Indiana Republican Sen. Dick Lugar and his 77 percent conservative voting record was not good enough to prevent him from having a "tea party" primary challenger, State Treasurer Richard Mourdock. Complete and total obstruction rather than an iota of compromise to make sure the government actually functions seems to be the new standard of what it means to be a "conservative" these days.
The panel on ABC's This Week weighed in on Lugar's primary challenge and pundits Bay Buchanan and George Will think it's just wonderful that Lugar is facing a primary challenge, despite the fact that he's got a lot better chance of defeating his Democratic challenger, Joe Donnelly. They might want to be careful what they wish for.
Nate Silver has more on that: Lugar Loss Could Provide Pickup Opportunity for Democrats:
The latest veteran lawmaker to be the subject of a vigorous primary challenge is the 80-year-old Senator Richard G. Lugar of Indiana, who is being challenged for the Republican nomination by State Treasurer Richard Mourdock. [...]
If Mr. Lugar loses, it should increase Democrats’ odds of picking up the Senate seat in November. Democrats have a fairly good candidate in Indiana in the form of United States Representative Joe Donnelly, who represents the Second Congressional District and who narrowly retained his seat in a very tough environment for Democrats nationally in 2010. The Second District, which includes South Bend and Michigan City, is slightly Republican-leaning relative to the country as a whole but slightly Democratic-leaning relative to the rest of Indiana.
I'm not getting my hopes up on this one, but it would be nice to see Republicans lose a seat in the Senate because of their purity tests. This AstroTurf so-called "tea party" of theirs, which is nothing but a rebranding effort by the far right wing of the party which wants to push them continually to the right has done some damage in previous elections already. Maybe we get lucky here and they do it again.
Transcript of the panel discussion below the fold.