fools to reject an internationally respected statesman with someone who does not have the gravitas necessary to be a U.S. Senator. This staunch conservative will proudly cast my Senate primary vote next May to reelect Richard Lugar.